Dehydration is a condition that is caused by the loss of more fluid that is consumed. When the body has no sufficient amount of water, as well as other fluids, to perform its natural functions, dehydration can occur. If these lost fluids are not replaced, dehydration might occur.
Dehydration is not restricted to a certain age. However, it is especially dangerous for kids and older adults. Dehydration is most commonly caused – among young children – by severe vomiting and diarrhea. There is naturally a lower volume of water in the bodies of older adults. As a result, certain conditions can increase the risk of dehydration.
What this implies is that even minor illnesses that affect the bladder or lungs can lead to dehydration in older adults. During hot weather, when an individual, of any age group, doesn’t drink enough water, dehydration can occur, especially when vigorous exercises are done.
Mild or moderate dehydration can easily be reversed by drinking a sufficient quantity of fluids. However, when it comes to severe dehydration, immediate medical attention is required.
Are there any risk factors?
Dehydration is not restricted to a certain age group. Yet, certain people are at greater risk:
Infants and children
This represents the group of people that are more susceptible to severe vomiting and diarrhea. Thanks to their increased surface area to volume area, this group is capable of losing a higher portion of their fluids from burns and high fever. Oftentimes, young children find it rather difficult to tell their guardians that they are thirsty. For this reason, it is imperative to pay attention to every detail.
Aging ensures that the body’s fluid reserve gets smaller, as well as the ability of the body to conserve water. This ensures that the thirst sense gets more acute. These issues can be aggravated by serious illnesses, including dementia and diabetes, as well as the use of certain medications. It is also possible for older adults to experience mobility issues, which often restrict their ability to get water for themselves.
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People with chronic illnesses
People with untreated diabetes can be exposed to a higher risk of dehydration. The chances of getting dehydrated are also boosted by kidney diseases, as well as other medications that trigger urination. Besides this, having a sore throat can ensure that you become susceptible to dehydration. After all, you feel less likely to drink or eat.
People who work or exercise outside
During hot and humid conditions, the risk of becoming dehydrated is raised significantly. This is due to the fact that it is harder for sweat to evaporate and cool your temperature quickly when the air is humid. This can result in higher body temperature, as well as the need for more fluids.
The prevention of dehydration can be achieved by consuming a high quantity of fluids while eating foods with high amounts of water, such as vegetables and fruits. The need to take in more fluids becomes more obvious when people experience certain conditions, including vomiting, illness, hot weather, and diarrhea. To tackle moisture loss due to high altitude and dry air, it is imperative to consume a sufficient amount of water.
Dehydration is a condition that can be mild, moderate, or severe. The latter requires immediate medical attention. It is also worth stressing that dehydration is not restricted to an age group. For this reason, the importance of consuming water and essential fluids cannot be stressed enough.