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Extreme Dehydration: What Happens Inside Your Body When There Is A Lack of Water?

Extreme Dehydration: What Happens Inside Your Body When There Is A Lack of Water?
What Happens Inside Your Body When There Is A Lack of Water?

Dehydration: Here is what happens to your body when you don't drink enough water.

Written by Satata Karmakar |Published : May 21, 2023 2:41 PM IST

Heatwave in India: Several states in the country is witnessing a sudden rise in the temperature. Extreme heat in the hot summer weather can take a toll on our overall health. Dehydration is one of the most common diseases one may be prone to during summer. The term dehydration refers to a severe lack of water in the body. In this article, we take a look at how extreme dehydration affects babies and how as a parent you can avoid the further health complications that it can invite. To learn more about dehydration and its symptoms, we spoke to Dr Nidhi Rawal, Lead Consultant, Paediatric Gastroenterologist, Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Madhukar Rainbow Children's Hospital, Malviya Nagar. Scroll down to know what the doctor wants you to know.

Dehydration-Related Health Issues

Dehydration is one of the leading reasons for hospitalisation in children. Dehydration happens when enough water has been lost from our body and it cannot function well anymore. Dehydration is caused when the body is not able to consume plenty of Liquids due to an infection, fever, cough, breathing difficulty or vomiting.

At times infection causes children to have severe diarrhoea when there is a constant loss of water from the body. Look for signs of dehydration such as decreased urination, reduction in the child's activity levels, dry lips and reduced oral intake. Moderate to severe dehydration can lead to shock (reduced blood supply to different parts of the body), seizures or fits, kidney damage, and electrolyte imbalance in our blood.

Children less than one year of age have a much higher risk of complications associated with dehydration. Hydrate your child with water, World Health Organization (WHO)-approved ORS, coconut water and a liquid-based diet such as soups and broths.

"Please seek the advice of your child's paediatrician or a pediatric gastroenterologist as soon as u see any of these signs," said Dr Rawal.

How To Beat Dehydration In Summer?

The only way to beat dehydration in summer is by increasing your water intake throughout the day. As per studies, an adult is expected to drink about 2.7 to 3.7 liters of water a day. This means an adult is required to consume about 10-14 glasses of water daily. Sometimes, drinking so much water can be difficult, therefore, here are some simple ways through which you can increase your water intake effortlessly.

  1. Drink coconut water to beat the heat this summer.
  2. Eat water-rich vegetables such as cucumber, lettuce, etc.
  3. Grab a big bottle of water so that you know how much water you have consumed.
  4. Eat fruits that are rich in water content, such as lichi, watermelon, grapefruit, muskmelon, etc.
  5. Try to add veggies and fruits to your regular water. This can help you drink more water than you actually can.
  6. Drink water before eating.
  7. Never forget to carry your own bottle while stepping out of the house.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Make sure to always consult a specialist or a doctor for more information.

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