Common Dehydration Signs That Require Medical Attention

Woman feeling dehyrated after running in the heat


Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluid than it takes in. Medically speaking, you are considered dehydrated when the body loses the ability to function normally.

Some dehydration signs can include excessive sweating and extended periods of vomiting or diarrhea (longer than 24 hours).

Anyone can suffer from dehydration, however, the condition can be much more serious in children and senior adults.

A recent Harvard study found that more than one-third of American adults are chronically dehydrated. Among children, this number may be as high as 50%. Read on to learn more about the signs you need to be on the lookout for.

Common Dehydration Signs

It is very important to consume lots of water and other liquids. Thirst is not a reliable indicator of dehydration. By the time, you feel thirsty, you are already mildly dehydrated.

Mild to Moderate Dehydration:

Signs of mild dehydration include dry mouth, decreased urination, confusion, headaches and muscle cramps.

You can rectify a case of mild dehydration rather easily by drinking water or other liquids. Rather than consume a sugary rehydration drink adding a pinch of Himalayan salt to your water to replace lost minerals. Salty soups and broths are also helpful in this regard.

If you are having difficulty swallowing or keeping fluids down, start with small spoonfuls and increase as you begin to feel better.

Serious Dehydration

There are several signs of serious dehydration that should not be ignored. You should immediately seek clinical care if you are experiencing any of the following:

1. Your urine is very dark or you are not urinating at all. If you haven’t peed in over 8 hours, seek medical attention immediately. Urine should be a pale yellow, similar to the color of lemonade, not dark.

2. You are feeling disoriented and confused.

3. Have had a seizure.

4. You are feeling dizzy when you stand. This is a sign that your blood pressure is dropping dramatically. A general feeling of overall physical weakness is also a symptom of severe dehydration.

5. You are experiencing weak or rapid pulse.

6. Your skin has lost its elasticity and appears dry and shriveled. If you pinch the skin, it will take a few seconds to return to its normal position.

7. Sunken eyes.

Signs of Dehydration in Infants and Children

While dehydration is a serious issue for an adult, it is especially dangerous for infants and children. If your child is experiencing the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:

1. Extreme sleepiness. If your child is having a hard time waking up or staying awake, he or she may be seriously dehydrated.

2. Less responsive than usual. Lethargy is also a common symptom of dehydration.

3. Fewer wet diapers, or dark yellow pee, is a sure sign a child is dehydrated.

4. Other signs include cold hands and feet and no tears when crying.

Urgent Care

If you, or your child, are exhibiting any of the above dehydration signs, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. If you are in the Starksville area visit us at State Urgent Care for immediate treatment.

We are open from 8:00 am and 7:00 pm daily. We offer IV fluid therapy for severe dehydration.