ABC Medical Center > Dehydration

What is Dehydration?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


It is a process in which the body loses fluid without being replaced, so the body is not able to work properly. It is always necessary to maintain good hydration to prevent fluid loss that causes dehydration. 

This condition can happen to anyone under different circumstances, but it is riskier in infants and seniors. 

In children, the most common causes are intense diarrhea and vomiting, while seniors tend to ingest less fluids and also their water volume is lower, which, together with pathologies or medical treatments that promote dehydration, may be important factors for this type of event. 

Similarly, anyone can become dehydrated on days of extreme heat or physical activity without replenishing fluids. A slight dehydration is counteracted by drinking plenty of water, but a serious condition requires immediate specialized attention, since it is a medical emergency.  

Signs and symptoms Dehydration

Symptoms are different according to age: 

Babies and children:

  • Oral and tongue dryness. 
  • Dry crying.
  • Lack of urine
  • Hollow eyes.
  • Irritability.


  • Excessive thirst.
  • Lack of urine
  • Dark coloration in the urine.
  • Tiredness and weakness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Lightheadedness and mental confusion.

Untreated dehydration is likely to lead to serious complications, such as:

  • Heatstroke. 
  • Kidney complications.
  • Seizures.
  • Hypovolemic shock. 
  • Death.

Diagnosis and treatment Dehydration

Your doctor can regularly diagnose dehydration through the symptoms, since you will have hypotension, rapid heart rate, and circulatory problems in the legs.  

He or she can request blood and urine tests as diagnostic confirmation procedure. 

The optimal treatment plan to reverse dehydration is fluid and electrolyte replacement, although the replacement technique may vary depending on the degree of dehydration, symptoms, causes, and the patient’s age. 

For infants and children, oral saline solution is recommended to replenish fluids and electrolytes, while for adults, drinking plenty of water is usually enough.  

However, in severe dehydration, it is essential to go to the ABC Medical Center Emergency Room to receive immediate medical attention and prevent possible severe complications that can put your life and your child’s life at risk.


  • cdc.gov
  • msdmanuals.com
  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • healthline.com
  • medigraphic.com
  • Espinosa GMM, Daniel GAB, Durán CC, et al. Deshidratación en el paciente adulto. Rev Fac Med UNAM . 2021;64(1):17-25.
  • Boskabadi H, Zakerihamidi M. Prevalencia de hiperglucemia en la deshidratación hipernatrémica neonatal y su correlación con el pronóstico. Acta Pediatr Mex. 2020;41(6):249-256.
  • Piña BCE. Factores pronósticos de mortalidad por enfermedad diarreica aguda complicada en niños desnutridos. Cuba y Salud. 2018;13(3):58-64.
  • Figueredo GLI, Figueredo GCR, Otero FMJ, et al. Factores que influyen en la variabilidad de diarreas por parásitos. Policlínico ”13 de Marzo”. 2018-2019. Mul Med. 2021;225(1):.

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