Self-management

Prevention

To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids and eat foods high in water such as fruits and vegetables. Letting thirst be your guide is an adequate daily guideline for most healthy people.

People may need to take in more fluids if they are experiencing conditions such as:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea. If your child is vomiting or has diarrhea, start giving extra water or an oral rehydration solution at the first signs of illness. Don't wait until dehydration occurs.
  • Strenuous exercise. In general, it's best to start hydrating the day before strenuous exercise. Producing lots of clear, dilute urine is a good indication that you're well-hydrated. During the activity, replenish fluids at regular intervals and continue drinking water or other fluids after you're finished.
  • Hot or cold weather. You need to drink additional water in hot or humid weather to help lower your body temperature and to replace what you lose through sweating. You may also need extra water in cold weather to combat moisture loss from dry air, particularly at higher altitudes
  • Illness. Older adults most commonly become dehydrated during minor illnesses — such as influenza, bronchitis or bladder infections. Make sure to drink extra fluids when you're not feeling well.
Oct. 29, 2016
References
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  2. Aurbach PS. Dehydration, rehydration and hyperhydration. In: Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 19, 2016.
  3. Diarrhea. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/diarrhea/Pages/facts.aspx. Accessed Aug. 19, 2016.
  4. AskMayoExpert. Dehydration. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
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  6. Miller HJ. Dehydration in the older adult. Journal of Gerontological Nursing. 2015;41:8.
  7. Heat and athletes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/athletes.html. Accessed Aug. 19, 2016.
  8. Somers MJ. Treatment of hypovolemia (dehydration) in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 19, 2016.
  9. Sterns RH. Etiology, clinical manifestations and diagnosis of volume depletion in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 19, 2016.
  10. Marx JA, et al., eds. Heat-related emergencies. In: Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 19, 2016.
  11. Freedman S. Oral rehydration therapy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 19, 2016.
  12. Thomas DT, et al. American College of Sports Medicine Joint Position Statement. Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2016;48:543.
  13. Takahashi PY (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 14, 2016.
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