At least half of the adult human body is made up of water. This fluid is in every cell, between the cells, and inside the blood. Not having enough body water leads to dehydration. In older adults, dehydration is one of the most common reasons for going to the hospital. According to this study, adults who have a hip or knee joint replacement are especially at risk for dehydration. So are adults with a hip fracture. Most patients in this study showed positive test results for dehydration. Notably, they also required twice as long to recover before going home. Even before a health problem occurs, older adults are at risk of dehydration. This is because the body's ability to detect thirst reduces with age. Living alone and depression add to this problem. Diseases such as diabetes, kidney failure, or bladder infections also play a role in dehydration. Taking diuretics (water pills) for high blood pressure can get rid of too much fluid. This puts the heart patient at risk of dehydration. Dehyd...
Although dehydration can occur any time of the year, we're starting into the time of year when it is more likely to occur.
Did you know that the human body is 65% water? Simply put, dehydration occurs as the result of excessive loss of
water from the body, when we lose more water than we take in. It's a
bit more complicated than that since the body loses valuable
electrolytes as well. That's why sports drinks have become so popular;
they replenish electrolytes as well as just fluid. Dehydration can be a
major issue, both in and of itself and as a headache or Migraine trigger .
Let's take a look at dehydration, what it does to the body, how
to treat it, and -- perhaps most importantly -- how to prevent it. Read Dehydration - An Avoidable Migraine Trigger .
Even when healthy, drink plenty of fluid every day. Drink more when the weather is hot or you are exercising.
Carefully monitor someone who is ill, especially an infant, child, or older adult. If you believe that dehydration is developing, consult a doctor before the person becomes moderately or severely dehydrated. Begin fluid replacement as soon as vomiting and diarrhea start -- DO NOT wait for signs of dehydration.
Always encourage the person to drink during an illness, and remember that a person's fluid needs are greater when that person has fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. The easiest signs to monitor are urine output (there should be frequent wet diapers or trips to the bathroom), saliva in the mouth, and tears when crying.
Barkin RM, Ward DG. Infectious diarrheal diseases and dehydration. In: Marx J, ed. Rosens Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice . 6th ed. St Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2006:chap 171.
Landry GL. Hea...
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