How do I Treat Mild Dehydration?

N. Madison
N. Madison

Mild dehydration is nothing to take lightly. Though proper treatment can reverse it with no ill effects, letting it go without proper care can lead to serious health problems. Fortunately, the best method of treatment for mild dehydration is fairly simple to apply. The patient just has to drink more fluids.

Drinking water can help with dehydration.
Drinking water can help with dehydration.

Many people immediately think of sport drinks when the time comes to treat mild dehydration while others are against consuming them altogether, considering them unhealthy. However, sports drinks do have their place in re-hydration. For example, if a person has become mildly dehydrated while exercising, drinking sports drinks may be fine. Those that contain electrolytes and carbohydrates may be best. These drinks may also be good for those who simply forget to drink enough throughout the day.

Sports drinks can help with mild dehydration.
Sports drinks can help with mild dehydration.

While sports drinks may help to treat mild dehydration, they aren't really necessary. Regular water is actually just fine for treating this condition. This is even true for those with mild, exercise-related dehydration. Sports drinks can help, but they are not required. Cool water is enough to re-hydrate the body in most cases.

Dehydration may cause feelings of weakness.
Dehydration may cause feelings of weakness.

Sometimes, regular water just won’t do for mild dehydration. For example, if a child is ill with vomiting or diarrhea, plain water may not be the best option, as it cannot replace the essential electrolytes that may be lost when a child is ill. Sports drinks won’t do the trick either. Basically, these beverages can help to replace electrolytes lost through sweating but not those lost through vomiting and repeated trips to the bathroom. Besides that, the sugar in these drinks, as well as in fruit juices, sodas, and coffee, can cause things like diarrhea to worsen; it’s best to use an oral re-hydration solution in these cases.

A person who feels dizzy might be dehydrated.
A person who feels dizzy might be dehydrated.

It's best to avoid giving too many fluids if a person is or has been vomiting. If the sick person tries to drink too much, too fast, her body may react with even more vomiting. Instead, it’s wise to give small amounts at frequent intervals.

Many runners consume sports drink to replace the electrolytes they sweat out.
Many runners consume sports drink to replace the electrolytes they sweat out.

Since a mild case of dehydration can develop into a serious case, it’s best to keep an eye out for symptoms of a worsening condition. Some symptoms that may indicate a more serious case include an extremely dry mouth, drier-than-normal skin, scanty urine output, little-to-no sweating, fever, delirium, confusion, sunken eyes, and rapid heartbeat. When dehydration occurs in babies, parents may note that the soft spot on the top of the baby’s head becomes sunken. Infants and small children may become sleepy and irritable while adults may display signs of confusion. When these symptoms are present, it’s best to seek emergency medical care immediately.

Confusion can be a symptom of dehydration.
Confusion can be a symptom of dehydration.
Treatments for mild dehydration include increasing water intake and slowing down on physical activity.
Treatments for mild dehydration include increasing water intake and slowing down on physical activity.
Intense workouts cause the body to sweat heavily and lose crucial electrolytes as well as water.
Intense workouts cause the body to sweat heavily and lose crucial electrolytes as well as water.
It's actually best to avoid giving too many fluids to a dehydrated person who has been vomiting.
It's actually best to avoid giving too many fluids to a dehydrated person who has been vomiting.
Some medications taken by the elderly can lead to dehydration.
Some medications taken by the elderly can lead to dehydration.
Endurance athletes can lose much water and electrolytes through sweat.
Endurance athletes can lose much water and electrolytes through sweat.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments

Animandel

Drentel - Believe it or not, forgetting to drink enough to remain hydrated is more common than you might think-- and not only with older people. Mild dehydration can be an issue for anyone, but especially for people who don't eat many fruits, which are great at keeping the body hydrated.

This may be why babies' diets contain so much fruit--to prevent infant dehydration. Anyway, load up on the fruit and water and that should take care of the problem for most people.

Drentel
I have a friend who works in an assisted living facility, and she says the residents there are often getting dehydrated because they simply forget to drink enough. When this happens, the workers just give them more juice, which the residents prefer over water.

When the residents have vomiting dehydration or diarrhea dehydration the treatment changes.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: