Dehydration Symptoms - Causes & Treatments

If you’ve been a Floridian for a few days or your entire life, you’ve heard this: Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. And, drink lots of it. Often.

The Florida heat and humidity make us prime targets for dehydration. Dehydration happens when your body is low on water. Your body loses fluids continuously during the day and the body constantly needs replenishment. If you’re active outdoors, staying hydrated takes on an even greater importance.

Symptoms of dehydration may include:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry or wrinkled skin
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Inability to urinate or urine with dark color and strong odor
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Overall body weakness

Dehydration interferes with normal body functions and is a serious matter. If not treated, it can cause heat stroke or organ damage. In extreme cases, dehydration can cause death.

Diagnosing & Treating Dehydration

Your primary care doctor or urgent care provider will take your blood pressure and check your heart rate.  They will also check the elasticity of your skin. If your skin sags or does not fall back quickly into place after being pinched, you may be suffering dehydration. Blood and urine tests can also reveal dehydration.

Replacing fluids is the top priority. Drinking water, sucking on ice cubes or sports drinks containing electrolytes may be recommended.