Dehydration occurs during hot weather, after a hard workout session or with a mild bout of the stomach flu. If steps are not taken to correct dehydration in the early stages, you will experience signs and symptoms of extreme dehydration. These symptoms happen when your body lacks the necessary fluids to continue functioning normally. It is a medical emergency and needs immediate treatment.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of extreme dehydration include a very dry and sticky-feeling mouth, extreme thirst, irritability and confusion. Your heart rate and rate of breathing will speed up. Your skin feels dry and loses the elasticity that makes it bounce back to normal when pinched. Urination will slow down or stop. Dark-colored urine is also a symptom of dehydration.
Severe diarrhea and vomiting is a common cause of extreme dehydration. Children are at higher risk because of their smaller body size. Another cause of extreme dehydration is fever and excessive sweating. You need to continually replace fluids lost by sweat and perspiration. Undiagnosed diabetics have increased urination and are at risk for becoming dehydrated. People who live in high altitudes also risk becoming dehydrated. To maintain adequate oxygen levels at higher altitudes, your breathing rate increases, so you exhale more water vapor.
Your body loses electrolytes as well as water when you become dehydrated. Electrolytes are minerals such as sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. It is important to keep the proper balance of these minerals in your body so it can function. If you are suffering from extreme dehydration, you will receive intravenous fluid at the hospital. Replenishment of these minerals is important for your body to resume normal functioning. Left untreated, extreme dehydration causes seizures, brain damage or loss of life.
To stay hydrated, it is important to drink water and other fluids on a regular basis. Thirst is not always a reliable indicator of hydration status, so you can check the color of your urine. Clear or light-colored urine means you are well hydrated. If you are working in hot weather, drink more fluids. If you feel you are coming down with the flu, drink extra fluids at the first signs of illness. If your urine becomes dark, your skin is dry, or you become dizzy or confused, recognize these symptoms of extreme dehydration and call 911 to seek expert medical help.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
How to Test for Dehydration at Home
Dehydration occurs when your body loses too much fluid due to vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, fever and certain medications that can cause you...
How to Read Lab Tests in Dehydration
Dehydration is a complex and challenging syndrome to diagnose. It can be particularly debilitating even at mild levels if it is not...
Symptoms of Dehydration & Exhaustion
In cases of extreme dehydration where emergency help is called, doctors may inject sugar water into the individual through an IV to...
Dehydration Test for Food Poisoning
Tips for testing to find out if you have food poisoning. Learn about dehydration test for food poisoning in this poison prevention...
Signs of Dehydrated Goats
Dehydration is a serious condition for goats and can kill an untreated animal quickly. ... and the goat has a poor skin...
How to Spot Dehydration
How to Spot Dehydration. Your body loses fluids every day, ... Drink 4 to 8 oz. of water and check your skin...
How to Pass a Hydration Test
How to Test for Dehydration at Home; Comments You May Also Like. ... As you age, your skin begins to lose elasticity,...
Signs and Symptoms of Brain Damage From Severe Dehydration
Severe dehydration is a serious condition that can cause death if it is not dealt with immediately. Warning signs of severe dehydration...
How to Check Blood Pressure for Dehydration
A person becomes dehydrated when their body does not have enough water or fluids. If dehydrated, a person may experience a dry...