Signs of Dehydration & Treatment

May 24, 2022
Happy family walking on the beach

We’re all glad that a blustery winter is over and done with, but summer and its skyrocketing temperatures bring their own challenges. For example—an increased chance of getting bit by bugs, developing sunburns, and of course, becoming dehydrated. Dehydration occurs when a person loses more fluid than they take in, which affects the body’s ability to carry out its usual functions. It’s often caused by factors like spending too much time in the sun without adequate fluid replacement, running a fever, vomiting, or having diarrhea for an extended period.

Most Common Dehydration Symptoms

You should always be watchful for the signs of dehydration, but it’s especially important during the summertime when heat and humidity are on the rise. Some key signs of mild to moderate dehydration include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Reduced urine output or dark-colored urine
  • Decreased tear production
  • Dry skin

When to Call 911

If left unaddressed, dehydration can progress to become a medical emergency. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if you or someone around you is displaying symptoms of severe dehydration, which may involve:

  • Shriveled-up skin
  • Eyes or cheeks that appear sunken in
  • Bloody or black stool
  • Low blood pressure
  • Inability to sweat
  • Rapid heart rate or breathing
  • Confusion or disorientation

Dehydration Treatment Options

Here’s the good news—many mild cases of dehydration can be remedied by drinking plenty of water and resting indoors. Drinking an over-the-counter oral rehydration solution can also be beneficial, especially after being ill. Additionally, it’s important to avoid liquids that can actually make dehydration worse, including:

  • Sugary fruit drinks
  • Coffee and other caffeinated beverages
  • Alcohol
  • Soda

In the event that dehydration does not improve with at-home measures, be sure to promptly visit a same-day medical provider for immediate care. Many urgent care centers offer IV hydration therapy—a treatment that involves administering a hydrating salt solution directly into the bloodstream to efficiently replenish fluid levels and relieve dehydration symptoms.

How to Prevent Dehydration

Not surprisingly, drinking plenty of water before engaging in physical activity or spending time outside is essential when it comes to preventing dehydration and enjoying a healthy and happy summer. Here are a few other simple tips that can help you and your loved ones stay hydrated this season:

  • Quickly respond to thirst when it strikes—don’t delay getting that glass of water!
  • Enjoy foods with a high water content such as lettuce, berries, melon, cucumber, watermelon, and grapes.
  • Drink a glass of water every morning shortly after you wake up (remember, it’s been a while since your last sip!).
  • Dress for the weather; when it’s especially hot, wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes that will allow your skin to breathe.

Walk-In Treatment for Dehydration at PhysicianOne Urgent Care

PhysicianOne Urgent Care’s locations throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York offer walk-in treatment for non-life-threatening cases of dehydration to patients of all ages. We’re open 365 days per year during extended hours and never require appointments, although you can select an appointment time that works best for you if you prefer to plan ahead. Have questions? We can help—give our team a call today at 1-860-650-3848.

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The overall care I received was excellent! I also appreciate your affiliation with Yale New Haven Hospital.
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Derby, CT
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