Top Treatments for Dehydration

May 7th 2016

You can tell when recovery from dehydration is finished by paying close attention to urine output. When normal urine output restarts and the urine is clear, pale or straw-colored, rehydration is complete. As a precaution, patients should still continue to monitor their urine while also making sure to take in plenty of fluids.

Clear Fluids

All dehydration treatment centers on the replacement of lost fluids. Initially this involves supply clear fluids taken orally. Although water is all most dehydrated adults require, they must be careful to take small sips initially. Clear soups or popsicles are also fine to use for rehydration, but you should avoid caffeinated drinks, carbonated drinks and fruit juices, which can provoke diarrhea. However, children should be given oral rehydration solutions rather than water.

In addition, a dehydrated person should get out of the sun or heat, stop being active and loosen any tight clothing to allow the body to recover. Even in cases of mild dehydration, it can take up to 36 hours to recover fully. Although you may feel better after a few hours, it's a good idea to rest longer so your body has a chance to recover completely and restore its internal balance.

Rehydration Drinks

Young children who are dehydrated should be given Pedialyte or an equivalent; this is an oral rehydration solution that contains fluids along with the salts that also need replenishment. If a nursing baby becomes dehydrated, continue to breast-feed while also supplying Pedialyte in a bottle. Adults may need to drink sports drinks to replace some of the salts they've lost. Athletes who become dehydrated in the course of their sports or workouts can drink either sports drinks or water, but they should not take salt tablets, which can lead to a more severe form of dehydration.

Intravenous Fluids

In the cases of severe dehydration or if the dehydrated patient is unable to take in any fluids by mouth, doctors may replace fluids intravenously. If dehydration has reached a life-threatening stage, intravenous rehydration is necessary because it restores fluids to the body at a much faster rate than oral rehydration. Call 911 for emergency help in the event of severe dehydration, which may be accompanied by rapid heartbeat, a drop in blood pressure, fever and overall listlessness.


Mild to moderate dehydration is easy to treat at home with simple remedies. More severe dehydration must be treated on an emergency basis, and hospital care is often required. Dehydration occurs when the body doesn't receive enough fluids to keep normal bodily functions going. The first signs of dehydration are the sensation of thirst and a darkening of the urine as the body attempts to hold on to the fluids it has. Further symptoms can include dry mouth, a cessation of sweating and tears, weakness and muscle cramps. Dehydration, even at the mild stage, should always be taken seriously and treated immediately.

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