What happens when the body becomes dehydrated

Dehydration - What happens when you are dehydrated

Your body is made up of 70% water. A fluid loss of just a few percent can lead to dehydration. Learn how to recognize the symptoms.

Water is responsible for various processes in your body. Among other things, it is involved in the transport of nutrients, the cooling and the formation of body fluids and the development of physical structures.

If you ingest too little fluids over a long period of time, it can lead to various problems. To avoid the consequences of deyhdration, you need to drink enough water throughout the day. We specifically say water because drinks like juices and soft drinks with their high sugar content are not recommended.

Low-calorie drinks are better, for example Teasor Vinegar Water.

Dehydration - Definition

Dehydration, often also dehydration, dehydration, hypohydration or simply dehydration, describes an increased Water lossin your bodywhich can lead to physical complaints, restrictions and even death (desiccosis).

Dehydration - 3 types of fluid loss

Dehydration can have 2 main causes. Either because you took in too little fluid over a long period of time or because you lost too much water over a certain period of time. Make a difference between professionals 3 types of fluid loss.

It depends on the ratio in which your body has lost water and electrolytes. If you lose water and electrolytes in equal proportions, it's called one isotonic dehydration. This is the case, for example, with severe blood loss.

If you lose more water than electrolytes, it's called one hypertonic dehydration. This is the case, for example, with a fever, but also with excessive sweating during exercise.

Last but not least, there is also the possibility of hypotonic fluid loss. The body loses more electrolytes than fluid. This type of fluid loss can be easily compensated for by drinking an isotonic drink. Excess water is then simply excreted again.

Editor's tip: How much water your body needs per day depends on your age, weight and how active you are. Now find out what amount of fluid is right for you.

How much you should drink a day

Dehydration - Symptoms and Causes

Fortunately, you won't be dehydrated straight away. The loss of fluid comes slowly and insidiously. Unfortunately, many people are unfamiliar with the first symptoms of dehydration or misinterpret them. That's why you will find out here which symptoms can be the first signs of dehydration in your body.

Beginning dehydration

One of the most common symptoms is that you haven't been drinking enough fluids a headache. But also Difficulty concentrating, fatigue, dizziness and a dark urine are signs of the onset of dehydration. Also a dry mouth is a sure signal from your body that you should drink some fluids again.

Thirst is probably the clearest signal that your body needs fluids, but it often happens that this signal is mistaken for hunger. But often it is also the case that you simply do not feel thirsty, even though you have already had too little to drink.

Causes of Dehydration

One of the main causes of dehydration is poor drinking behavior. In addition, medication can affect both the feeling of thirst and the flow of urine, thereby promoting dehydration.

But diseases such as kidney problems, dementia, fever, vomiting and diarrhea also cause a disturbed water balance. In the same way, simple throat and throat complaints can also make you less thirsty and, as a result, you drink less.

Dehydration - Consequences

With persistent and progressive dehydration, more restrictions can arise. Common consequences can be muscle cramps, constipation and nausea, as well as circulatory problems. In very drastic cases, kidney failure, unconsciousness and death (desiccosis) can occur.

Dehydration - When to Drink More

In certain situations you should definitely pay attention to a balanced water balance in order to avoid the negative consequences. If you do hard physical work or exercise, you need enough water to maintain your performance. But you also have to drink more during pregnancy and while breastfeeding so that not only you but also your child get enough fluids. Find out in our article, 5 tips on how to drink more water.

Be sure to drink enough fluids in hot temperatures, when you sweat a lot, and even when it's particularly cold. Cold air can absorb less fluid than warm air and therefore dries out your mucous membranes faster. This is also the reason why your nose often feels dry to the touch in winter.


  • Dehydration is excessive loss of fluid from your body.
  • The most common symptoms include: headache, dizziness, tiredness and dark urine.
  • Thirst is often mistakenly mistaken for hunger.
  • Medicines and illnesses can have a negative effect on the feeling of thirst.
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