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Dehydration

 

Dehydration occurs when the body loses too much fluid, salt, and minerals. A certain amount of body fluids lost through normal body processes. A normal daily intake of food and liquids replaces these losses. When individuals are engaged in any strenuous activities, and excessive amount of fluid and salt is lost through sweat. This excessive loss creates an imbalance of fluids, and dehydration occurs when fluid and salt are not replaced. The danger of dehydration is as prevalent in cold regions as it is in hot regions. In hot weather the individual is aware of his body losing fluids and salt. He can see, taste, and feel the sweat as it runs down his face, gets into his eyes, and on his lips and tongue, and drips from his body. In cold weather, however, it is extremely difficult to realize that this condition exists. In cold climates, sweat evaporates so rapidly or is absorbed so thoroughly by layers of heavy clothing that it is rarely visible on the skin. Dehydration will weaken or incapacitate a victim for a few hours, or sometimes, several days.

Symptoms of dehydration include but are not limited to:

  • Headache or nausea
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
  • Loss of appetite and dry mouth
  • Flushed face with sunken eyes
  • Lack of sweating
  • Sleepiness or tiredness
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Extreme thirst
  • Little or no urination (any urine that is produced will be dark yellow or amber)
  • Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity

Treatment:

  • Avoid soda, tea or caffeine drinks - these tend to increase urination and slow down the re hydration process in the body
  • Drink a re-hydrating liquid such as a sports drink
  • If no dehydration liquid is available use 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 3 tablespoons of regular sugar to 1 liter (1 Quart) of drinking water - This beverage can be taken in small, frequent sips
  • Use room temperature re hydration fluids - it is better to have frequent small amounts of fluid rather than trying to force large amounts of fluid at one time. Drinking too much fluid at once can increase nausea and bring on vomiting
  • If you can not keep any liquids down, try sucking on ice cubes
  • Administer fluids until urine is clear instead of yellow

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