Dehydration – types, causes, symptoms and treatment

Dehydration is a condition of the body, where the water content is below the value needed for its operation. Dehydration can be dangerous to human life. The greatest risk of death by dehydration occurs in the case of infants, young children and the elderly.

Why dehydration occurs ?

In the physiological state, a person loses a certain amount of water with the sweat, urine and exhaled air. Similarly, in pathological conditions, water is lost through severe. diarrhea and vomiting. Also, tears are a certain percentage of water lost from the body.
If water loss is not compensated with consumed drinks, then it comes to dehydration.

What are the types of dehydration ?

Due to changes in the concentrations of electrolytes, there are three types of


There is a normal concentration of electrolytes (correct ionogram), but disorders concern increased creatinine concentration. This leads to the shortage of circulating body fluids and at a later stage to hypovolaemic shock.


In the course hypotension (low blood pressure) decreased fluids molarity are recognized. It can occur as a consequence of isotonic dehydration, during which the non electrolyte substances are administered.


Hypertonia (increased blood pressure), higher molarity of body fluids are observed during its course. In addition, there is hypernatremia (increase in the amount of sodium) and raised creatinine concentration. This type of dehydration is more dangerous than isotonic type.

How long can you live without water ?

In extreme circumstances, where access to water is impossible, man is able to survive
4 – 5 days. There are also isolated cases, when someone has survived without water for up to 7 days. But always keep in mind that such a long state of dehydration contribute to a number of changes in the functioning of a healthy body, ultimately leading to death.

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Causes of dehydration

– Diarrhea, in the course of various diseases, including bacterial infections and food poisoning.
– Vomiting, often found in the youngest.
– Fever, which is always accompanied by excessive sweating.
– Burns and bleeding leading to hypovolaemic shock.
– Taking too little fluid in comparison with the needs of the body.
– Imbalance of supply and loss of water during intense exercise.
– Taking diuretics, laxatives, or psychotropic drugs without adequately increasing water
– The use of dieting, restricting the acceptance of beverages.
– Excessive consumption of active dehydration caffeine, alcohol) and dry food without

– Hypotension, or decreased incidence of correct blood pressure.
– Excessive sweating.
– Anaphylactic shock.
– Prolonged stay in areas with dry air – air conditioned.
– A diet rich in fiber (swelling in the digestive tract due to the ability to bind water), with
inadequate fluid intake.

`What are the symptoms and signs of dehydration ?

Signs of dehydration can be grouped according to the percentage loss of water weight.
1.Water loss not exceeding 2% of body weight:
* Strong thirst.
* Weight loss.
2.Water loss between 2-4% of body weight:
* Dry mouth, decreased saliva production and reduces perspiration.
* Headache and dizziness.

* Weakness and fainting, exhaustion and loss of strength.
* Abnormal vision, eye collapse.
* Nausea and vomiting.
* Constipation.
* Increased work of breathing.
* Tachycardia.

3.Water loss between 5-6% of body weight:
* Drowsiness.
* The weakening of resistance.
* Paresthesias – felt as a numbness or tingling.
4.Water loss between 10-15% of body weight:
* Inability to speak, swelling of the tongue.
* Seizures.
* Disorders of consciousness.
* Delirium – disorders associated with the illusion of visual, auditory and tactile.
* Loss of consciousness.

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5.Water loss above 15% of body weight results in death.