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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Dehydration


Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Dehydration is the condition that results when too much body fluid is lost.

What is going on in the body?

The body is about two-thirds water. When the total water level drops by only a few percent, the person becomes dehydrated. Dehydration results when fluid loss is greater than fluid intake.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

The causes of dehydration include:

  • not drinking enough water during sports or daily activities
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • excessive sweating, such as from fever or exercise
  • excessive urine output, which can occur with diabetes or the use of diuretic drugs
  • Mild dehydration has few risks, and drinking fluids can easily rehydrate the person. Dehydration is sometimes severe. Serious cases usually occur in infants, sick people, athletes, and the elderly. Unless severe dehydration is treated very quickly, death can result.


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    Dehydration: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Terry Mason, MPH
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 09/24/01

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