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Dehydration : Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Dehydration is a condition when the body loses more fluid than it gets. As a result, the body's salt sugar balance is disrupted and the body cannot carry out its normal functions.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Symptoms of mild and moderate dehydration in adults include:

  • Thirst
  • The urine color is thicker or darker
  • The amount and frequency of urine discharge decreases
  • Dry and sticky mouth
  • Easy to get sleepy and get tired quickly
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dizzy


Symptoms of mild and moderate dehydration in children and infants include:

  • The skin feels cold and dry
  • Irritable and lethargic
  • Dry and sticky mouth
  • When crying there are no tears
  • The eyes look concave inside
  • The diaper stays dry for 12 hours
  • Fatigue and dizziness


Symptoms of severe dehydration in adults, children and infants include:

  • The skin becomes elastic, after being pinched back to the origin longer
  • Low blood pressure
  • Do not urinate for 8 hours or in infants, diapers rarely get wet due to urine.
  • Easy to get angry and feel confused
  • The mouth feels dry
  • Fast but weak heart rate
  • Breathe quickly
  • Very dizzy or sleepy especially in infants and children
  • Convulsions
  • Awareness decreases
  • In children and infants, the feet and hands will feel cold and blotchy-looking without itching or pain
  • Eyes look sunken
  • Fever

Causes of Dehydration

Some causes of dehydration include:

  • People with anorexia nervosa
  • People with cystic fibrosis
  • People with extensive burns and heat strokes
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fever
  • Exercising or doing heavy training
  • Work in a hot place because of the amount of sweat released
  • people with diabetes whose glucose levels in their blood rise and are not controlled
  • people with diarrhea (gastroenteritis) and severe vomiting, especially in children and infants
  • Alcohol users consume excessively


Risk Factors for Dehydration

Groups of people who are prone to dehydration include:

  • Babies and children
  • Elderly people
  • sufferers of chronic disease (long term)
  • Athlete
  • People who exercise in hot and humid places
  • People who live, work, and exercise in the highlands

Diagnosis of Dehydration

Doctors will diagnose dehydration by conducting medical interviews and physical examinations to find symptoms and signs of dehydration.

Treatment of Dehydration

The main step for treating dehydration is to replace lost body fluids. In mild and moderate dehydration, people can drink ORS to restore the balance of sugar, salt, and fluids in the body.

  • Treatment of mild and moderate dehydration in infants and children.
  • Give ORS according to instructions from health workers to replace lost fluids, salt, and sugar.
  • Continue feeding baby like before diarrhea.
  • Treatment of dehydration in athletes.
  • Continue breastfeeding the baby when they experience diarrhea, vomiting, or fever.
  • If the baby consumes formula, replace formula with lactose free until the diarrhea has completely stopped, because lactose is difficult to digest for diarrhea babies and can aggravate the diarrhea.
  • Eat energy drinks that contain electrolytes and carbohydrates or sugar, and avoid carbonated drinks.
  • Treatment of severe dehydration in infants, children and adults.


Giving fluids through infusion is a fast and effective way to restore the body's fluid and mineral levels to normal levels.

Prevention of dehydration

The main principle of preventing dehydration is the more fluid is released, the higher water intake is needed. Some efforts can be made, including:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and eat foods that are high in water such as fruits and vegetables
  • In adults it is recommended to drink two to three liters of water every day

In children, administration of fluids depends on age, body size, and activities carried out.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.