How to Diagnose and Treat Dehydration?

Q:
How to diagnose and treat dehydration?

A:
Diagnosis

Your doctor can usually diagnose dehydration by your physical signs and symptoms such as low blood pressure, a faster than normal heart rate and reduced blood flow to your extremities. Other tests include:

  • Blood tests to check for a number of factors, such as the levels of your electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium, and how well your kidneys are working.
  • Urinalysis can help show whether you’re dehydrated and to what degree.

Treatment

The only effective treatment for dehydration is to replace lost fluids and lost electrolytes:

  • For infants and children, use an over-the-counter oral rehydration solution.
  • For adults with mild to moderate dehydration from diarrhea, vomiting or fever, simply drink more water or sport drinks containing electrolytes and a carbohydrate solution.
  • For children and adults with severe condition of dehydration, Salts and fluids delivered through a vein (intravenously) can be provided by emergency personnel arriving in an ambulance or in a hospital emergency room.
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.