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Dehydration can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on how much of your body weight is lost through fluids.
Two early signs of dehydration are thirst and dark-coloured urine. This is the body's way of trying to increase water intake and decrease water loss.
Other symptoms may include:
Dehydration can also lead to a loss of strength and stamina. It's a main cause of heat exhaustion.
You should be able to reverse dehydration at this stage by drinking more fluids.
See your GP if your symptoms continue despite drinking fluids, or if you suspect that your baby or toddler is dehydrated.
You should also contact your GP if your baby has had six or more episodes of diarrhoea in the past 24 hours, or if they have vomited three times or more in the past 24 hours.
If dehydration is suspected, you may be given a blood test or a urine test to check the balance of salts (sodium and potassium) in your body.
If dehydration is left untreated, it can become severe.
Severe dehydration is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention.
If severe dehydration is not treated immediately, it can lead to complications. This level of dehydration needs hospital treatment and you will be put on a drip to restore the substantial loss of fluids.
A baby may be dehydrated if they have:
Read about how to treat dehydration in babies.
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