What is Dehydration and Can You Treat It Naturally at Home?


Medically reviewed by

Bajaj Finserv Health

General Health

5 min read


Did you know that having two bananas every day can help you avoid dehydration? Learn many such amazing facts regarding the causes, symptoms and treatment of dehydration.

Key Takeaways

  • Active lifestyle or long-term ailments may increase the risk of dehydration
  • Healthy people may also suffer from dehydration due to lack of fluid intake
  • Dehydration can be treated with an over-the-counter ORS solution

What is dehydration?

In summer, your body tends to lose more water than you consume. This situation can lead to symptoms such as headache, diarrhoea or heatstroke, which is regarded as dehydration. The condition can come as mild, moderate, or severe dehydration. For example, if 1.5% of your body’s water is absent, you may start experiencing dehydration symptoms. Read on to learn about the signs and causes of dehydration and treatment..

Common Signs of Dehydration

Remember that there are not always visible dehydration symptoms before the condition becomes serious, so it’s wise to prioritize water intake. Apart from that, symptoms may differ based on the age group of the affected person. Here’s a look at them:

For Infants or Young Children

  • Irritability
  • Diaper remaining dry beyond three hours
  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • Tears not coming out as they cry
  • Hollowed eyes and cheeks
  • Red skin and inflamed feet
  • Constipation
  • Dark-coloured urine

For adults

  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • Hollowed eyes and cheeks
  • Headache
  • Red skin and inflamed feet
  • Chills
  • Constipation
  • Dark coloured urine
  • Fatigue
  • A spike in heart rate while blood pressure keeps low
  • Reduced appetite
Common Causes of Dehydration Infographic

What Causes Dehydration

We lose water throughout the day through urination, defecation, breathing, sweating, saliva and teardrops. In usual cases, your body replaces the lost water from the foods and drinks you consume, thus keeping you hydrated. However, you may lose extra water in certain conditions, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, or fever. Apart from that, conditions like diabetes that cause excessive urination can cause more water loss than you consume. In certain situations like the following, you may also fail to drink enough water:

  • You are too occupied with work to drink water on time
  • You don’t experience thirst (This is quite common in winter)
  • You have conditions such as stomach disorders, mouth sores, or a sore throat, where you cannot drink water comfortably
Additional Read: Aam Panna Benefits

What Are the Risk Factors of Dehydration?

Dehydration can affect anyone. But the following sets of people are at a high risk of getting this condition:

  • Elderlies who suffer from age-related conditions: They may fail to drink sufficient water due to forgetfulness or medical conditions
  • Infants: They are always at risk of having fever, diarrhoea and vomiting, conditions which often lead to dehydration
  • People who lead an active lifestyle outdoors: Individuals such as athletes and players of outdoor games tend to lose water faster through excessive sweating
  • Individuals with conditions such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes: Their body dehydrates quickly due to excessive urination
  • People who are unwell: They may not have the will or ability to drink sufficient water
  • Individuals who consume psychotropic medications: They may reduce the body’s ability to produce sweat [1]

What is the Fastest Way to Treat Dehydration?

There is no alternative way to get enough fluids to prevent or treat dehydration.. Apart from water, doctors may also recommend over-the-counter oral rehydration solution. Commonly known as ORS, this solution has water and salt in a certain proportion which helps your body to replace the lost fluids and electrolytes. In the case of infants, the solution can also be provided through a syringe.

In this regard, diluted sports drinks can also be an option for young children. However, do note that consuming soft drinks or commercial fruit juice may worsen the dehydration symptoms instead of providing relief.

If an individual is suffering from severe dehydration, it is wise to get them admitted to a hospital emergency where intravenous saline can be provided immediately to restore the lost fluids and electrolytes. It can prevent further complications and ensure a quick recovery.

Common Home Remedies

There are certain home remedies with which you can prevent dehydration or treat the condition effectively. Here’s a look at them:

Eat Homemade Yogurt Everyday

The yoghurt prepared at home can replenish your body's lost fluids and electrolytes. However, as this is a dairy product, children under six months should not be given yogurt.

Consume One or Two Bananas a Day

Banana, a fruit loaded with potassium, also plays a crucial role in supplying essential minerals to your body that you lose during dehydration. Therefore, it is wise to consume them before any physical activity that causes stress. However, note that banana is not recommended for infants under six months.

Additional Read: Benefits of Summer DrinksHow to treat Dehydration?

What Drink is Best for Dehydration?

Although commercial fruit juices may worsen the symptoms of dehydration, you can prevent it by including the following natural beverages in your diet:


Can certain medications increase the risk of dehydration?

Yes, they can. For example, diuretic medications which help treat hypertension and heart failure can lead to excessive loss of fluids.

Can dehydration cause breathlessness?

No, breathless is not a sign of dehydration. However, you may experience dehydration and breathlessness together. This can happen after spending a long time under the sun doing physical activities. 

Can dehydration lead to cramping?

During dehydration, our body loses electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, which can cause cramping. To prevent that, make sure to drink sufficient water.

By knowing about the causes, symptoms and treatment options for dehydration, you can effectively prevent or manage the condition before it gets serious. To know more about this condition, you can book an online doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health and resolve all your doubts in minutes. As summer is knocking on the door, prioritize hydration to stay well throughout the season and after!

Published on 21 Mar 2023Last updated on 10 Apr 2023
  1. https://www.dshs.wa.gov/sites/default/files/DDA/dda/documents/Dehydration.pdf

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


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