Dehydration occurs when there is not sufficient fluid for the body. This can happen when an individual is sweating too much, suffering from diarrhea and experiences persistent vomiting for an extended period. An average adult requires at least 2 quarts of liquid on a daily basis in order to function normally. The need for fluids varies with age, certain physical activities and when the person is taking certain medications.
When a person fails to drink adequate amounts of water and liquids regularly, it will result to a chronic form of dehydration. The symptoms of chronic dehydration are not similar to an acute dehydration. During chronic dehydration, the body is not properly hydrated and could not perform all the required functions.
Symptoms of chronic dehydration
- Dry and flaky skin can be seen among individuals who do not drink enough water.
- Development of eczema
- When there is chronic dehydration, the affected individual experiences fatigue and loss of energy caused by the slow activity of enzyme that is required for metabolism, thus making an individual fatigue and tired.
- Water is needed for the digestion of food and elimination of waste. When an individual has chronic dehydration, it can result to indigestion and bloating.
- Migraine headache
- Arthritis and herniation of the spinal disk
- Heart burn and acid reflux
- Stomach ulcers
- Continuous dark colored urine is a symptom of reduced intake of fluids or water.
- High level of cholesterol
- Cystitis and frequent UTI can occur due to a reduced intake of water or fluids causes. This can lead to painful urinations.
Causes of chronic dehydration
- Drinking reduced amounts of water and fluids
- Amoebic colitis
- Heat stroke
- Increased urination
- Chronic urination
- Excessive sweating
- Excessive consumption of caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee
- Type 2 diabetes
- Exposure to heat or radiation for a long period
- Medications for diuretics and loss of blood that happens in menorrhagia in women.
Treatment and home remedies of chronic dehydration
- First, check for symptoms of dehydration such as extreme thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, dizziness and dark yellow urine.
- Move the dehydrated person to a cool or shaded area and position in a comfortable position, preferably sitting.
- Provide the individual with fluids to drink. If water is not available, provide him/her with Gatorade or other sports drinks which contains electrolytes and carbohydrates.
- If the victim is a child, give him/her Pedialyte which is used for treating dehydration in infants and children.
- Avoid drinking coffee, soda and tea and other drinks that contain high levels of caffeine, sugar or alcohol since these can worsen the dehydration.
- If the person has diarrhea, do not provide him/her with fruit juices and sodas since they can worsen the diarrhea.
If the symptoms of chronic dehydration continue to persist, it is best to seek medical help as soon as possible for proper assessment and treatment of the condition.