Dehydration: when and how to treat

Almost every person knows that our body consists of water almost 80% in the period of newborn and 50% in old age. However, do not think that the whole liquid is water - it's not at all. The liquid in our body resides as various salt solutions of organic and inorganic structure.


  • 1 The role of solutions in the body's life
  • 2 Loss of fluid
  • 3 What is diarrhea( diarrhea)?
  • 4 Degrees and symptoms of dehydration
  • 5 How to treat dehydration?
  • 6 How is oral rehydration performed?

The role of solutions in the life of the body

Solutions of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, solutions of calcium, potassium, magnesium salts are in certain places. Areas, zones, body cavities and, of course, perform certain functions. All of them create the necessary acid-base balance, in which the human body is able to function correctly and efficiently. In addition, there is an osmosis concept in the body. When substances have the ability to penetrate the membranes of cells inside and out of these cells, thereby maintaining the constancy of the internal environment. Such processes form the osmotic pressure, which is the basis of all the biological processes of the living organism.

Loss of fluid

A person can lose fluid and salt ions in several situations, but the most frequent pathological conditions are acute intestinal infections when diarrhea and vomiting develops.

Infectious agents damage the intestinal mucosa and impair the osmotic movement of the molecules, which leads to excessive release of fluid and salts into the lumen of the intestine and stomach - diarrhea and vomiting develop, respectively.

What is diarrhea( diarrhea)?

Diarrhea can be invasive, secretory and osmotic. Symptoms of dehydration of appear mainly due to the development of osmotic or secretory diarrhea.

Degrees and symptoms of dehydration oral rehydration of the patient

When there is a 1 degree of dehydration, loose stools and vomiting are mostly 2 to 5 times a day. Loss of fluid is about 3% of body weight. Patients feel good, but complain of thirst and dry mouth. Laboratory tests of blood and urine remain unchanged. In the treatment, dehydration of 1 degree is stopped within 1-2 days.

With the development of the 2nd degree of dehydration, fluid losses correspond to 4-6% of body weight. Stools and vomiting can go up to 10-15 times a day. This variant of dehydration is characteristic for cholera. Patients complain of dizziness and severe weakness, constant repeated vomiting, thirst. The skin pale, a cyanotic shade appears, the spasms of the calf muscles develop, and the chewing muscles twitch. The elasticity of the skin changes, or the turgor, the skin itself is dry. When examined, tachycardia is determined, and blood pressure is lowered. Patients excrete very little urine. In the blood, the content of electrolytes( potassium, chlorine) is reduced. With adequate treatment, dehydration of the second degree of severity can last about 4 days. If there is no treatment, then there is a third degree of dehydration.

The third degree is characterized by loss of fluid equivalent to 6-9% of body weight. The frequency of stool and vomiting is several times greater than in the second degree. The urge is permanent. Patients suffer:

  • thirst;
  • cramps of legs and hands;
  • diarrhea and vomiting.

When examined, a decrease in skin turgor is determined( skin folds do not straighten out when they are called), hoarseness, frequent pulse, anuria, that is, lack of urine, a sharp decrease in blood pressure, a low body temperature, dryness of the tongue and mucous membranes. At the moment there is a symptom of a "dry eye"( signs of dehydration in a child ), when children cry without tears. With 3 degrees of dehydration there is still a chance to save the patient.

help the dehydrated patient With the 4th degree of dehydration, a state incompatible with life develops, since a polyorganic insufficiency is formed. Loss of fluid is 10% or more of body weight. The patient with this form of dehydration is unconscious or in a confused state. Skin covers dry, cold and sticky, their color is cyanotic. Seizures continue. The skin is dry, the symptom of "the hand of the laundress" develops. The patient has facial features, bruises under his eyes. The heart beats fast, the breath is superficial, there is no urine.

How to treat dehydration?

In order to treat the symptoms of dehydration of the body , it is necessary to determine its degree, because the tactics will vary significantly. Replenishment of a lost fluid is called rehydration. There is an oral( through the mouth) and intravenous.

Oral rehydration is much more physiological and safer than intravenous, however, there are situations when the oral does not help and remains ineffective. Oral rehydration( OR) is not even required for medical education.

In the PR for diarrhea crossed over 150 countries and this step led to a decrease in mortality from acute intestinal infections. Despite this effect, the use of PR is not sufficient.

With an easy degree of dehydration, the treatment efficiency reaches 90%.The World Health Organization recommends the use of PR for mild and moderate severity of dehydration in infectious diarrhea.

How is oral rehydration performed? rehydration intravenous

Usually the PR is conducted in two stages:

  1. This stage lasts for 3-6 hours. Its task is to adjust the lost fluid and salts. Mainly specialized rehydration preparations and solutions are used. Separate the patient in fractional portions every 10-12 minutes. If the effect of therapy is, it is necessary to proceed to the next stage. If there is no effect, continue oral administration of the liquid;
  2. Supportive rehydration is aimed at preventing dehydration in the future.

A patient can be soldered even by a non-medical worker, that is, a patient's relative or the patient himself, if he is able to do so.