Dehydration

Dehydration or fluids deficiency is caused by rapid loss of body fluids owing to several dissimilar causes. In such conditions, the patient experiences severe need for liquids and his or her tongue becomes arid and whitish. At the same time, the skin shrivels, cheeks become depressed, the eye balls are drawn and breathing becomes strenuous and intricate. Owing to the dearth of adequate body fluids, the blood pressure of the patient drops drastically and even his/ her body temperature may possibly become below normal, while the pulse rate is likely to become very fast. In any case, dehydration is always perilous and it is known to be the single major reason for infancy deaths across the globe.

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It may be noted that children who have been vomiting or suffering from diarrhea are most susceptible to dehydration. Both these conditions have the aptitude to augment loss of body fluids and may possibly also result in reduced fluid intake. Generally, compared to adults, children are more prone to becoming dehydrated more quickly. Children who are enduring gentle to restrained dehydration are likely to have arid mouths, less tears when they weep, drawn in soft spot and even pass darker urine. In fact, they turn out to be not as much active compared to their normal activities.

While dehydration deteriorates, generally kids turn out to be further petulant as well as sluggish. Even the pulse rate becomes more rapid and also feeble. Their eyes become extremely drawn in and the lips, while the mucus membranes become extremely arid. The skin is also likely to become crumpled and the amount of urine passed will decrease significantly. Even the hands as well as the feet of the child may develop cold and become blue. In such cases, it is common to experience cramps. Dehydration will continue till the patient is given fluid and electrolyte intake more than the amount of fluid that has been lost by the body. In order to cure dehydration, it is essential to replenish the fluid and electrolyte reserves of the body.

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Our body needs a precise quantity of water or fluid level with a view to carry out its usual functions as well as sensations. In case the intake of water or fluids decrease and there is an augmented loss of water or fluid, the body will experience dehydration, which, in turn, will result in inconvenient and anomalous performance by the body. In several instances of dehydration, the condition generally goes unnoticed and it is only noticeable when the body loses a substantial amount of water all of a sudden. There are several types of dehydration - mild, restrained and serious/ grave, and these may happen to people belonging to any age group.

There are a number of symptoms of dehydration and they may comprise headaches akin to what one undergoes in a hangover, decline in blood pressure (also known as hypotension) and giddiness or falling unconscious while standing up owing to orthostatic hypotension. If dehydration is not treated timely and adequately, it usually leads to fainting, hallucination, distension of the tongue and, in extreme instances, even death.

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The symptoms of dehydration are usually visible when an individual has already lost about two per cent of his or her average water volume. In the initial stages, the individual undergoes thirst and uneasiness, probably accompanied by loss of hunger and desiccated skin. Subsequently, the patient often experiences constipation. In the instance of athletes, they may endure a loss of a maximum of 30 per cent of their performance level and also undergo flushing, very fast heart beats, high body temperatures, poor endurance and quick inception of exhaustion.

People enduring mild dehydration may experience thirst, unusually dark urine, reduced flow of urine, tetchiness, inexplicable fatigue, headache, light-headedness while standing up owing to orthostatic hypotension, dry mouth, absence of tears while weeping and also sleeplessness in a number of instances. Additional potential symptoms of mild dehydration may include murky urine and a hurtful feeling while passing urine. Blood examinations of people suffering from mild dehydration reveal hyperalbuminemia (abnormally high amount of albumin in blood). It has also been found that mild dehydration has a negative influence on the mood of the sufferers.

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In the case of moderate to serious dehydration, the sufferers may not pass any urine at all. The other symptoms of this condition may comprise lassitude and intense drowsiness, drawn in fontanel (soft spots) in babies, convulsions, drawn in eyes and fainting.

Supplements and herbs

Use of herbs and supplements is useful in treating dehydration. For instance, Chinese skullcap (botanical name Scutellaria baicalensis) is a Chinese therapeutic herb that facilitates in dilating the blood vessels on the skin's surface. When the blood vessels are dilated, the body gets rid of too much heat and, at the same time, brings down the body temperature, thereby, healing itself of the adverse effects caused by dehydration. This herb is not recommended for pregnant women and nursing mothers.

In addition, the therapeutic flower called elderflower (botanical name Sambucus nigra) also facilitates in lessening the symptoms of dehydration. In effect, during the frontier times, people use elderflower water to clear freckles (small discoloration of the skin owing to pigmentation), helping in treating bronchial diseases, decreasing sunburn, in addition to stimulating sweating, which, in turn, makes the body cool. However, here is a word of warning - pregnant women and nursing mothers should never use elderflower.

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It may be noted that since the primeval times, people have been using the willow bark, counting the white willow bark, black willow bark and weeping willow bark for therapeutic purposes. Willow bark is generally employed to lessen pain as well as inflammation. However, it is also used to treat fever and headache related to dehydration. Owing to the anti-coagulant consequences of the willow bark, this herb should not be used by individuals who have allergic reactions to aspirin, pregnant women, nursing mothers as well as children below the age of 16 years.

Another herb that is effective in reducing fever as well as the body heat related to dehydration is yarrow (botanical name Achillea millefolium). There was a time when yarrow was solely used for treating supernatural bouts, presently the herb is extensively used in the form of a tea with a view to cure hindered sweating or fatigue due to heat. Yarrow has an anti-coagulant effect and hence, this herb should never be used by any individual who is already taking medications that make the blood thinner, pregnant women, nursing mothers and/ or during the period two weeks prior to any important surgery.

People suffering from dehydration will be benefitted if they drink a blend of one teaspoonful of mint juice, half a teaspoonful of ginger juice and one teaspoonful of honey. Alternately, they may also crush a lemon together with its seeds and prepare a paste and add some amount of salt to it. They will benefit if they take one teaspoon of the paste twice or thrice in a day.

There are other effective herbal remedies for dehydration. For instance, make a mixture using one teaspoon of edible gum, one tablespoon of poppy seeds, one teaspoon of cardamom powder, two tablespoons of sugar and half a teaspoon of powdered nutmeg and pulverize them into a powdered form. Taking this blended powder at intervals of two hours will help to cure dehydration. In effect, this is considered to be among the most effective home remedies for dehydration.

If you are enduring dehydration, you may also drink a mixture prepared using half a teaspoon of lemon juice, one-fourth teaspoon of pepper powder and half a teaspoon of ginger juice to get respite from the symptoms of this condition. To cure dehydration, you may also blend five to six leaves of basil, some amount of black pepper, one-fourth teaspoon of sea salt in three tablespoons of curd and consume it. For optimum results, take this mixture at least four times daily for a week.

Alternately you may roast half a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds together with half a teaspoon of cumin seeds and pulverize them into a powder. Subsequently, add four teaspoon of curd (yogurt) to this mixture and take it three times every day. This is considered to be a very useful home remedy for dehydration.

Other herbal treatment for dehydration, includes grating one unripe papaya and boiling it in three cups (750 ml) of water for about 10 minutes, filtering the mixture and drinking it completely in one day. Even the leaves as well as the fruits of bilberries and blueberries are effective in stopping diarrhea, which often causes dehydration, naturally.

The herb chamomile is a natural analgesic and facilitates in getting the body rid of inflammation as well as cramps. Additionally, to treat dehydration effectively, you may also consume a green banana at intervals of two to four hours till the symptoms of the condition disappear.

Homeopathy

Specific homeopathic remedies are also effective in curing dehydration. In effect, several homeopathic remedies are available that have a proven track record of treating dehydration successfully. You may select any of these homeopathic remedies to treat dehydration depending on the reason, condition, modalities and sensation of the complaints. For customized remedy as well as cure, the sufferer ought to personally confer with a competent and qualified homeopathic physician. A number of important homeopathic medications that are effective in treating dehydration are as follows: Arsenicum Album, Aethusa, Cup. met., Carbo veg., Camphora, Elaterium, Lachesis, Secale cor. and Veratrum Album.

Additional things you may do

Besides taking conventional medications, homeopathic remedies and herbs and supplements, you may do a number of other things to treat dehydration. For instance, you may drink plenty of water with salt added to it. However, you should essentially avoid things like fruit juices, peas, apricots, peaches, pears, prunes, plums and others.

You may also take yogurt (curd), buttermilk, apple, mint, banana, pomegranate, potato, carrot and other similar substances. Even chewing a small number of pieces of the internal coating of pomegranate added with salt and/ or drinking pomegranate juice may help in curing dehydration. Alternately, you may apply ginger juice in the region of the navel of a child who is suffering from dehydration. In addition, you may also simmer one apple with two pinches of powdered nutmeg and one teaspoon of sugar. Give this blend to your child for consumption as it is among the most effective home remedies for drying out or dehydration.

If you are suffering from dehydration, you ought to keep away from taking alcohol as well as caffeine. It may be noted that hot weather is an additional widespread reason for dehydration, especially in aged persons. Therefore, it is essential to either use an air conditioner or fans during the hot weather.

Energy-rich foods obtained from local sources in small amounts and in frequent intervals ought to be given to a child suffering from dehydration. You may also add a small amount of vegetable oil to the foods, such as rice or millet, given to the child with a view to augment his or her energy levels.

It may be noted that consuming foods that have high potassium content are also essential for replenishing the necessary fluid reserves of the body that are lost when one is suffering from diarrhea. Foods that are rich in potassium comprise mangoes, bananas, lentils, pawpaw, pineapples, citrus fruits and coconut milk. In addition, taking ice chips orally or sipping water frequently will be beneficial for the patient suffering from dehydration.

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