Dehydration is a medical condition in which the body is lacking in fluids. It can become a serious health problem if left untreated. Essentially, if a person is dehydrated they do not have enough fluids for the body to function properly. This can lead to a range of symptoms which are at first mild. If fluids are not replenished, severe dehydration can occur. At this point medical attention is required. Dehydration occurs when fluid intake is not adequate and when fluids are lost through sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive urination. When feeling ill someone may not want to drink or eat, exacerbating the problem. Someone may not realize that he or she is hydrated until the condition progresses.

Signs of mild to moderate dehydration include thirst, dry mouth, lethargy, headache, dizziness, and constipation. As there are not enough fluids in the body, urination, sweating, and even tear output may decrease. When severely dehydrated these symptoms will become more intense. Blood pressure tends to lower and a rapid heartbeat may be felt. There may be almost no urination or sweating. Thirst will be intense; the mouth and skin will be dry. Eyes may appear sunken in with serious cases and a person may appear delirious or even go unconscious.Before this condition becomes severe, it can be treated by replenishing fluids. Water helps, but electrolyte drinks are also important. In cases of severe dehydration, it is important to seek medical attention. Young children and older people are the most likely to become dangerously dehydrated. In a hospital setting fluids can be replaced intravenously and the person can be closely monitored. While dehydration may start out as an uncomfortable condition it can develop into a serious health threat. Being aware of the condition and paying attention to symptoms it is easy to prevent dangerous cases of dehydration.

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