Dehydration: symptoms & causes

Dehydration is a physiological condition. This is because the body loses water in large quantities without replacing it, and this can cause a loss of salts; such as hyponatremia, but if the condition is represented by water loss alone, it is called hyperosmolar; it is due to an excess of sodium or glucose. It should be noted that diagnosing this condition requires several laboratory analyses and a medical diagnosis, in addition to knowing the patient’s medical history.

It should be noted that dehydration leads to many complications. The most important of them is kidney failure, resulting from a lack of blood flow to the kidneys due to low blood pressure. It can be treated if dehydration is treated early. Dehydration may also lead to comas due to the lack of blood supply to the brain.


In severe cases, dehydration may cause shock; as a result of the lack of blood flow and oxygen to the rest of the vital organs in the body, dehydration also leads to an imbalance in ions, which affects the body’s organs; such as muscles and the heart, and these complications may occur as a result of certain diseases that lead to fluid loss.

Causes of Dehydration

Dehydration: symptoms & causes


The body naturally loses daily fluids through sweating, breathing, urination, excretion, saliva, and tears. Usually, this lost fluid is replaced by drinking water, fluids, and eating food, but losing too much fluid without replacing it can lead to dehydration. The following are the main reasons that lead to a lack of body fluids:

  • high body temperature.
  • diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • lack of water: This is due to some diseases such as sore throats, stomach pain, or mouth ulcers, in addition to forgetting to drink water during the day due to the lack of awareness of the feeling of thirst and preoccupation during the day.
  • Food poisoning is caused by eating food contaminated with bacteria, some viruses, parasites, or some chemicals. This leads to diarrhea and vomiting, which increases the loss of fluids and ions; Like sodium, potassium
  • Excessive urination: This is due to the use of certain medications, or diabetes and lack of treatment.
  • excessive sweating: This is due to exercise, high air temperatures, or the use of certain medications.
  • For long periods of time, continuous deep or short breathing when exercising

Symptoms of Dehydration

There are several signs and symptoms that indicate a lack of fluid in the body, and the following points show them:

  • The skin: the skin becomes rough and red, in addition to cracks in it and on the lips.
  • Breathing: The breath is foul as a result of the dryness of the tongue and mouth due to lack of drinking water and lack of saliva secretion.
  • In addition to the lack of urination, it is dark yellow in color.
  • Constipation: This is due to a lack of water, which helps to increase bowel movement and excretion.
  • Feeling hungry and thirsty: Several studies have proven that drinking water may reduce hunger, and people who do not drink water may usually have a high weight.
  • Low blood pressure: Approximately 55% of the blood volume is fluid. According to the American Heart Association, dehydration leads to low blood pressure in the body.
  • Feeling tired, even at rest.
  • Nausea and dizziness: Nausea may be associated with low blood pressure caused by dehydration.
  • Fainting: This symptom occurs in severe cases of dehydration and may cause a feeling of fainting when standing immediately after lying down or sitting.
  • Effect on the heart: Dehydration may lead to an acceleration of the heartbeat and breathing.
  • Effect on mood: Several studies have shown that a lack of fluid in the body causes feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress.

Treatment of Dehydration


Dehydration is diagnosed by the doctor by observing the symptoms and signs that appear on the patient, in addition to conducting several other analyses to confirm the diagnosis. as a blood analysis, or the diagnosis may be made by performing a urinalysis. The replacement of fluids and electrolytes that have been lost is the most effective way to treat this problem, and the method of treatment depends on the severity of the dehydration. The treatment is either to drink more water and fluids or to take oral solutions used to replace fluids. In cases of severe dehydration, they should be given intravenous water.

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