What are the 8 Signs of Dehydration?

June 23, 2022

If left untreated, dehydration can have severe impacts on the body. When the body doesn't have enough water to function properly, dehydration occurs. It gets worse in the hot months when someone is sweating a lot or not rehydrating throughout the day. Diarrhea, vomiting, and too frequent urination are also causes of dehydration, especially in babies. Certain groups are more prone to becoming dehydrated, so it's important to be aware of any signs.

AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale provides minor dehydration treatment for urgent cases. More severe cases should be treated in the emergency room. Learn more about signs of dehydration and visit our urgent care center for urgent medical treatment today.

8 Common Signs of Dehydration


In general, if someone is thirsty, they are in the beginning stages of dehydration. A dry mouth is also associated with being thirsty and general dehydration. If you're experiencing these symptoms, you should drink some water or other hydrating beverage.

Be sure to get ahead of your thirst to avoid feeling thirsty or having a dry mouth.

Lightheadedness, weakness, and muscle cramps

As dehydration occurs, your body tries to compensate by constricting blood vessels and increasing your heart rate. The body will also redirect blood to internal organs. As dehydration gets worse, these coping mechanisms will begin to fail.

Lightheadedness, muscle cramps, and weakness are all signs that dehydration is getting worse.

Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting can make dehydration worse. If someone who is dehydrated is also vomiting, they will lose fluids more quickly.

No longer sweating or urinating.

If the body is no longer producing urine, that is a sign that dehydration has gotten worse. If the body stops sweating while working out, that is also a bad sign. For babies and young children, if they stop producing tears while crying, that is a sign of worsening dehydration. Heat exhaustion happens next, and it's critical to receive medical care at this point.


Irritability is a sign of more severe dehydration and is more common in children as they might not understand what dehydration means.

Rapid heartbeat

When you're dehydrated, your body needs to pump more blood and work harder to provide oxygen to the rest of the body. This means your heart is going to beat much faster, and your lungs are going to need more oxygen.

Sunken Eyes

Sunken eyes are a sign of severe dehydration. This won't happen early on, and it's important to go to the emergency room or help someone if you see they have sunken eyes and are experiencing any of the other symptoms.


Incoherent thoughts, restlessness, seeing illusions, and unintelligible speech are all signs of delirium. This is one of the most severe signs of dehydration, and significant damage to the body will occur past this point.

Preventing & Treating Dehydration

Water is the best thing to drink throughout the day to prevent any dehydration. Fruits and vegetables are high in water, as well, so these are the best to eat throughout the day. The body needs between 48 to 64 fluid ounces per day and more if you are exercising. Sports drinks with electrolytes are also good to have on hot days.

Coffee, alcohol, sugary drinks, and fruit juices should all be avoided as they can make someone dehydrated faster. Be sure to take breaks from being outdoors to avoid dehydration and wear loose-fitting clothing to stay cool.

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