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Dehydration is a condition of the body caused by loss of water and essential body salts. Signs and symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, decreased or absent urination, sunken eyes, wrinkled skin, confusion, low blood pressure, and coma.

The primary cause is due to excessive sweating during exercise, especially in hot, humid weather, as well as persistent vomiting or diarrhea from any cause, use of diuretics (water pills) or other drugs that deplete fluids and electrolytes, overexposure to sun or heat, recent illness with high fever, or chronic kidney disease.

Possible complications of dehydration are blood pressure drop, shock, or even death from prolonged, severe dehydration. Dehydration can be prevented. Drink water in small quantities frequently during exercise that causes excessive sweating. If you're vomiting or have diarrhea, take small amounts of liquid with non-prescription electrolyte supplements, every 30-60 minutes.

If you use diuretics, weigh yourself daily. Report to your doctor any weight loss of more than three pounds in one day or five pounds in one week. Weigh yourself before and after workout sessions. Skip the workout if a weight loss of 2% or more has not been regained. Treatment for dehydration should be done under the advice of a physician.

This usually involves bed rest and taking frequent small amounts of clear liquids (large amounts can trigger vomiting). Severe or prolonged cases may require hospitalization for a time with fluids being taken intravenously.


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