The physical signs of dehydration

Experiencing dehydration can be quite common, though it is important to know the difference between simply feeling thirsty, suffering mild dehydration or if medical attention is required.

So, how can you determine the severity of dehydration? Here is what you need to know.

Signs of dehydration

It is important to be able to identify whether or not you might be dehydrated so you can seek medical attention if necessary.

Common symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Increased thirst
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Dry skin
  • Dizziness
  • Decreased urine

It is also possible for the above symptoms of dehydration to quickly worsen. Some symptoms of severe dehydration include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Shock
  • Lethargic
  • Confusion
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness (or light-headedness) which affects the ability to walk or stand
  • Severely decreased urine, and if there is any urine it will be a deep yellow colour.

Prevention of dehydration

There are many simple ways you can help prevent mild cases of dehydration. These include:

  • Plan ahead. Take extra water or sports drinks for days you are planning to be outdoors or doing strenuous exercise
  • Avoid high alcohol consumption on very hot days. This is because alcohol increases water loss and impairs ability to detect signs of dehydration.

Home remedies for dehydration

If you are experiencing mild dehydration, there are home remedies available. Increase your fluid intake – ways to do this can include:

  • Sipping small amounts of water (this can be easier through a straw)
  • Sucking on ice cubes
  • Sucking on popsicles
  • Drinking electrolyte drinks (for example, Gatorade).

Our team suggests if you are dehydrated as a result of heat exposure, try cooling your body temperature. Effective ways to do this can include:

  • Sitting in an air-conditioned room, near a fan or in the shade.
  • Placing a wet towel around yourself
  • Using a spray bottle or mister on exposed skin
  • Avoiding using ice packs as this can cause shivering and worsen the symptoms.