Dehydration in its later phases can be very dangerous. The early signs are more manageable, but it’s important not to let it go on for too long. Recognizing the different phases of dehydration can help you stop them before they progress too far. AFC Urgent Care Boulder County wants you to stay safe and healthy this summer. Visit our center for any medical concern this summer that requires urgent care. All emergencies should be taken care of at the hospital.
Stages of Dehydration
The first stage of dehydration is a general feeling of thirst. Everyone has felt thirsty in their life, so it can be easy to recognize the symptoms- dry lips and mouth, slight sore throat, swallowing may feel harder. At this stage, it’s easy to simply get a drink of water and try to replace the hydration your body is lacking.
The second stage is fatigue. While you may lack some energy in the first stage, this is where you will begin to notice increasing tiredness, headache, and an inability to focus. Your urine may be a darker color, which may be the most obvious sign. Drinking more water is the easiest way to rehydrate your body at this stage.
The third stage is dizziness and dry skin. At this stage, dizziness and lightheadedness are common, and crying will not produce any tears, especially in children. Extremely dry skin also happens at this stage. This is not normal-dry skin, but rather if you pinch your skin, it will not reform properly. Permanent wrinkles may also occur. Water is not enough at this stage, so drinks with a lot of electrolytes or fruit juice with a pinch of salt may help.
The remaining stages will cause severe and damaging effects on the body. They include sunken eyes, extremely low blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and fever. If your body begins to feel severe pain, it is best to go to an emergency room.
Preventing dehydration can be easy if done properly. Be sure to drink plenty of water every day and eat many fruits and vegetables that are high in water, such as watermelon or cucumber. Don’t let your dehydration get any further than general thirst to avoid serious complications.
If you have an illness that produces vomiting or diarrhea, be sure to hydrate more than normal to replace the fluids your body is losing. Be mindful while outside in the hot weather and during strenuous exercise.