What Are the Symptoms of Dehydration?

Headaches are a symptom of dehydration.
Particularly during hot weather, drink plenty of water to help prevent headaches that stem from dehydration.
Dizziness can be caused by dehydration.
Lethargy is a common symptom of dehydration.
Dehydration may cause feelings of weakness.
Some medications taken by the elderly can lead to dehydration.
IV fluids are usually given to individuals with severe dehydration.
People who work out intensely need to replenish not only water, but also essential salts and electrolytes lost through sweat.
Drinking water can help with dehydration.
Article Details
  • Written By: Garry Crystal
  • Edited By: Sara Z. Potter
  • Last Modified Date: 27 December 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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The human body consists of approximately 70% water which is vital to a properly functioning body. Dehydration occurs when the level of water in the body has been reduced. Chemical substances in the body such as salt and potassium fall to an irregular level when this happens. It only takes a very small decrease in the percentage of the body's water level for dehydration to set in. The symptoms depend on the amount of water that has been lost, but can include feeling thirsty, dizzy, tired, having headaches, dry skin, dry lips or mouth, dry eyes, and darker, more concentrated urine.

The main symptoms of dehydration are dizziness, lethargy, dry eyes and a dry mouth. Confusion may set in as may irritability and mood swings. There may also be a loss of appetite and a burning sensation in the stomach.

Dehydration may also result in low urine output and urine that is dark in color. The skin may become dry and lose elasticity. Eyes may become dry and the hands and feet may become clammy. The sufferer may also complain of headaches.

The degree of dehydration can vary. Mild cases are generally characterized by a loss of around 1 to 2% of body fluids that can be easily corrected by drinking more fluids. Moderate cases, or a loss of about 3 to 5% of body fluid, can be quite noticeable and may result in a feeling of weakness and lethargy.


Severe dehydration, or a loss of about 10% of bodily fluids, is extremely dangerous. Failure to treat this condition may be fatal. Sufferers of severe dehydration must usually be hospitalized to receive sufficient re-hydration through an intravenous drip.

Diagnosing dehydration may be determined based on a blood and urine analysis or it may be uncovered simply by observing some of the visual symptoms. Fluid loss can be caused by many things. Illness, hot climates, and exercise can cause excessive fluid loss. The ill, elderly, and children are especially susceptible and therefore should drink plenty of fluids. But even the healthy adult should drink plenty of fluids. In fact, it is commonly recommended that one should drink 8 glasses of water a day.



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Post 4

The major part, nearly 75 percent, of our bodies is made up of water. When dehydration occurs when the amount of water getting out of the body is greater than the amount of water intake. there are the natural ways of losing water. the other causes of dehydration are diarrhea, vomiting, sweat, diabetes, burns and not drinking water.

Post 3

Crispety - I know that the effects of dehydration can also be serious in children. If you keep them hydrated especially when the weather is warmer they will not have this problem.

I read that by the time you feel thirsty, your body has lost a lot of water and you may even begin to feel tired as a result.

Post 2

Mexicana- I know what you mean. You should always have a bottled water with you so that you can drink water throughout the day so that you never get thirsty.

I know that my dehydration symptoms begin when I drink too much coffee or diet drinks. I start to get a headache and my lips sometimes begin to feel parched.

I also start to develop pain in my lower back which is where my kidneys are. When this happens, I immediately start drinking more water so that I will feel better.

The problem with becoming overly thirsty or dehydrated is that sometimes your brain will mistaken it for hunger and you may feel the urge to eat even though you are really in need of water.

Post 1

This is one of the many problems with waiting until you are thirsty to drink and with drinking coffee and soda instead of water. Even juice or milk is not nearly as good as water, which should be drunk BEFORE you are thirsty, and - although you don't need to go crazy with it - in quantities high enough that you don't often get thirsty.

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