Dehydration may be the result of different pathogenic and environmental factors and identifying the hallmark sign of dehydration and its symptoms may prevent the occurrence of damaging and life threatening effects.
Sign of Dehydration – Visibly Identifying the Condition
Any sign of dehydration signals different factors which require medical attention to prevent worsening of the condition. A person experiencing dehydration will have dry skin with poor turgor or elasticity, and may appear flushed. Another sign of dehydration is dry mouth; the tongue and lips may form dry crusts, which may sometimes crack, and bleed. The dehydrated individual can neither sweat, nor cry; the eyes may be sore and the person may not blink as often. People who are dehydrated will have deep, and sunken eyes; for children less than a year old, the fontanels will sink a bit too. Other objective signs include diminished urine output, and weight loss.
Symptoms Dehydration – the Important Symptomatic Cues
The various symptoms dehydration may be nonverbal cues which are shown by an individual who has lost significant amounts of fluid. For those who have mild to moderate dehydration, they may experience increased thirst; however, those with severe cases will find it difficult to drink. A dehydrated individual may experience body malaise, or weakness, and will be irritable; infants and young children will often cry and have tantrums. As the condition worsens, there will be an increased alteration in consciousness; children and adults alike will find it difficult to comprehend instructions, and will appear lethargic or unconscious. Other symptoms dehydration will include muscle cramps, palpitations, feeling cold, anxious, or confused.
Dehydration Effects – Damaging and Dangerous
There are several dehydration effects which can be damaging to the body, especially when there is more than 5% fluid loss. Among these effects include rapid respiration, an elevated heart rate, and very high body temperature. The individual may find it very difficult to urinate, and at times, may require intravenous fluid replacement, as well as catherization. Aside from the fluids, electrolytes such as sodium and potassium are also lost; this will result to abnormal heart rhythms, and painful muscle spasms occurring throughout the body. Oftentimes there is a tingling sensation on the extremities, and the person may have seizures, and a difficulty in breathing.