How to treat mild, severe and chronic dehydration

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How to treat mild, severe and chronic dehydration

How to treat mild, severe and chronic dehydration
From regulating body temperature to cushioning joints, water plays a key role in keeping our body healthy. Even mild dehydration can cause long-term health complications. Severe dehydration can lead to heat-related illnesses like heat stroke that can be fatal.
Understanding the signs and symptoms of dehydration can help treat the condition early and reduce one's risk of serious complications, like low blood pressure and seizures.

Here is all that you need to know about signs of dehydration and how to treat it.
Mild to moderate dehydration signs

Feeling thirsty, dry skin, headache, muscle cramps, decreased urination, dark yellow urine and dry mouth.

Severe dehydration symptoms

Dizziness, light-headedness, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, confusion and fainting or unconsciousness.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of severe dehydration, you must visit the doctor immediately.

The symptoms of dehydration can often differ in children and adults. Younger children aren't always able to communicate when they are feeling thirsty, so the signs may not appear until they become more severe.

Symptoms of dehydration in children

Dry lips, decreased tear production, sunken eyes and lethargy.

Dehydration symptoms are more or less the same in people above the age of 65 and younger adults. Adults experience a decrease in total body fluid, meaning less of their body mass is made up of water, which makes them more prone to dehydration.

Chronic dehydration

Chronic dehydration means dehydration that develops over time and takes several days depending on the cause. For example, someone on diuretic medicines that leads to frequent urination may lose more bodily fluids than they are taking in. This results in dehydration symptoms over time.

The signs of chronic dehydration are similar to that of acute dehydration (that happens suddenly).

What causes dehydration

Not drinking enough water is the prime cause of dehydration. Other causes include diarrhoea, excessive sweating and increased urination.

Treating dehydration

The treatment for any kind of dehydration, be it mild or severe is a replenishment of fluids. How that is done, depends on individual factors, including the severity of your dehydration and age.


Mild dehydration can be treated by sipping water throughout the day. One can also suck on ice cubes and also have water with electrolytes.


In severe cases, one may need intravenous therapy.


In kids, oral replacement therapy is used to treat moderate dehydration. Studies have found that oral rehydration is just as effective as an IV treatment.


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