Complications of Dehydration

Dehydration is fairly common health problem, especially during summer and among vulnerable group or people at risk of dehydration. Even without risk factors of dehydration, one may still get dehydration and risk complications due to it. The complications of dehydration may be serious and include:

Hypovolemic shock:

This is due to decrease in blood volume as a result of severe dehydration. This is very serious and life threatening complication of dehydration and need immediate replenishment of lost blood volume and lost fluid and electrolytes, by intravenous infusion. Due to loss of large quantity of fluid (as a result of dehydration), there is decrease in blood volume which result in tremendous fall in blood pressure, result in shock (shock is a medical condition where there is inadequate perfusion of blood/oxygen due to low blood volume or due to sudden huge fall in blood pressure due to any cause such as dehydration, blood loss etc.).

Kidney failure:

This is another potentially life threatening complications of dehydration. Kidney failure (kidneys are unable to perform its function of removal of waste from blood) may occur as a result of dehydration, because of low or no perfusion of kidneys. Need immediate replacement of lost fluid and electrolytes to prevent permanent damage to kidneys and to save the life of the dehydrated person.

Heatstroke or sunstroke:

This may occur if you lose excess fluid with electrolytes, especially during summer (hot and humid weather), when you exercise vigorously and do not drink adequate liquid. Heatstroke/sunstroke is potentially life threatening if proper attention is not given immediately. You may also suffer from milder forms of heat injury such as heat cramp, heat exhaustion etc.

Seizures:

Dehydration may cause severe depletion of various electrolytes, which may end up developing seizures. Only way to prevent such complication is to prevent dehydration by adequate replenishment of lost fluid and electrolytes in time.

Cerebral edema:

This complication may sometime occur during replenishment of fluid by intravenous route. For treatment of dehydration, intravenous fluid is given and during recovery, body may pull excess fluid into various group of cells. This is troublesome when brain cells try to get excess fluid, which end up increasing intra-cerebral pressure and lead to various complications.

Coma and death:

If not treated promptly and adequately, dehydration may lead to coma and death. Hence, dehydration need to be treated as medical emergency to save life and prevent complications.

 

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