Dehydration: which solutions?
A number of illnesses and situations can lead to significant loss of fluids and electrolytes, which are essential to keeping your body functioning properly. Fluid loss can lead to dehydration, a state that can have serious health consequences. When dehydration occurs, it is crucial to replace fluid loss as effectively as possible. In this article, we will discover what are the symptoms of dehydration and what are the solutions to treat it quickly.
Symptoms of dehydration
Dehydration can be caused by diarrhea, vomiting, excessive sweating or urination. For example, in the following situations:
- Stomach flu
- Food poisoning
- Traveller’s diarrhea
- Heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke
- Intense physical activity
- Use of medication or natural products that promote increased production of urine (diuretics)
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
Thirst, darker urine, and decreased urine production are the first signs of dehydration. As it becomes more severe, other symptoms appear:
- Muscle weakness
- Dry mouth
- Sunken eyes
- Feeling weak or light-headed
- Rapid heart rate and breathing
- Confusion, hallucinations
Dehydration : drink the right fluids
Oral rehydration solutions available in pharmacies are among the best options. They provide all the necessary elements, in the right proportions. They come as either ready-to-drink formulas, powder sachets, or popsicles, in a range of flavours.
Sports drinks can also help when rehydration solutions are unavailable. Homemade rehydration solutions can also be prepared. See below for a recipe you can make at home. It is important to measure the exact quantities as indicated.
- 360 ml (12 oz.) pure orange juice (no added sugar)
- 600 ml (20 oz.) cooled boiled water
- 2.5 ml (½ tsp.) salt
Avoid the following beverages as they are not adapted to the body’s needs and can worsen the situation:
- Coffee and tea
- Soft drinks (even flat ones)
- Sweetened drinks or fruit juice
- Alcoholic beverages
Milk is not recommended for rehydrating. If your infant is dehydrated, consult a health professional.
Be careful with medication
People who are taking prescription or over-the-counter medicine should consult their pharmacist for precise instructions if they are dehydrated. This can include temporarily stopping medication or monitoring parameters to seek medical attention. Dehydration, especially when it is caused by vomiting or diarrhea, can alter the efficacy of many medications and can lead to serious problems.
Whether you are assembling a travel kit before visiting a tropical country or are recovering from dehydration, your pharmacist is there to recommend the right solution for your needs. Don’t hesitate to ask for personalized advice!
The pharmacy services presented in this section are offered by pharmacist owners who are affiliated with Uniprix. The pharmacists are solely responsible for the professional activities carried out during the practice of pharmacy. These services are offered in participating pharmacies only. Certain fees and conditions may apply.
* The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.