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Dehydration

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Last updated June 11, 2022

Dehydration quiz

Take a quiz to find out what's causing your dehydration.

Dehydration quiz

Take a quiz to find out what's causing your dehydration.

Take dehydration quiz

What is dehydration?

Dehydration occurs when the body does not have fluid to function properly. It happens when you don’t drink enough, or it can happen when you’re sick with diarrhea or vomiting. You know you may be dehydrated when you start feeling these early signs of mild dehydration:

Other symptoms you may feel:

Children and dehydration

Children are particularly vulnerable to dehydration. Call a doctor if:

  • The soft spot on top of your baby’s head is sunken
  • There are no wet diapers over a 6- to 8-hour period (depending on the child’s age)
  • Your child doesn’t produce tears when crying
  • Your baby’s mouth, eyes, or skin are dry
  • Your child’s cry is weak or raspy or they are significantly less active
  • Your child has a chronic medical condition
  • He or she is malnourished
  • Your infant is less than 2 months old
  • There is excessive vomiting
  • There is a significant increase in the usual amount or number of bowel movements each day, or they are bloody or foul-smelling.

Treatment

The quickest fix is to drink fluids. If someone has signs of severe dehydration, they may need to go to the ER to get IV fluids.

Ready to treat your dehydration?

We show you only the best treatments for your condition and symptoms—all vetted by our medical team. And when you’re not sure what’s wrong, Buoy can guide you in the right direction.
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Dr. Rothschild has been a faculty member at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He currently practices as a hospitalist at Newton Wellesley Hospital. In 1978, Dr. Rothschild received his MD at the Medical College of Wisconsin and trained in internal medicine followed by a fellowship in critical care medicine. He also received an MP...
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