Ask The Doctor: What are the signs and causes of dehydration?

ASK THE DOCTOR: With Dr. Keith Sadel, MD

What are the signs and causes of dehydration and what can we do to prevent It?

Recently, a fifty-year-old patient came in with complaints of dizziness and lightheadedness. She had stress at work, and for a few days in a row, she was not eating well and forgetting to drink enough during the day. Incidentally, this patient was also being treated with a diuretic for mild hypertension.

When I examined the patient, I found her blood pressure was low, and her mouth and tongue were very dry. She did not look right. I had the patient lay back, and I put an IV in her arm infused with some D5NSS (dextrose and normal saline). This simple solution supplies water, calories, and electrolytes quickly into the body. After about an hour, the patient felt better, her blood pressure was improved, and her headaches dissipated. Dehydration is not a unique condition, and it is one to take seriously.

It can be caused by the following:

• Some medicines used to treat hypertension
• Loss of body water in warmer months through sweating and not keeping up with drinking fluids
• Stomach bugs that cause vomiting and diarrhea
• Underlying medical problems like active inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis
• Any previous surgery in which an ostomy was placed Alternatively, you could be a completely healthy individual who experiences the stressors of life and put
your own needs last. Stress impacts daily lives, changing eating and sleeping habits. Moreover, your body might need more of one food category and less of another on those stressful days to keep you at peak performance.

Strategies to Prevent Dehydration:

• Eat fruits and vegetables like melon, oranges, and celery, high in water content. • Drink lemon water and water infused with oranges to get vitamins, phytonutrients, and antioxidants, which help the body fight disease.
• As a rule of thumb, drink a minimum of 1⁄2 liter of fluid per day.
• Don’t forget about electrolytes! I prefer natural electrolytes like coconut water or watermelon-infused drinks, but a bottled electrolyte drink will do the same. The electrolytes contained in the water, like sodium and potassium, can replace lost electrolytes and stay intravascular.
Dehydration is not a laughing matter. Drink plenty of fluids and break from work to care for yourself if necessary. Skipping meals and not properly hydrating can add to the stress. Each of us is a unique being with one and only one body. So take care of it.

Dr. Keith Sadel is a board-certified Internist with over 23 years of experience. His focus is on preventative medicine and, more recently, has focused on personalized membership medicine. His goal is to merge modern medicine with age-old holistic practices. In addition to Preservation Health, Keith and his wife own and operate Lma Mineral Float, a holistic clinic on the first floor of his medical office. Lma offers float therapy in magnesium-rich water, sauna, and CBD remedies, all ailments to reduce stress, pain, and inflammation and to increase relaxation. Visit

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