An extended spell of diarrhea or vomiting can make the body lose more fluid than needed, which results in dehydration. This happens when our body lacks the fluid required to work properly. Our kidneys are likely to fail if dehydration becomes severe. Children and the elderly are more particularly affected by dehydration which can sometimes be very dangerous. While water can partially relieve you, since it rehydrated the body, it’s still important to take salts to offset the dearth of minerals lost to diarrhea.
Signs of Dehydration
Here are some of the signs of dehydrations if you fall sick with diarrhea or vomiting:
- dark-colored urine
- less frequent urination than normal
- incapacity to sweat
- dry skin
Dehydration may have, however, worsened by the time these symptoms appear. The moment you feel something’s wrong, or if you suffer from diarrhea or vomiting, immediately start using essential salts, such as Pedialyte.
How to Prevent Dehydration
You lose fluid swiftly the moment you get sick with diarrhea or vomiting. Therefore, you must increase the fluid intake as much as possible; your top priority should be to use plenty of water. The amount of water you need to refill hinges on how much has been lost. If you have certain medical conditions such as heart disease or incontinence, you should limit your fluid intake. In this situation, your doctor can better advise you how much water is good for you when dehydration strikes you, making you feel sick.
If you have nausea, taking fluids in may be hard, so try drinking small amounts of water as often as possible. Sucking on ice-cubes can help raise fluid intake.
Your body is rehydrated by water, but only water doesn’t replace the important salts the body needs for fluid balance and other roles. During a spell of diarrhea or vomiting, it’s crucial to replace these important salts. Drinking oral rehydration solutions is highly recommended by medical experts. Eliminating excess clothing and/or seeking shade or an airconditioned shelter to keep your body cool is also important.
Preventing Dehydration in Children
Diarrhea or vomiting can cause children to lose a considerable amount of fluid in a very short period of time. As well as typical signs of dehydration, parents of sick babies and children should also watch for dry mouth and tongue, no tears when crying, lethargy or irritability, recessed cheeks or eyes, fever, and skin that does not return to normal when pinched and released. See your doctor if you observe any of these symptoms in your child.
If your sick child displays symptoms of dehydration, give fluids such as water and electrolytes. Sports drinks and fruit juices also help but they don’t offer the perfect balance of water, sugar, and salt. Instead, child specialists suggest oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte. If your child does not throw up, these fluids can be used in very substantial amounts until your child begins urinating normally. If your child is parched and vomiting, see your doctor.
A prolonged bout of diarrhea or vomiting can cause the body to lose more fluid than it can take in. The result is dehydration, which occurs when your body doesn’t have the fluid it needs to function properly. Severe dehydration can cause your kidneys to shut down. Dehydration can be particularly dangerous in children and the elderly.
Preventing Dehydration in the Elderly
Older people are at bigger risk of getting dehydrated since they may not be quite sensitive to the urge of thirst unlike younger adults. Also, changes related to age in the body’s capacity to balance water and sodium raise the specter of dehydration.
An aging person down with diarrhea or vomiting ought to try to drink at least 8 glasses of water or fluid every 24 hours, or a little less than half a gallon. Dehydration experts believe that the elderly can only prevent dehydration if they avoid going out when there’s so much heat, or if doing so is inevitable, then they should be properly hydrated with either electrolytes or reasonable amounts of fluids, ideally water.
When Do Symptoms Get Serious?
While most cases of diarrhea are just a bit of inconvenience, sometimes, they could be serious. For example, if your child has diarrhea for more than a day, it’s as a serious condition and you should talk to your doctor about it. If you have for more than 3 days, you ought to make an appointment.
Call your doctor immediately if you have:
- Severe stomach or rectal pain
- Blood in your stool
- Black, tarry stools
- High fever
- Signs of dehydration
These can be warning signs of conditions such as infection, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and colon cancer. Moreover, inform your doctor about your diarrhea if you are a cancer patient, or have been treated for it.
When Diarrhea Doesn’t Go Away
You have chronic diarrhea if you’re still suffering from it after four weeks. To determine the cause, your doctor would like to know your symptoms and medical history. You will benefit from the appointment if you can tell them:
- How long you’ve been suffering from diarrhea
- Whether your condition is intermittent, or is unremitting
- About certain foods and situations that ameliorate or deteriorate make things
- Whether your stool appears bloody, greasy, fatty, or watery
- Of other symptoms you have and how long you’ve had them
- If chronic diarrhea runs in your family
- Of places you’ve traveled to lately
- Of rare foods you’ve tried in the last few hours or days
- Of any medication or supplements you’ve been having
- You’ve lost considerable weight
You tend to lose huge amounts of water and salts when you have diarrhea caused by dehydration. Therefore, it’s important you drink plenty of water along with electrolytes, avoid going out into the sun, and eat food that is well cooked and light to your stomach. Only by taking care of yourself can you prevent the incidence of dehydration which, if not treated on time, can also be deadly.