Dehydration is one of the most common heat diseases. Very few of us go through life without being dehydrated at some time or another. At times dehydration might be dismissed as a minor "irritation", but it is indeed something that deserves our full attention and warrants timely treatment.
Dehydration can be defined as "Loss of water content and essential body salts (electrolytes) needed for normal body functioning." it is the lack of adequate body fluids for the body to carry on normal functions at an optimum level.
There are basically 3 types of dehydration. Mild dehydration, which is said to set in when there is a fluid loss of 5% from the body. At this point in time, dehydration is not very dangerous and can be easily cured with re-hydration.
Moderate dehydration is said to set in when there is up to a 10% loss of body fluid. This type is of great concern and immediate steps should be taken for re-hydration.
When about 15% of a persons body fluid is lost a person is considered severely dehydrated. This should be treated as a medical emergency and might even require hospitalization to bring about a normal electrolyte balance.
In the following pages we will be describing the various causes of dehydration and some basic cures. Please do remember that these are meant to be only a guide, please contact your family doctor if you think you are suffering from dehydration.
©Copyright 1998 Elizabeth
Beckett, Holly Bernitt, and Vishwa Chandra.