Signs & Symptoms of Mild Dehydration

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Drink water to avoid dehydration.
Drink water to avoid dehydration. (Image: water image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com)

Dehydration occurs when the body does not have the fluids needed to function properly. Prolonged heat exposure and illness are two common causes of dehydration. Mild dehydration does not require medical intervention and can be reversed simply by increasing fluid intake. Knowing the signs of mild dehydration may prevent the condition from worsening and becoming potentially life-threatening.

Thirst

Increased thirst is the most recognizable sign of dehydration and often the first sign as well. Thirst occurs when the body becomes approximately 1 percent dehydrated. Drinking before you feel thirsty may prevent mild dehydration from occurring.

Changes in Urine Output

Fewer trips to the bathroom may indicate dehydration. As the body tries to preserve water, urine output decreases. Urine also becomes more concentrated, resulting in a darker color and a stronger odor.

Other Symptoms

Those suffering from mild dehydration often experience a dry mouth.and/or a headache. Other possible indicators are fatigue, muscle weakness and dizziness.

Warning

Dehydration can become life-threatening if it's not recognized and dealt with promptly. Contact a medical professional if your symptoms do not improve after attempts to rehydrate. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience no urination for eight hours, severe dizziness, confusion or loss of consciousness.

Prevention

Maintaining proper fluid intake will help avoid dehydration, especially before and after vigorous exercise. Oral electrolyte solutions or other beverages may replenish fluids lost due to illness. Avoid beverages containing large amounts of sugar when you're trying to reverse the symptoms of dehydration.

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