What is dehydration?
Dehydration is defined as the condition that results from excessive loss of body water & electrolytes. It is caused by untreated diarrhoeal disease which leads to the loss of water and electrolytes.
Signs & Symptoms of dehydration
Many of us are not even aware of the common symptoms of dehydration. If we take these symptoms lightly, then it could lead to serious health issues.
The symptoms of dehydration may include:
Causes of dehydration
Dehydration is caused by not drinking enough fluid or by losing more fluid than you take in. Fluid is lost through sweat, tears, vomiting, urine or diarrhoea. The severity of dehydration can depend on a number of factors, such as climate, level of physical activity, diet etc.
Other reasons may include:
- Not drinking enough fluids in hot weather
- Certain health conditions and medications
- Not drinking water after rigorous activities or exercise
- Fever and excessive sweating
- Increased urination due to health conditions like diabetes or BP medications
Why do we need to be hydrated?
- Lead to optimal functioning of internal organs
- Improves performance & recovery
- Prevents fatigue/ tiredness
- Prevents muscle cramps
- Avoids dizziness/ headaches/ heat stroke
- Improves decision making/ focus/ concentration
What is ORS?
Oral rehydration therapy (ORT) is a type of fluid replacement used to prevent and treat dehydration, especially due to diarrhoea, vomiting etc. It involves drinking water with modest amounts of sugar and salts, specifically sodium and potassium. Use of oral rehydration therapy has been estimated to decrease the risk of death from diarrhoea by up to 93%.
Why is ORS better than water for persons suffering from Dehydration?
Since ORS contains a balanced ratio of electrolytes, it rehydrates your body faster. It helps in absorbing fluids rapidly and retain it in the body. Water does not contain electrolytes like Sodium and potassium. Hence, water alone may not be adequate if the fluid-electrolyte imbalance is very high.