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: JayJ, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

I had an injury that has kept me inside for three and a half months. Just 2 weeks ago I got to get outside for extended periods. I ride horses, and stay outside a lot. I have been outside at least 2 to 5 hours, 2 to 3 days each of the last couple of weeks. The day I dehydrated all I had drunk was 1 cup of coffee, 1 bottle of water, and a special K strawberry breakfast drink. We had snacks for lunch and about 4 oz. of water. Within 3 hours I got nauseated and dizzy. So I drank a bottle of water, Powerade, and after I got to a cool place I noticed that my skin was burning, then I had the chills and fever. I ran a high fever for 3 or 4 hours.

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Comment from: Rick15, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 07

Recently I moved to Spain trying it out for retirement. Now I find that the heat and humidity 33 to 41 C in summer here dehydrate me quicker than I can replenish the fluids. Just a 5 minute walk outside and I'm covered from head to foot in sweat, same at night in 27 to 29 C. This has been causing kidney stone formations many times now. I find when I'm getting dehydrated my right ear plugs up like there is water in it, once I am hydrated enough this goes away, so this is my body's warning sign of dehydration I find. Needless to say Spain isn't good for retirement for me at least in summer.

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