Dehydration Treatment Questions and Answers
AFC Urgent Care in Chula Vista is here to help treat patients with dehydration. If you are experiencing dehydration, then get medical attention today. You can call us or book an appointment, or simply walk-in. We are open 7 days a week. We are located at 760 Otay Lakes Rd Chula Vista, CA 91910 Near Eastlake.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration is caused by an inadequate amount of water and other fluids being present in the body for it to function normally and is therefore a potentially serious condition. Dehydration happens simply when either the body is losing more fluid than it is taking in through sweating, or from not having enough water being put into the body. Dehydration can affect people of any and all ages, although it is particularly dangerous for older adults and young children. In young children, dehydration is usually the result of vomiting and severe diarrhea. For older adults, dehydration occurs as the result of their bodies having a naturally lower volume of water, however their likelihood of dehydration can increase due to medications that they take or medical conditions they have. With older adults, they need to be mindful at all times of their water intake as a minor illness such as a lung or bladder infection can easily cause dehydration. Hot environments and performing rigorous physical activities can increase the likelihood of developing dehydration for people of all ages, especially when they aren’t drinking enough water. For the most part, mild to moderate dehydration can be treated by an intake of extra fluids. Severe dehydration however requires immediate medical attention in order to get adequate fluids into the body and monitor for symptoms of more serious conditions due to dehydration.
How does dehydration develop?
Dehydration isn’t intentional as it can easily develop for many reasons, with an increased risk in certain circumstances. Failing to drink enough water on a regular basis is the most common reason for dehydration. Being sick can lead to dehydration as well due to not having an appetite to eat and drink. Travelers and hikers can often experience dehydration if they don’t plan ahead and bring clean, safe drinking water with them. Some medical conditions can also cause your body to lose water faster than normal, leading to dehydration. Vomiting and diarrhea cause the body to lose more water than normal, as does a fever, in particular high fevers. Sweating is our body’s way of cooling down whether from exercise, physical exertion or hot weather, however that means our bodies lose more water than normal. People who are sweating more than normal will need to increase their water consumption to offset the extra water loss. Medical conditions such as diabetes, or certain medications, can cause increased urination that uses more water than normal, so water intake needs to be closely monitored and increased.
What are signs of severe dehydration?
Not all signs and symptoms of dehydration are the same, as adults experience different symptoms than young children. While many people think feeling thirsty is a sign that they could be getting dehydrated, it actually means that they are already suffering from dehydration. For infants and young children, the common symptoms of severe dehydration are dry tongue and inside of the mouth, crying without tears, three hours or more with no wetness in a diaper, sunken looking eyes and cheeks, sunken soft spot on the top of the skull and appearing listless or irritable. For adults of all ages, the symptoms of dehydration include extreme thirst, dark-coloured urine, fatigue, dizziness and confusion. Some people may experience additional symptoms of low blood pressure, increased heart rate and reduced blood flow going out to your extremities. Doctors can usually diagnose dehydration from the symptoms alone, however they can choose to perform a blood or urine test to pinpoint how severe the dehydration is. These tests can also be used as indicators of other health concerns caused by dehydration such as a urinary tract infection or kidney issues.
When should you go to the urgent care for dehydration?
Severe cases of dehydration will require medical attention, especially if they are affecting the individual’s ability to function. Severe dehydration symptoms include the patient being irritable or disoriented, unable to keep fluids down and has bloody or black stools, or if they have had diarrhea for 24 hours or more, and medical attention should be sought out immediately. When it comes to young children and infants, it is often safer to err on the side of caution to get them checked out by a doctor if dehydration is suspected to ensure their bodies get the fluid they need right away. Severe dehydration can lead to severe issues if ignored, such as kidney stones, urinary tract infections, kidney failure, seizures and low blood volume shock. If you are experiencing symptoms of dehydration, immediately start drinking water and seek medical attention if you are unable to keep the water down, you aren’t feeling better or if you start feeling worse. Do not ignore serious symptoms of dehydration – contact our team of medical professionals today at AFC Urgent Care Chula Vista. We are open 7 days and we accept walk-ins.