Dehydration - a condition that occurs when the body does not have enough fluids and electrolytes to maintain many of its proper functions. Dehydration is particularly dangerous in children and in older adults.

Diarrhea can be a common cause of dehydration because it contains lots of fluids and nutrients that passed through the digestive tract too fast and have not been absorbed by the body. Symptoms of dehydration are:

Preventing Dehydration

The fluid and electrolytes lost during diarrhea need to be replaced promptly because the body cannot function without them. Drinking water is the single best way to prevent dehydration, but it does not contain electrolytes. For salts:

For sugars and potassium Electrolyte supplements not found in foods are less recommended, but may help some people:

Dehydration Danger Zone

If the amount of fluid in the intravascular space is decreased, the body has to increase the heart rate, which causes blood vessels to constrict to maintain blood pressure. This coping mechanism begins to fail as the level of dehydration increases. Pulse rate may increase and the blood pressure may drop because the intravascular space is depleted of water.

Diagnosis of dehydration

Initial evaluations for severity of dehydration:

Children may be checked for extra symptoms: Laboratory testing:

Dehydration Complications

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