What Are the Causes of Dehydration?

Every day we lose fluid and electrolytes via urine, sweat, saliva, and other bodily fluids. Usually, a normal, healthy diet will serve to replace lost electrolytes and fluid. But certain conditions or activities can lead to inadequate levels of fluid and electrolytes within our bodies. This is called dehydration.

Common causes include:

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea (as well as stomach flu) can cause a large loss of fluid and electrolytes. Dehydration is the biggest health risk associated with vomiting and diarrhea.

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Fever

An elevated body temperature above 98° F is often accompanied by increased sweating which leads to fluid and electrolyte loss.

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Clinical Conditions

Multiple medical circumstances can lead to cause dehydration, including the side effects of some medications, bowel preparation for a colonoscopy, fasting prior to medical or surgical procedures, certain chronic conditions, and pregnancy.

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Exercise

Heavy sweating reduces fluid and electrolytes, which can cause mild to moderate dehydration. Did you know dehydration can impact your sports performance?

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Travel

Travelers are at risk of dehydration from traveler's diarrhea and the potentially dehydrating effects of air travel.

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Prolonged Heat Exposure

Hot weather can cause your body's core temperature to rise. This usually causes a higher sweat rate, resulting in lost fluid and electrolytes. Prolonged heat waves often increase the incidence of children and seniors with mild to moderate dehydration.

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DID YOU KNOW?

Activating your sodium glucose pump is a rapid way to rehydrate. Learn More »

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