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Experts estimate that over half of Americans are chronically dehydrated. According to the National Library of Medicine, dehydration is when the body fluid levels fall below normal levels. Dehydration can be mild, moderate or severe, which can result in serious harm or even death. Dehydration is a 100 percent preventable condition. Dehydration can occur because of excessive sweating, gastrointestinal problems, prolonged exposure to hot or dry air and certain diseases. To prevent dehydration, always drink plenty of water before, after and during intense exercises or work. Avoid exercising or working outside in high temperature degree weather. Below explains two proven ways to successful treat dehydration.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), rehydration therapy is essential for treating certain medical conditions and maintaining health. Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration include thirst, dry mouth, headache and muscle cramps. Mild dehydration can be treated through slowing sipping water, sucking on ice cubes and drinking sports drinks with electrolytes. The CDC recommends that patients suffering from moderate dehydration consume an oral rehydration salts (ORS) solution and avoid juice, sports drinks and carbonated drinks. Oral rehydration is often used to treat patients with dehydration who are ill. Anti-nausea drugs and oral rehydration drinks, which often contain salts and sugars, are normally given to dehydrated patients. While it may not sound serious, chronic dehydration from gastrointestinal diseases are very serious. A rehydrated patient will:
- have elastic skin
- a strong pulse
- no thirst
IV hydration therapy may be used for moderate to severe dehydration. Symptoms include confusion, irritability, dizziness and even delirium or unconsciousness. The treatment involves the patient receiving IV fluids containing salt and sugar. Electrolytes, such as calcium and potassium, and other vitamins or drugs can be separately given through an additional IV. Keep in mind that children are more seriously affected by dehydration than adults. Therefore, they will need to see a doctor as quickly as possible. The doctor will measure the amount of fluid received intravenously compared with the amount of bodily fluids lost through diarrhea or vomiting. If the patient is unable to drink or cannot have a regular IV in the arm, a nasogastric tube may be used. IV Hydration is very safe and effective.