Dehydration can be a major problem in a city like Houston. If you have become overheated and are experiencing the symptoms of dehydration, you should visit the emergency room to make sure you do not pass out or have other severe side effects of being dehydrated. Our Emergency room treats dehydrated patients. Our board-certified physicians are available 24/7 in the ER with typical ER wait times of 10 minutes or less. Visit the closest emergency room and get directions.
During hot weather or in times of illness the body may not have the amount of fluids it needs to function properly. Sweating, fever, vomiting or diarrhea deplete the body of fluids and can cause dehydration. When experiencing mild to moderate forms of dehydration, drinking water may be all that is needed to get the body back to the levels it should be at. When experiencing severe forms of dehydration, please seek immediate medical attention.
Common Causes of Dehydration:
There are several factors which can cause dehydration.
- Severe diarrhea – Sudden onset of severe diarrhea can cause a lot of water to be lost from the system in a short time frame. Sudden onset of diarrhea may be caused by a reaction to medication, food disorders, food poisoning, bacterial infection or viral infection. This can lead to severe dehydration very rapidly and should be addressed by a medical professional.
- Vomiting – Loss of water from vomiting may be from sickness or a reaction to food or medicine. Vomiting which is associated with sudden onset diarrhea raises the risk for severe and sudden dehydration.
- Fever – When there is a fever, the human body is using fluids to fight it off. The higher the temperature rises the more fluid is lost. If fever is associated with vomiting or diarrhea there is an increased risk for dehydration, especially in the very young and elderly.
- Increased urination – This symptom may show an underlying medical condition which has yet to be diagnosed. Signs of increased urination may lead to dehydration and should be discussed with a medical professional.
- Chronic illness – Having a chronic illness means that the body has to work harder to maintain fluid levels. Those with chronic cough, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease and other conditions need to stay properly hydrated.
- Excessive activity:
- Sweating – Participation in sports or working out in humid weather can lead to excessive sweating. If fluids are not replaced during the activity the body can become depleted and dehydrated. This is especially a concern for children and young adults as they may not know the warning signs of dehydration.
- Children and infants – Young children are more likely to experience diarrhea. Additionally, a young child may not be able to communicate the warning signs of dehydration such as dry mouth, headache, dry skin, sleepiness or constipation.
- Elderly – As people age, the ability for the body to conserve water is reduced. This factor combined with medical conditions such as diabetes or dementia can lead to a depletion of water in the body. It is important that elderly people take care to hydrate even when eating smaller and fewer meals.
- Other factors
- Living at a high altitude – When living at or visiting a higher altitude breathing rate and rate of urination may increase. These factors can lead to dehydration.
When to seek medical help:
Signs of dehydration include feelings of thirst, little urination, fussing of children, lack of tears when crying, headache and constipation. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visit SignatureCare Emergency Center for a complete medical examination, diagnosis and treatment. Contact us immediately if you are experiencing the following:
- Eyes which appear sunken
- Skin which has no elasticity
- Rapid heartbeat and breathing
- Sunken soft spot on a baby’s head
- Low blood pressure
Symptoms of dehydration can lead to very serious medical complications. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms please visit one of our locations. We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Schedule an emergency room appointment with us.