Dehydration

Definition of Dehydration

Dehydration means your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should. Dehydration can be caused by losing too much fluid, not drinking enough water or fluids, or both. Vomiting and diarrhea are common causes.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Your body may lose too much fluids from:

Signs and tests

A physical examination may also show signs of:

Treatment

Drinking fluids is usually sufficient for mild dehydration. It is better to have frequent, small amounts of fluid (using a teaspoon or syringe for an infant or child) rather than trying to force large amounts of fluid at one time. Drinking too much fluid at once can bring on more vomiting.

Expectations (prognosis)

When dehydration is recognized and treated promptly, the outcome is generally good.

Review

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/8/2009

Skin turgor

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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