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Are you hydrated enough?

Dr. Shalini Kapoor Kad
May 5, 2010

A homoeopathic paediatrician, a counselling expert and a freelance writer are a few words to describe my profession. My sole aim is to put forth practical piece of information that guides every one right in the direction, blending the medicos to a layman with a simple gesture to make the medical things a little less convoluted and comprehendible.


Dehydration seems to be a trivial term with no specific consequences. Since the recovery is easy and quick requiring no medical assistance often the lower fluid level surpasses without any attention but if unchecked can turn up fierce in form of hazardous consequences. It is quiet a known fact now that our body consists of about 70 % of water which in turn proves its importance and significance. 

The simple water has an array of benefits attached to its repute namely aiding digestion, replenishing skin and regulating the excretory system.  It stands alone as a pioneer supporting a fulcrum which can’t be replaced. With its integral functions a lesser amount is sure to show up in different forms. Whenever the usage of water supersedes the intake dehydration comes up in mild, moderate or severe variety depending on the levels.

What causes a low water level?

A human body extracts its water requirements through direct fluid intake with a one third attained from fruits and vegetables. Studies reveal a loss of approximately 2.5 litres in a day in form of sweating, excretion and breathing which when not combated well with intake shows potassium, sodium elevation initially.

Often dehydration is observed in people with hectic schedules or else work in high temperatures.

How will you know?

The first and the foremost symptom to indicate dehydration is excessive thirst with sensations of dry mouth and lips. At times there may be feeling of heaviness in the head with occasional headaches and fatigue. Muscle pains with weakness and inability to hold heavy objects too indicate the same. Decreased urination which is obvious also falls under the sphere.   In serious condition patient looks drowsy with sunken eyes, elevated heart beat and low blood pressure. Diminished alertness is another term attached to the word.

A child with dehydration presents in more or less similar manner with a higher level of irritability attributed to his / her psychological affliction and immaturity.  If dehydration is unchecked and adopted chronically favours the development of renal stones and digestive ailments.

When to seek help?

There are few signs which should not be neglected and brainstormed as soon as noticed. If a patient is unconscious or behaves abruptly then it calls for a professional support to mull over. If the urine is dark in colour and scanty then it surely calls for help.  


The treatment here is very simple and aid immediate relief with intake of fluids.  Mild cases may never need any assistance and will pass off unnoticed with a trouble of a few hours or a day whereas sever cases may require hospitalisation to substitute water loss with intravenous transfusions.

If the scenario is a consequence of cholera or diarrhoea then oral rehydration methods are to be adopted strictly to resort fluid and electrolyte issues.

A simple old advice to take about 10 to 12 glasses of water is an established fact and helps retain all in peace. Though, the water consumption should be increased if one is an athlete and perspires inn large quantities when compared to the non – athletes.  Also one should keep a watch on the intake and the urination to check on the water balance.

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