Dehydration is the term doctors use when the body loses too much water. Losing too much water is a problem, because our bodies need a certain amount of water to work normally. Another word your doctor might use when you lose too much water is "hypovolemia." Dehydration can be mild or severe. Mild dehydration doesn't usually cause problems. But if mild dehydration isn't treated, it can get worse. Severe dehydration is a medical emergency and can be life- threatening..

What causes dehydration? —

Dehydration happens when your body loses more water than you take in from drinking and eating. It's normal for people to lose some water from their bodies every day, for example, in their urine and bowel movements. But some things make people lose a lot of water, including vomiting, diarrhea,, sweating a lot from heavy exercise, high fever and certain medications that increase urination or excretion.

What are the symptoms of dehydration? — People with mild dehydration might not notice any symptoms. As dehydration gets worse, it can cause symptoms such as:
  • ? Feeling thirsty
  • ? Urinating less often, or having dark yellow or brown urine
  • ? A dry mouth or cracked lips
  • ? No tears when a child cries
  • ? Feeling tired or confused
  • ? Feeling dizzy or light-headed
  • ? Eyes that look sunken in the face
  • ? A "sunken fontanel" (in babies) – A fontanel is a gap between the bones in a baby's skull. When babies are dehydrated, the fontanel on the top of their head can look or feel caved in.

  • Severe dehydration can make people stop breathing normally or go into a coma.

    Should I call a doctor or nurse? — Call the doctor or nurse if you or your child has any symptoms of dehydration. People with severe dehydration usually need to be treated in the hospital. Treatment involves getting fluids through an "IV,” which is a thin tube that goes into the vein usually in a hospital setting.