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Dehydration occurs when your body loses too much water. This can happen if you do not drink enough fluids or lose a lot of fluid due to diarrhea, vomiting, or sweating. Being dehydrated can cause health problems and can even be life-threatening.
To replace lost fluids, you need to drink liquid that contains special chemicals called electrolytes. Electrolytes keep your body working well. Plain water does not have electrolytes. You also need to rest to prevent more fluid loss. Replacing water and electrolytes (oral rehydration) completely takes about 36 hours. But you should feel better within a few hours.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: October 19, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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