Dehydration is a serious illness that can result from either being too hot and not taking in enough fluids or, as happens in many cases, from being ill with influenza or a gastroenteritis, among other illnesses.
Actor Dennis Hopper was treated at a New York City hospital emergency for dehydration because of a “stomach bug,” says People.com. Mr. Hopper is 73 years old.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when your body needs more fluid than it has. You continuously lose fluid through urine and sweating, but if you don’t take in enough to replace it, your body becomes depleted. The people at highest risk of becoming dehydrated are:
Infants and young children
People with chronic illnesses
People with sudden illnesses that cause diarrhea and/or vomiting
Unfortunately, if you don’t intervene with any of the above signs, you could end up with severe dehydration, which could show as:
Extreme agitation, irritability
Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
No sweat, no matter how hot you are
Little or no urination
Sunken eyes, often very dark circles
Shriveled and dry skin that doesn’t “bounce back” when pinched into a fold
Low blood pressure
In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
As soon as you feel the first signs of dehydration, drink fluids, such as water or juice. If you are into the severely dehydrated stage, you may need a special rehydration fluid that has balanced vitamins and electrolytes to help your body readjust itself.
Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine, as these can make dehydration worse.
Always drink enough fluids when in the heat. If you are ill and don’t feel like drinking, a few sips at a time, consistently, will do a lot to keep you hydrated. If you’re concerned about staying hydrated, speak with your doctor about alternatives.