Dehydration Is A Common Condition Among Adults And Can Have Multiple Causes Including Fever Vomiting And Other Clinical Conditions
Dehydration is a common condition among adults and can have multiple causes including fever, vomiting, and other clinical conditions.
Some adults may be at higher risk of dehydration, including the elderly and pregnant women. Mild to moderate dehydration is defined as a significant loss of fluid, which usually totals a loss of 2-6% body fluid. Because the adult human body is made up of approximately 60% water, staying hydrated is crucial to many of our daily functions.
Severe dehydration can leave adults at risk for seizures, hypernatremia, heat-exhaustion, and other potentially life-threatening conditions. Stock up on a rehydration solution to start managing your dehydration signs and symptoms today.
Dehydration In The Elderly
As with infants and children, elderly people are also at higher risk for dehydration. Some elderly people can become chronically dehydrated if they take certain medications . They can also metabolically have a diminished sense of thirst or physically have a difficult time getting a glass of water.
Signs of dehydration you should look for in the elderly include low blood pressure, confusion, dizziness and constipation. Urinary tract infections, which are common in older adults, can also cause dehydration. If symptoms become severe, make sure you take your elderly relative to the emergency room.
Preventing Dehydration In Children
Children can lose a tremendous amount of fluid in a short time from diarrhea or vomiting. In addition to routine signs of dehydration, parents of sick infants and children should also watch for dry mouth and tongue, no tears when crying, listlessness or crankiness, sunken cheeks or eyes, sunken fontanel , fever, and skin that does not return to normal when pinched and released. Call your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms in your child.
If your sick child shows signs of dehydration, give fluids called oral rehydration solutions. Sports drinks and fruit juices are helpful too, but they donât provide the ideal balance of water, sugar, and salt. Instead, pediatricians recommend oral rehydration solutions such as Ceralyte, Infalyte, or Pedialyte. If your child is not vomiting, these fluids can be used in very generous amounts until your child starts making normal amounts of urine again. If your child is dehydrated and vomiting, call your doctor.
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Try Spicing Up Plain Water
If you don’t love plain water, jazz it up by adding a splash of fruit juice or chunks of fresh or frozen fruit, says Sakimura. Or try naturally flavored, calorie-free seltzers their fizz and fruit flavor makes them more appealing than plain, flat water.
What Should Parents Avoid Giving Their Children If They Have Diarrhea Or Are Vomiting
DO NOT give sugary drinks such as: Kool-Aid, fruit juice/drinks, pop, Jell-O, sweetened tea, broth or rice water. These have the wrong amounts of water, salts and sugar. These can also make your childs diarrhea worse.
DO NOT give over-the-counter medications to stop diarrhea. Some of these will prevent the body from getting rid of infection.
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Dehydration In Babies And Small Children
Babies and small children have an increased chance of becoming dehydrated because:
- A greater portion of their bodies is made of water.
- Children have a high metabolic rate, so their bodies use more water.
- A child’s kidneys do not conserve water as well as an adult’s kidneys.
- A child’s natural defence system that helps fight infection is not fully developed, which increases the chance of getting an illness that causes vomiting and diarrhea.
- Children often will not drink or eat when they are not feeling well.
- They depend on their caregivers to provide them with food and fluids.
Signs Of Dehydration & Tips Mitigate It
You really need to check for signs of dehydration, like a dried out or gooey mouth, sunken sight, decreased tears when weeping and small amounts of dark colored urine made.
Be sure to promote him many water, but do not need simple drinking water, soda or teas, as they have no the right amount of electrolytes and will, indeed, intensify diarrhea. You can either buy an over-the-counter rehydrating solution, such as Pedialyte, or another product with the lyte ending, or prepare one at home.
To produce a rehydrating option, need 6 teaspoons of glucose, ? tsp of sodium and 4 cups , boiled and cooled off. Blend the remedy till the sodium and glucose tend to be demolished, and supply they your son or daughter. Naturally, you should make yes your hands are thoroughly clean when preparing a better solution, and childs arms are thoroughly clean when he is ingesting it so that you usually do not move the micro-organisms triggering their diarrhoea into his human anatomy.
Providing she or he virtually any anti-diarrhea drugs readily available over-the-counter isnt recommended, since these drugs usually are aimed towards terminating the diarrhoea ailments best, while having no impact regarding the cause of the sickness.
If they can take in, sample natural yogurt with lactobacillus, in other words. stay countries or alleged probiotics, that happen to be been shown to be a successful natural remedy for diarrhoea.
So probiotics to a child with diarrhea is truly a fantastic choice.
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What Do I Do If My Baby Or Young Child Has Diarrhea
If your child has severe diarrhea, call your healthcare provider. Young children are at a higher risk of dehydration than adults. You also cant treat a childs diarrhea the same way you would an adult case. Over-the-counter medications can be dangerous in young children and all treatments of diarrhea in children should be guided by their healthcare provider. Its important to keep your child hydrated. Your provider will help you determine the best way to do this, but options often include:
- Breast milk.
- Electrolyte drinks for older children this is not recommended for babies.
The best option to keep your child hydrated might change as the child ages. Always check with your provider before giving your child a new liquid or treatment of any kind.
If you have any questions or concerns about your childs diarrhea, dont hesitate to call your provider.
Forestalling Dehydration In Children
Youngsters can lose a gigantic measure of liquid in a brief time frame from loose bowels or retching. Notwithstanding standard indications of lack of hydration, guardians of debilitated babies and kids ought to likewise look for dry mouth and tongue, no tears when crying, languor or grouchiness, depressed cheeks or eyes, indented fontanel , fever, and skin that doesnt get back to typical when squeezed and delivered. Call your PCP on the off chance that you notice any of these indications in your youngster.
On the off chance that your wiped-out kid gives indications of lack of hydration, give liquids called oral rehydration arrangements. Sports beverages and natural product juices are useful as well, yet they dont give the best equilibrium of water, sugar, and salt. All things considered, pediatricians suggest oral rehydration arrangements like Ceralyte, Infalyte, or Pedialyte. On the off chance that your youngster isnt regurgitating. They utilize liquids in extremely liberal sums. Until your kid begins making typical measures of pee once more. Call your primary care physician.
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How Can We Prevent Dehydration
Whenever your child gets sick, give extra fluids or oral rehydration solution. Give small amounts often, especially if your child is vomiting.
Kids need to drink often during hot weather. Those who play sports or are very physically active should drink extra fluids beforehand, and then take regular drink breaks during the activity.
Dehydration: A Complication That May Arise From Diarrhea
Diarrhea is a common ailment that plagues everyone from time to time. It can be caused by a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection or may be a sign of a more serious health problem.
Typically, diarrhea clears up on its own within a few days and is not a cause for concern. But severe or frequent diarrhea can be a sign of a bigger health issue and needs medical attention. If left untreated, diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which comes with its own health concerns.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Dehydration
Dehydration is a loss of body fluids, which are made up of water and salts. When sick children vomit or have diarrhea, they can lose large amounts of salts and water from their bodies, and can become dehydrated very quickly.
Dehydration can be very dangerous, especially for babies and toddlers. Children can even die if they are not treated.
Dry Or Flushed Skin Could Be A Symptom Of Dehydration
A lot of people think that people who get dehydrated are really sweaty, but in fact, as you go through various stages of dehydration, you get very dry skin, Dr. Higgins says, adding that skin may appear flushed as well.
Another key skin-related symptom of dehydration is skin that remains tented after being pinched and takes some time to return to its normal, flat appearance .
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Adults And Children Age 12 And Older
If you become mildly to moderately dehydrated while working outside or exercising:
- Stop your activity and rest.
- Get out of direct sunlight and lie down in a cool spot, such as in the shade or an air-conditioned area.
- Prop up your feet.
- Take off any extra clothes.
- Drink a rehydration drink, water, juice, or sports drink to replace fluids and minerals. Drink 2 L of cool liquids over the next 2 to 4 hours. You should drink at least 10 glasses of liquid a day to replace lost fluids. You can make an inexpensive rehydration drink at home. But do not give this homemade drink to children younger than 12. Measure all ingredients precisely. Small variations can make the drink less effective or even harmful. Mix the following:
- 1 litre water
- Â½ teaspoon table salt
- 6 teaspoons sugar
Rest and take it easy for 24 hours, and continue to drink a lot of fluids. Although you will probably start feeling better within just a few hours, it may take as long as a day and a half to completely replace the fluid that you lost.
How Is Dehydration Treated
Treatment for dehydration depends on how severe it is. Kids with mild dehydration can get extra liquids at home. Kids with more severe dehydration may need treatment in the ER or hospital.
Mild dehydration is treated with oral rehydration. This usually includes giving oral rehydration solution . It has the right amounts of water, sugar, and salt to help with dehydration. You can buy it without a prescription at drugstores or supermarkets. If you cant get oral rehydration solution, talk to your doctor. There are other fluids that can help with dehydration.
If your child has mild dehydration and your doctor says its OK to start treatment at home:
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How Can Dehydration Be Prevented
Take precautionary measures to avoid the harmful effects of dehydration, including the following:
Drink plenty of fluids, especially when working or playing in the sun.
Make sure you are taking in more fluid than you are losing.
Try to schedule physical outdoor activities for the cooler parts of the day.
Drink appropriate sports drinks to help maintain electrolyte balance.
For infants and young children, solutions such as Pedialyte will help maintain electrolyte balance during illness or heat exposure. Do not try to make fluid and salt solutions at home for children.
What Causes Diarrhoea
There are many different causes of diarrhoea, but a bowel infection is a common cause in both adults and children.
Gastroenteritis can be caused by:
- a virus such as norovirus or rotavirus
- bacteria such as campylobacter and Escherichia coli , which are often picked up from contaminated food
- a parasite such as the parasite that causes giardiasis, which is spread in contaminated water
These infections can sometimes be caught during travel abroad, particularly to areas with poor standards of public hygiene. This is known as travellers’ diarrhoea.
- you’ve lost a lot of weight
- you have passed a large amount of very watery diarrhoea
- it occurs at night and is disturbing your sleep
- you have recently taken antibiotics or been treated in hospital
- you have symptoms of dehydration
- your poo is dark or black this may be a sign of bleeding inside your stomach
You should also contact your GP if you have persistent diarrhoea. Most cases in adults will pass in 2 to 4 days.
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Less Total Body Fluid
With age, the body loses more muscle and gains more fat. This affects your ability to maintain the normal total amount of body water . TBW is usually about 60% in men and 50% in women. After age 60, these numbers decrease to about 50% in men and 40% in women. Less TBW increases the risk of dehydration.
Risk Of Spreading Infection
Most cases of acute diarrhoea are potentially infectious to others. Viruses are easily spread, mainly through direct contact with vomit or faeces from an infected person, or through contact with a contaminated object or surface. Occasionally, the virus may be transmitted by airborne particles generated from vomiting and diarrhoea.People can reduce their chances of getting infected by carefully washing their hands after going to the toilet and before handling food. People looking after a person with the virus must also wash their hands thoroughly. Alcohol-based handwash solutions, available from pharmacies, have been shown to be better at reducing the spread of infection than soap and water, and are less drying to the skin.Anyone with acute diarrhoea should stay at home if possible to reduce the spread of infection. It is strongly recommended not to visit hospitals and nursing homes, and not to swim in public pools.
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Causes Of Chronic Diarrhoea
- Some of the causes of chronic diarrhoea include:
- coeliac disease which reduces the intestines ability to absorb food
- chronic constipation the bowel is blocked by hard, impacted faeces, but some liquids manage to seep past the blockage. this condition, called spurious or overflow diarrhoea, is more common in the elderly
- hormone disorders such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism
- cancer such as bowel cancer
- inflammatory bowel disease including ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease
- irritable bowel syndrome symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, and alternating constipation and diarrhoea
- lactose intolerance the inability to digest the milk sugar lactose
- medications including antibiotics, antacids that contain magnesium, laxatives, and drugs for treating hypertension and arthritis.
Bad Breath Is A Possible Warning Sign Of Dehydration
Saliva has antibacterial properties, but dehydration can prevent your body from making enough saliva.
If youre not producing enough saliva, you can get bacterial overgrowth in the mouth, and one of the side effects of that is bad breath, says John Higgins, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of Texas in Houston and the chief of cardiology at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Houston.
Its the same reason you may wake up with morning breath: Saliva production slows down during sleep, notes the Mayo Clinic, leading to an unpleasant taste in the mouth as bacteria grow. So the next time your mouth seems dry and your breath smells less-than-fresh, it may be time to rehydrate.
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Early Symptoms Of Dehydration
Symptoms and signs of dehydration can be minor, such as increased thirst, or severe and life-threatening, depending on the extent of the dehydration.
The early symptoms of dehydration are
- thirst, and
Dehydration occurs because there is too much water lost, not enough water taken in, or most commonly, a combination of the two.
The body tries to maintain cardiac output 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.
Treatment For Mild Dehydration
For mild dehydration, drinking fluids is usually sufficient for treatment.
It is best to sip water or drink small amounts of fluid rather than trying to drink a lot at one time, especially if nauseous. Drinking large amounts of fluid can cause more vomiting.
Parents find it helpful to use a teaspoon or syringe when giving water or other fluids to a baby or young child.
It is also important to replace electrolytes along with water and other fluids. Simply add a pinch of salt and honey to warm water. Or make your own electrolyte enhanced water.
Avoid sports drinks which contain a lot of sugar and could cause more bouts of diarrhea.
When a young child wont take any fluids at all, freezer pops are a temporary solution.
However, rather than buying the sugary store-bought versions, make your own with diluted fruit juice and add a pinch of salt .
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