How dehydration affects the body

Dehydration is the loss of water from the body which increases serum sodium levels. When fluid intake reduces and the body fails to replace the fluid loss due to underlying problem dehydration occur. 

Dehydration can affect kidney function and increase the risk of kidney stones.
It can also lead to loss of strength and stamina.
So it is very necessary to know the proportion of water to take and when to take it on daily basis.  Giving lots of liquids to a child with diarrhea is more important than any medicine. If enough liquid is given, no medicine is usually needed in the treatment of diarrhea. The common cause of death in children with diarrhea is severe dehydration or loss of too much water from the body. By giving a child with diarrhea plenty of water ( best with sugar or honey and salt).

Dehydration can often be Prevented.
Most children who die from diarrhea die because they do not have enough water left in their bodies. 

Dehydration results when the body loses more liquid than it takes in. This can happen with severe diarrhea, especially when there is vomiting as well. It can also happen in very serious illnesses when a person is too sick to take much food or liquid.

People of any age can become dehydrated, but dehydration develops more quickly and is most dangerous in kids. Take note that any child with watery diarrhea is in danger of dehydration. 

Signs and symptoms of dehydration

* Thirst is often.
* Little or no urine and in this case the urine is dark yellow in color.
* Sudden weight loss and reduction.
* Dry mouth
* Sagging in of the ' soft spot ' in children.
* Loss of elasticity or stretchiness of the skin.
* Fever 
* Postural hypotension.
* Headache
* Lethargy/tiredness
* Light-headedness
* Strong smell of urine 
*  In children, fewer or no tears when crying. 

Very severe dehydration may cause weak pulse, fast and deep breathing, fever, weak and floppy muscles e.t.c.

Causes of dehydration include 

* Severe burns  
* Vomiting
* Diarrhea
* Haemorrhage
* Excessive diuretics
* Excessive sweating
* Dysphagia e.t.c

Prevention and treatment of dehydration

When a person is suffering from dehydration it is necessary to act fast 
* Give lots of liquids to drink: Rehydration drink is best or even plain water.
*  Make sure you keep giving food to the individual and babies keep giving breast milk often before other drinks.
* Keep water handy.
* Include more water-rich food and fruits.
* Avoid alcohol.
* Avoid high sugar drinks caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.

Special Rehydration drink helps to prevent or treat dehydration, especially in cases of severe watery diarrhea. If dehydration gets worse or other danger signs appear go for medical help.

Types of solution given to regain fluid loss are 
1. Hypotonic
2. HypertonicPrevention
3. Isotonic

Hypotonic solution: It has a lower osmotic pressure than the extracellular fluid e.g 0.45% normal saline.

Hypertonic solution: These have higher osmotic pressure than extracellular fluid e.g 10% D/W.

Isotonic solution:  These are solutions that have the same osmotic pressure as that of the extracellular fluid e.g 0.9% normal saline, wronged lactate,  0.45% normal saline.