Centra Care physicians have been noticing increasing numbers of young patients with diarrhea (caused by a virus), who are also suffering from dehydration, mostly as a complication of the diarrhea.
Dehydration can be caused by not drinking enough fluids or by losing too much fluid through sweating, fever, vomiting or diarrhea.
In sick children, dehydration is often caused by a refusal to eat or drink. This is especially dangerous because infants and children weigh less and their bodies turn over water and electrolytes more quickly. The elderly and people with illnesses are also at higher risk.
Symptoms of Dehydration include:
- Dry mouth
- Low urine output
- No tears
- Sunken eyes
For mild cases of dehydration, drinking fluids is usually enough to treat. Drink small amounts often, rather than forcing a large amount of fluid at one time. Water, electrolyte solutions or sports drinks are all acceptable options, but remember, sports drinks can contain a lot of sugar, which can cause or worsen diarrhea.
For moderate to severe dehydration, intravenous fluids may be required.