What is Dehydration

Dehydration is when you lose more fluids than you take in and, as a result, the body doesn’t have enough fluids to carry out its normal functions.


The symptoms of dehydration will depend on the severity of it.

Symptoms of mild to medium dehydration include:

  • Thirst
  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Infrequent urination
  • Dark yellow pee
  • Dry, cool skin
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Constipation
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue

Symptoms of severe dehydration include:

  • Not peeing at all
  • Very dark urine
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sunken eyes
  • Tired, sleepy, lack of energy
  • Irritable
  • Fainting
  • Low blood pressure

Medical Emergency

If symptoms of very severe dehydration are present, seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms of severe dehydration include:

  • Severe diarrhea
  • Frequent diarrhea (three or more days)
  • Blood in stool
  • Inability to keep fluids down
  • Confusion


Common causes of dehydration include:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive sweating
  • Frequent urination

Risk Factors

Certain risk factors make dehydration more likely to happen:

  • Athletes
  • Those that work outside and are exposed to lots of heat, such as landscapers, constructions workers, etc.
  • Old age
  • Chronic conditions or illness
  • Infants and young children


Treating mild to medium dehydration is usually simple, but takes conscious effort to drink water regularly. Those with severe dehydration may need to be given fluids intravenously.

If experiencing mild to moderate dehydration, rehydrate by drinking regular sips of water, or fluids containing electrolytes, such as a sports drink.

If experiencing severe dehydration, seek immediate emergency medical attention.

When to See a Medical Doctor

Dehydration is actually a common occurrence, though some people are at higher risk than others of becoming dehydrated.

Making an effort replace the fluids you lose, by drinking water regularly throughout your day, and by listening to your body, dehydration can often be avoided.

If staying regularly hydrated is a challenge, you have a chronic condition that puts you at higher risk, or you do excessive physical activity and sweat a lot, speak to a doctor to find out a solution that is best for you.

A medical professional can take your life and condition into consideration, and design a plan to keep you consistently hydrated.