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Can I treat dehydration at home?
Dehydration occurs over time. If it can be recognized in its earliest stages,
and if its cause can be addressed, home treatment may be beneficial and adequate.
Steps a person can take at home to prevent severe dehydration include:
Individuals with vomiting and
diarrhea can try to alter
their diet and
use medications to control symptoms to minimize water loss. Clear fluids are
recommended as the diet of choice for the first 24 hours, with gradual
progression to a regular diet as tolerated.
may be considered to control diarrhea. If the affected individual has a
fever, or if there is blood in the diarrhea, medical advice should be
obtained before administering medications to control diarrhea.
(Tylenol and others) or
(Advil, Motrin, and others) may be used to control
Ibuprofen may irritate the stomach and cause nausea and vomiting, so it
should be used with caution in patients who already have these symptoms.
Fluid replacements may be attempted
by small, frequent amounts of clear fluids (see
clear fluids information in previous section). The amount of fluid required
to maintain hydration depends upon the individual's weight. The average
adult needs between 2 and 3 liters of fluid per day.
If the person becomes confused or lethargic; if there is persistent,
uncontrolled fever, vomiting, or diarrhea; or if there are any other specific
concerns, then medical care should be accessed.
Emergency medical system (EMS) or 911 should be activated for any individual with altered mental status -
confusion, lethargy, or coma.