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Dehydration

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Dehydration is a condition that develops when your body does not have enough fluid. You may become dehydrated if you do not drink enough water or lose too much fluid. Fluid loss may also cause loss of electrolytes (minerals), such as sodium.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have a seizure.
  • You are confused or cannot think clearly.
  • You are extremely sleepy, or another person cannot wake you.
  • You become dizzy or faint when you stand.
  • You are not able to urinate.
  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You have a fast or irregular heartbeat.
  • Your hands or feet are cold, or your face is pale.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have trouble drinking liquids because you are vomiting.
  • Your symptoms get worse.
  • You have a fever.
  • You feel very weak or tired.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Prevent or manage dehydration:

  • Drink liquids as directed. Liquids that contain water, sugar, and minerals can help your body hold in fluid and help prevent dehydration. Drink liquids throughout the day, not just when you feel thirsty. Men should drink about 3 liters (13 eight-ounce cups) of liquid each day. Women should drink about 2 liters (9 eight-ounce cups) of liquid each day. Drink even more liquid if you will be outdoors, in the sun for a long time, or exercising.
  • Stay cool. Limit the time you spend outdoors during the hottest part of the day. Dress in lightweight clothes.
  • Keep track of how often you urinate. If you urinate less than usual or your urine is darker, drink more liquids.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Dehydration (Discharge Care)

Associated drugs

Micromedex® Care Notes

Mayo Clinic Reference

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