Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Age and dehydration
Types of dehydration
Complications of dehydration
Causes and symptoms
- appetite loss associated with acute illness
- excessive urination (polyuria)
- bacterial or viral infection or inflammation of the pharynx (pharyngitis)
- inflammation of the mouth caused by illness, infection, irritation, or vitamin deficiency (stomatitis)
- disease of the adrenal glands, which regulate the body's water and salt balance and the function of many organ systems
- diabetes mellitus
- eating disorders
- kidney disease
- chronic lung disease.
- a child less than three months old develops a fever higher than 100 °F (37.8 °C)
- a child more than three months old develops a fever higher than 102 °F (38.9 °C)
- symptoms of dehydration worsen
- an individual urinates very sparingly or does not urinate at all during a six-hour period
- dizziness, listlessness, or excessive thirst occur
- a person who is dieting and using diuretics loses more than 3 lb (1.3 kg) in a day or more than 5 lb (2.3 kg) a week
- eating more soup at mealtime
- drinking plenty of water and juice at mealtime and between meals
- keeping a glass of water nearby when working or relaxing
de·hy·dra·tion(dē'hī-drā'shŭn), Avoid the jargonistic use of this word as a synonym of thirst.
dehydrationInternal medicine The loss of intracellular water that leads to cellular desiccation and ↑ plasma sodium concentration and osmolality, often due to GI tract–eg, vomiting, diarrhea Clinical Rapid ↓ weight loss of 10% is severe, ↑ thirst, dry mouth, weakness or lightheadedness, worse on standing, darkened or ↓ urine; severe dehydration can lead to changes in the body chemistry, kidney failure, ±life-threatening Management Fluid replacement, 5% dextrose. Cf Volume depletion.
dehydration(de?hi?dra'shon) [ de- + hydration]
Worldwide, the most common cause of dehydration is diarrhea. In industrialized nations, dehydration is also caused by vomiting, fevers, heat-related illnesses, diabetes mellitus, diuretic use, thyrotoxicosis, and hypercalcemia. Patients at risk for dehydration include those with an impaired level of consciousness and/or an inability to ingest oral fluids, patients receiving only high-protein enteral feedings, older adults who do not drink enough water, and patients (esp. infants and children) with watery diarrhea. The elderly (esp. those over 85) are increasingly hospitalized for dehydration. Dehydration is avoidable and preventable. Lengthy fasting before a procedure, long waits in emergency departments, or increased physical dependency (e.g., being unable to pour water from a bedside container) may place patients at risk. Nursing home residents are at higher risk for dehydration than older adults living independently, partly because of limited access to oral fluids. The elderly also are at risk because of reduced thirst-response, a decrease in total body fluids, and declining renal function. Clinical states that can produce hypertonicity and dehydration include a deficiency in synthesis or release of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) from the posterior pituitary gland (diabetes insipidus); a decrease in renal responsiveness to ADH; osmotic diuresis (hyperglycemic states, administration of osmotic diuretics); excessive pulmonary water loss from high fever (esp. in children); and excessive sweating without water replacement.
CAUTION!Dehydration should not be confused with fluid volume deficit. In the latter condition, water and electrolytes are lost in the same proportion as they exist in normal body fluids; thus, the electrolyte to water ratio remains unchanged. In dehydration, water is the primary deficiency, resulting in increased levels of electrolytes or hypertonicity.
The patient is assessed for decreased skin turgor; dry, sticky mucous membranes; rough, dry tongue; weight loss; fever; restlessness; agitation; and weakness. Cardiovascular findings include orthostatic hypotension, decreased cardiovascular pressure, and a rapid, weak pulse. Hard stools result if the patient's problem is not primarily watery diarrhea. Urinary findings include a decrease in urine volume (oliguria), specific gravity higher than 1.030, and an increase in urine osmolality. Blood serum studies reveal increased sodium, protein, hematocrit, and serum osmolality.
Continued loss of water is prevented, and water replacement is provided as prescribed, usually beginning with a 5% dextrose in water solution intravenously if the patient cannot ingest oral fluids. Once adequate renal function is present, electrolytes can be added to the infusion based upon periodic evaluation of serum electrolyte levels. Health care professionals can prevent dehydration by quickly treating causes such as vomiting and diarrhea, measuring fluid intake (and where possible urine output) in at-risk patients, providing glasses and cups that are light and easily handled, teaching certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and family care providers to record fluid intake, observing urine concentration in incontinent patients, offering fluids in small amounts every time they interact with an at-risk patient, encouraging increased amounts of fluids (at the patient’s preferred temperature) with and between meals and at bedtime (to 50 ounces or 1500 ml/D unless otherwise restricted), and offering preferred fluids and a variety of fluids (including frozen juice bars, water-rich fruits and vegetables), and assessing for excessive fluid loss during hot weather and replacing it.
dehydrationA reduction in the normal water content of the body. This is usually due to excessive fluid loss by sweating, vomiting or diarrhoea which is not balanced by an appropriate increase in intake.
dehydrationthe process by which water is removed from any substance. It is utilized in freeze-drying for the preservation of materials, and in the removal of water from microscopical preparations where it is necessary to use substances which are immiscible with water.
dehydrationin general, the process of removal or loss of water from a substance or body. For related terms used in the context of human fluid balance, see also hydration status.
de·hy·dra·tion(dē-hī-drā'shŭn) Avoid the jargonistic use of this word as a synonym of thirst.
n 2. a decrease in serum fluid coupled with the loss of interstitial fluid from the body. It is associated with disturbances in fluid and electrolyte balance.
Patient discussion about dehydration
Q. What Are The Signs of Dehydration? How can you tell if someone is dehydrated? Are there specific signs or symptoms that may help notice?
Q. Why does headaches are a symptom of dehydration? A few days ago I had a headache and a friend told me that I’m probably dehydrated and I should drink more. So I did and the headache was gone…how come? What is the connection?
Q. I heard that the major risk in diarrhea is dehydration, why is that? How can I avoid that? Are there other dehydration causes I should beware of?