During the hot summer months, urgent care centers and emergency rooms see an influx of people suffering from dehydration. Staying hydrated all year long is important, but the raised temperatures and increased physical activity lead to more severe cases of dehydration.
Knowing the signs of dehydration is important. Once you know what to look for, you will know how to help yourself or someone who is experiencing these symptoms.
Causes of Dehydration
While many people think dehydration is heat-related, there are several reasons why a person may become dehydrated. Those reasons include:
- Illness – fever and vomiting can lead to dehydration, especially if there is nausea involved. Many people don’t want to eat or drink when they’re ill, leading to dehydration.
- Excess sweating – excess sweating can be due to many things, including physical activity or instense heat. If you’re exerting yourself outside during the summer and notice you’re beginning to get a headache, sit down and drink some water until the headache goes away.
- Forgetting to drink water – many people forget to drink water when they don’t feel thirsty, especially when they’re out and not paying attention to what their body needs. Carrying around a water bottle or ensuring you have a glass of water with you will help keep dehydration at bay.
The Signs of Moderate Dehydration
If you notice any of the below signs of mild to moderate dehydration, the first thing to do is stop your physical activity and drink some water. If you’re losing water from sweating, try to get out of the sun and either indoors or in the shade. Some signs of moderate dehydration are:
- Dry mouth
- Dark urine
- Dry skin
The Signs of Severe Dehydration
Unlike moderate dehydration, severe dehydration can lead to hospitalization. If any of the below symptoms persist for over 24 hours, consider seeing a doctor. Some signs of severe dehydration are:
- Very dark urine
- Very dry skin
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sunken eyes