Dehydration In Adults

Dehydration is a condition that happens when the loss of body fluids surpasses the number of fluids taken in. In dehydration, more water moves out of our cells and bodies than what we take in through drinking.

Causes of Dehydration in Adults

A few of the conditions which can cause rapid and continued loss of fluid, and thus dehydration, are as follows:

  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive urination due to any infection.
  • Unsafe drinking water.
  • Fever, heat exposure, and too much exercise.
  • An impaired ability to drink (such as coma).
  • Significant injuries to the skin such as burns, mouth sores, or any severe skin disease in which water is lost through damaged skin.

Symptoms of Dehydration in Adults

A few of the symptoms of dehydration in adults are as follows:

  • Dry mouth
  • Swollen tongue
  • Fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Inability to sweat
  • Decreased urine output
  • Confusion
  • Palpitations

NOTE: if urine is concentrated and of deep yellow or amber color, then it may indicate dehydration.

Treatments of Dehydration in Adults:


People who are dehydrated can take in fluids in the following ways:

  • Drinking carbohydrate/ electrolyte-containing drinks.
  • Sucking on ice chips
  • Sipping through a straw.
  • Sipping small amounts of water.

If the person has an elevated temperature or if there has been heating exposure then try to cool him/ her in the following ways:

  • Air-conditioned areas are best for returning body temperature to normal.
  • If air-conditioning is not available, place the person near fans or in the shade.
  • Avoid exposure to excessive colds such as ice packs or ice water.
  • Remove any excess clothing.

Medical treatment

Medical treatment includes restoring blood volume and then body fluids along with determining the cause of the dehydration.

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