Dehydration - Causes and treatment

Published: 14th May 2010
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Dehydration is an illness which causes extreme electrolyte imbalances in the body. It occurs when you do not take in enough fluids to replace what have been lost through sweat and urination. While dehydration is a danger during any sport of physical exertion, it becomes more so during swimming. This is for two reasons, firstly, when you exercise, you sweat.

When you are in the water swimming, you do not realize that you are still sweating and thus losing fluid. Secondly, because you are surrounded by water, your brain is tricked into thinking that you have all the fluid you need, and does not signal your mouth and throat to be thirsty.

This can be aggravated further if you are swimming in the ocean. As you swim, you undoubtedly swallow salt water which can dehydrate you even faster.

Common causes of dehydration include intense bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, fever or excessive sweating. Inadequate intake of water during hot weather or exercise also may deplete your body's water stores. Anyone may become dehydrated, but young children, older adults and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk. Mild dehydration can cause symptoms such as weakness, dizziness and fatigue. Severe dehydration is a life-threatening medical emergency.

In the United States, our perception of one portion is extremely distorted. Restaurant portions are about 3 times more than what we should be eating in one sitting. If we become accustomed to seeing this much food on our plate at a restaurant we tend to do the same when we are at home and serve ourselves. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, women are eating 300 more calories a day and men 168 more calories than 20 years ago.

Most people have suffered from, and know what a dehydration headache is. It typically comes on at the end of a hot day when you haven't drunk enough.But this can also occur as the after effects of a serious bout of dehydration. This will cause a drain on your system, which may take time to improve.Serious dehydration tends to occur after a loss of body fluids, be it from excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea or bleeding. If the body fluids aren't replaced quickly, then this condition can occur.

The body is 70 percent water and the delicate bones and accompanying tissues in the ear are very sensitive, even to dehydration. Once the tissues dry out, there is not the flexibility in the small joints in the tiny bones that "hear". The imbalance in the fluids can make the tiny hairs in the cochlea of the inner ear become damaged. Damage can also come from loud noises such as lawn mower and rock concerts.

Even MP3 players turned up too loud can cause damage. The damage can become permanent if too little healthy water is ingested over time or if you are habitually in a noisy environment.

Chronic dehydration can make inner ear function worse, so make sure that you drink lots of healthy water, not coffee, fruit juice, carbonated beverages or bottled water.

Typical symptoms of dehydration are headaches. Many people know that when they get a headache, they haven't drunk enough. Trouble is, by drinking now, the headache generally doesn't go. Dehydration symptoms, depending on the severity of the individual case, can be headaches, shock, acidosis and/or the accumulation of waste products in your body, such as uremia.

Read About natural cures and also read about fever remedies and home remedies for fever

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