How to Treat Dehydration: Grab a Little Extra Water
We all make plans to enjoy the outdoors in summer. But did you make plans for ensuring that you are well-hydrated?
Dehydration can take place quickly and can be dangerous, even fatal. It occurs when too much water is lost from the body, not enough is taken in, or both.
The three major ways we lose water are through breathing out, sweating and urinating. Diarrhea, vomiting and uncontrolled diabetes can also be causes of excess water loss.
Many summer activities involve outdoor exertion, and it is important to remember that sweating can lead to rapid depletion of water. Just taking an energetic walk in hot weather can cause as much as 16 ounces of fluid to leave the body. More significant exertion or sports _ beach volleyball, biking, hiking, swimming _ can lead to much greater water loss.
Signs of dehydration can include a dry mouth, lack of tears, less sweating, muscle cramps, palpitations, dark yellow urine, lightheadedness (especially when standing), and nausea and vomiting. Confusion, weakness and even loss of consciousness can occur when dehydration is severe.
For mild to moderate dehydration, oral fluid replacement in small, frequent amounts is recommended. Clear-fluid options include water, clear broth, ice pops and electrolyte-containing replacement fluids like Pedialyte or Gatorade. The average adult needs 2 to 3 liters of fluids a day; if dehydrated, more may be needed. For severe symptoms, including confusion, lethargy or coma, it is advisable to go to the emergency room or call 911.
Better yet, try to prevent dehydration by keeping in mind the following: