Dehydration - Symptoms

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What were the symptoms of your dehydration?

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What are the signs and symptoms of dehydration?

The body's initial responses to dehydration are thirst to increase water intake, and decreased urine output to try to conserve water loss. The urine will become concentrated and more yellow in color.

As the level of water loss increases, more symptoms can become apparent. The following are further signs and symptoms of dehydration.

  • Dry mouth
  • Eyes stop making tears
  • Sweating may stop
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Lightheadedness (especially when standing)
  • Weakness
  • Decreased urine output

The body tries to maintain cardiac output (the amount of blood that is pumped by the heart to the body); and if the amount of fluid in the intravascular space is decreased, the body compensates for this decrease by increasing the heart rate and making blood vessels constrict to try to maintain blood pressure and blood flow to the vital organs of the body. The body shunts blood flow away from the skin to internal organs, for example, the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, and intestines; causing the skin to feel cool and clammy. This coping mechanism begins to fail as the level of dehydration increases.

With severe dehydration, confusion and weakness will occur as the brain and other body organs receive less blood flow. Finally, coma, organ failure, and death eventually will occur if the dehydration remains untreated.

Return to Dehydration

See what others are saying

Comment from: Jerseygal, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 12

Alisha...check your thyroid levels. The thyroid gland is controlled by the endocrine system, which essentially acts as your body's temperature gauge. I experienced the same thing after my last pregnancy only to find out that I had a thyroid condition (hypothyroidism or low thyroid). It was affecting my body temperature (and ironically, my hydration levels...as my body would overheat more and consume more of my bodily fluids). I was prescribed a synthetic hormone (and eventually switched to a natural hormone) that I have to take on a daily basis to avoid feeling listless, fatigued, confused, lethargic, and also to avoid the massive migraines that I was experiencing. You are young, like myself. Please inquire about thyroid tests with your doctor and get this checked out so that you can get your quality of life back!! After all, you will need your energy levels to be intact with a new baby =) Best of luck to you! Well wishes.

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Comment from: rapid transit, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I am now 62, at 33 I had to have an ileostomy because of pan colitis. It was quickly discovered that my small bowel does not function correctly and I became dehydrated. For about 5 years I was on IV hydration. For the next 15 years I was treated for chronic diarrhea and then found myself in the hospital with acute renal failure. I was again put on IV hydration, and for 5 years did very well. Then I developed an infection in the catheter and the docs decided I didn't need the IV any more. Suddenly my body was without the IV fluids and I was expected to function normally. Was just hospitalized for dehydration again, but this time not for long term. Am still ill, still dehydrated because the doctors do not believe that a person with so much small bowel should need the IV hydration. Needless to say this is frustrating for no matter how much I drink my body does not process the liquid properly and the tests have not shown a reason. I am a firm believer in the good of IV hydration for those who are for whatever reason chronically dehydrated. I suffer from thyroid problems, depression, lack of energy, chronic diarrhea, and what the docs call rapid transit time of anything that I swallow.

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