12 Warning Signs of Dehydration

Medically Reviewed by Madeline Hubbard, RN, BSN

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Approximately 60 percent of the human body is made up of water. Since our bodies lose fluids through natural processes, like urination and sweating, we must consistently replenish our fluids throughout the day. Maintaining a proper fluid balance in one's body is vital for keeping up oxygen levels, maintaining electrolyte balance, supporting bone and joint health, aiding in digestion, and more.

Exercising, spending time in the sun, certain medications, or symptoms of illness (like fever, vomiting, or diarrhea) can all lead to dehydration if fluids are not replenished appropriately. Mild dehydration can be easily corrected, but severe dehydration is often life-threatening. Once significant dehydration sets in, the body slowly begins to shut down, eventually causing problems such as kidney failure, seizures, or brain swelling. Fortunately, your body will tell you that you’re dehydrated before you get to that stage, by displaying one or more of the following warning signs.