Dehydration means that your body loses more fluid than it takes in. If it isn’t treated it can get worse and be a serious problem requiring urgent medical attention. The elderly and young children are most vulnerable particularly in the hot weather. Other conditions such as vomiting and diarrhoea, diabetes or some medication can make dehydration worse. Watch out for signs and symptoms of dehydration.
- Feeling thirsty
- Dark yellow and strong smelling urine
- Feeling dizzy and lightheaded
- Feeling tired
- Dry mouth, lips and eyes
- Passing small amounts of urine and going less than 4 times per day
- For older people, a sudden change in behaviour is one of the best indicators of dehydration.
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Aim for 6-8 glasses of fluids per day
- Have a balanced diet with high water content for example soups, fruit, ice cream and jelly
You should be drinking enough so your urine is clear and a pale yellow colour.
See your GP if your symptoms don’t improve with rest and drinking more.
Call 999 or go to A&E if you suspect severe dehydration and:
- You’re confused and disorientated
- Any dizziness when you stand up doesn’t go away
- You haven’t peed for 8 hours
- Your pulse is weak or rapid
- You have fits (seizures)
- You’re feeling unusually tired
- These can be signs of serious dehydration which may need urgent treatment.
For further information, see NHS Choices website