Dehydration

Monday, July 21, 2014

Our body has warning signs to tell us when we are close to dehydration. What are the signs and how should we respond to them? Dr. Edward Hill tells us in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Dehydration occurs when your body loses too much fluid. This can happen when you stop drinking water or lose large amounts of fluid through vomiting, diarrhea, sweating or exercise.

Dehydration can occur in anyone of any age, but it is most dangerous for babies, small children and older adults.

Not drinking enough fluids can cause muscle cramps. You may feel faint. Usually your body can reabsorb fluid from your blood and other body tissues. But by the time you become severely dehydrated, you no longer have enough fluid in your body to get blood to your organs.

By the time thirst kicks in, your fluid levels already could be excessively low. If ignored, dehydration can bring on heat cramps, heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.

Drinking caffeinated drinks can actually make your dehydration worse. The caffeine acts as a diuretic to make your kidneys more active.

One of the best courses of action against fluid loss is to eat. Eating food stimulates your thirst, causing you to drink more than usual.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.