Dehydration occurs when the body gets rid of more fluid than you supply it. It is most common among young children, older people or people who have tried hard physically when it is very hot.

The reason you get rid of a lot of fluid, for example, maybe that you are sweating a lot, that you are vomiting or have a fever. The risk of getting dehydrated also increases if you have diabetes with high blood sugar or taking medicines that are fluid-inducing.

Read more about fluid deficiency and dehydration in children.

How can I prevent dehydration?

Some people have problems with feeling constantly pissed off. They then drink less even though they are thirsty, which leads to dehydration. Older people sometimes drink less than they need, because they do not feel thirsty or tired and unable to drink without someone else helping. This also applies to people with dementia. Young children may need help by offering drinks.

To reduce the risk of dehydration, you should drink more when it is hot. You should pay attention if you are peeing less than usual, as this is a sign that you need to drink more. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you need to think extra about getting fluid.

The body needs to get used to the heat gradually and usually has adapted to about a week in warm climates.

Symptoms of dehydration

You may have headaches and become dry in your mouth if you have a fluid deficiency. You may also feel dizzy and tired.

If you still do not get enough fluid in you, you become severely dehydrated and may eventually lose consciousness.

When should I seek care?

You should seek medical care immediately at a clinic or emergency open reception on

  • if a toddler pauses little or nothing at all and is lethargic
  • you or yourself in the vicinity have symptoms of severe dehydration.

Treatment for dehydration

If you have a fluid deficiency, drink something at once.

When you have stomach upset and vomiting it can be difficult to drink between the vomiting, but it is good that you still try to get fluid in you, a little at a time and often. You can try with water or tea, or special liquid replacement that is available at pharmacies. Liquid replacement contains appropriate amounts of salts and sugars.

It is good to avoid very sweet drinks and light drinks, as these can cause diarrhea.

You need care if you are severely dehydrated. It may be that you need liquid in the form of a drip to quickly regain the fluid balance. If you have diabetes, you may need help to get normal blood sugar levels.

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