Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Water Loss Overview

Another name for Water Loss is Dehydration.

What is dehydration?
A person with dehydration does not have enough water in the body, in order to function properly. Dehydration can be caused by frequent urination, sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Symptoms depend on the severity of the dehydration. Dehydration is more common in infants and the elderly.

What are the symptoms of dehydration?
Symptoms of mild dehydration include decreased urination, excessive thirst, and dark urine. Symptoms of moderate dehydration include absence of urination for more than 8 hours, dry mouth, dry skin, dizziness, fainting, nausea, rapid pulse, and weakness. Severe dehydration may cause absence of urination for more than 12 hours, low blood pressure, confusion, and lethargy.

How does the doctor treat dehydration?
Treatment for dehydration may include encouragement of oral fluids, switching to a clear liquid diet, and the use of medications to control vomiting and diarrhea. Some may require intravenous fluids.

Continue to Water Loss Risk Factors

Last Updated: Feb 21, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Water Loss References
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  2. Posthauer ME. Hydration: an essential nutrient. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2005 Jan-Feb;18(1):32-3. [15714035]
  3. Sentongo TA. The use of oral rehydration solutions in children and adults. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2004 Aug;6(4):307-13. [15245700]
  4. Ulrickson M. Oral rehydration therapy in children with acute gastroenteritis. JAAPA. 2005 Jan;18(1):24-29. [15675116]
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