If you’ve ever been dehydrated, you’re familiar with that uncomfortable feeling of dryness and thirst. But the issue can worsen if you’re not careful or aren’t prepared to combat it. Severe dehydration can cause more serious symptoms and may require medical care. There are even times when dehydration, nausea, and vomiting all happen as a result of each other. It is possible for dehydration to cause nausea, for example, which then causes vomiting.
These conditions are unpleasant on their own, but when experienced together, they can take a serious toll on the human body, resulting in organ damage and other life-threatening complications. Let’s take a look at each of these health issues, what might cause them, and how they’re typically treated.
If you’re currently experiencing severe dehydration, nausea, or vomiting, seek medical care immediately. By coming to The Urgency Room of Eagan, Woodbury, or Vadnais Heights, you’ll be on your way to health quicker than ever. Not only can we help you in our facility, but we can help you at home, too. With our extensive library of after-care videos, you can learn how to take care of yourself after you’ve left the capable hands of our physicians. Our first priority is always your health and wellbeing—so let’s start with some important information about dehydration, nausea, and vomiting.
What Is Dehydration?
Dehydration kicks in any time the body loses more fluid than is being taken in. Even if you aren’t taking in water or hydrating yourself, your body is still expelling water as liquid moves out of individual cells and out of the body. Our bodies are even expelling water as we exhale and through other means, such as sweat, urine, and stool.
Water is crucial to our bodies: in fact, 75 percent of our weight is due to water, which means that we need to replenish this store throughout the day to avoid losing a significant percentage of our body mass. Dehydration is in full swing when the body stops being able to function normally. If you find yourself asking, “Am I dehydrated?” then it’s definitely time to take action.
What Causes Dehydration?
Dehydration can result from a number of activities. One common cause is to simply not be taking in enough fluids to keep up with how much your body is losing throughout the day. If you don’t have drinking water close at hand, for example, it can be quite easy to forget to hydrate. Other ways to become dehydrated include exercising, vomiting, severe diarrhea, or fever. All of these activities or issues result in your body losing more water than it takes in.
People who lose too much moisture may experience life-threatening medical conditions. If you’re concerned that you may have mild to severe dehydration, our physicians can help you. Stop by if you’re unsure of why you’re becoming dehydrated or if you need help becoming re-hydrated—our staff and facilities are more than capable of assessing, diagnosing, and treating dehydration to get you back on your feet.
The 3 Stages of Dehydration
Dehydration doesn’t start off as life-threatening—the condition worsens in stages if the body’s store of water isn’t replenished. Here’s how the three stages break down.
Symptoms most associated with mild dehydration are thirst, dry mouth, and darkening urine. These are all evidence that your body is trying to limit the loss of moisture and conserve what water is left in the body. This stage can easily occur if you’re outside on a warm day or playing sports without a water break. Fortunately, mild dehydration can be resolved if you take in fluids and replenish the water or electrolytes that were lost during activity.
Moderate dehydration can also be identified by excessive thirst and a dry or sticky mouth, but it also comes with further symptoms, such as infrequent urination, unusually dark yellow urine, dry skin, headaches, and muscle cramps. You may notice the skin on your hands is dry or even stiff. Moderate dehydration can often be reversed at home by drinking more water or liquids with electrolytes. Be sure to monitor your symptoms and seek medical attention if they don’t improve.
Severe dehydration is a medical emergency and requires that medical care be sought out right away. Symptoms pointing to severe dehydration include; sunken eyes, listlessness, dizziness, confusion, irritability, very little to no urine output and shriveled skin. If you’re experiencing severe dehydration, you might not be urinating at all, and if you do, it will be very dark yellow or amber in color. When left untreated, severe dehydration can result in damage to organs like the brain and kidneys.
Nausea is an unpleasant, queasy feeling in the stomach that can quickly escalate and ruin your day. The causes of nausea are widespread, but this condition is often a symptom of another medical issue.
Here are some possible sources of your nausea:
- Stomach flu
- Motion sickness
- Morning sickness
- Alcohol misuse
- Food poisoning
- Middle ear infection
- High fever
These are some of the more common reasons for experiencing nausea; however, there are hundreds of other potential causes, ranging from anxiety to milk allergies to cancer and adverse reactions to medication. Because the causes of nausea are so varied, you’ll likely need the help of a medical professional to resolve persistent or unusual nausea.
Much like dehydration and nausea, the cause of vomiting can be difficult to pinpoint. Oftentimes, nausea and vomiting actually go hand in hand within the world of symptoms. Depending on the health issue you’re dealing with, you may find your nausea to actually be a precursor to vomiting.
Vomiting can come in waves and through involuntary contractions in the walls of the stomach. The contents of vomit are always from the stomach, although coughing up mucus from the lungs can sometimes be mistaken for vomiting at times.
Both nausea and vomiting are controlled by the part of the brain responsible for involuntary bodily functions. Many of the root causes of nausea are the same ones that lead to vomiting:
- Food poisoning
- Stomach flu
- Severe migraine
- Motion sickness
- Alcohol misuse
- Abdominal infections such as appendicitis, diverticulitis
- Gallstones or gallbladder infection
- Bowel obstruction
- Urinary tract infection
Vomiting can also be a side effect of cancer, tumors, or eating disorders, among many other culprits. Unfortunately, vomiting can quickly lead to loss of fluids and dehydration, which carries further negative side effects. If you’re unsure of what is causing you to vomit, or if your vomiting is persistent and uncontrollable, come to The Urgency Room. We can assess and treat those who are vomiting to help quell the action and start you on your road to recovery.
Treating Nausea and Vomiting
Most nausea can be treated with over-the-counter medicines or other treatments previously discussed with your doctor. Drinking fluids and eating bland foods like crackers may also help to settle the stomach. However, if your nausea is persistent or is accompanied by other symptoms such as fainting, confusion, vomiting, high fever, low urine output, or chest pain, it’s time to seek medical care. A trained professional will be able to diagnose you and provide a treatment plan.
If you live in Minneapolis, St. Paul, or surrounding Twin Cities neighborhoods, come to The Urgency Room to receive immediate attention. We are able to provide IV fluids and medications to treat nausea and vomiting. We are also able to test for complications such as kidney failure or electrolyte abnormalities. Our physicians will be able to see you quicker than if you went to a typical emergency room—and our services will cost you less! Don’t wait around or ignore concerning symptoms when you need medical attention as soon as possible.
The Urgency Room Can Get You Back on Your Feet Fast!
The Urgency Room fills the gap between urgent care and emergency care—especially for instances of dehydration, nausea, and vomiting. Staffed by board-certified physicians, our standalone facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment to treat your injuries, ailments, and illnesses. Once you walk through the doors of one of our three convenient Minnesota locations, you won’t have to wait in a crowded waiting room only to be passed from person to person before getting the care you need. When minutes matter, come to The Urgency Room.
Our three locations are open 365 days a year, including holidays, from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Situated in Woodbury, Vadnais Heights, and Eagan, The Urgency Room is the quick and convenient alternative to overcrowded or understaffed emergency rooms for residents throughout the Twin Cities, no matter what time of year you find yourself in need of medical care.
Owned and operated by the Emergency Physicians Professional Association (EPPA), The Urgency Room staffs talented physicians with the experience and know-how to provide you with expert medical care when it’s most urgent. Everything we need to treat children and adults alike for ailments from coughs and chronic pain to broken bones is on-site and ready at the helm.
If you want to see more of what we’re about or what we offer, check out our virtual tour of one of our facilities. Our friendly and amicable staff is always on-hand to take your calls and answer any questions you may have, too. When minutes matter, come to The Urgency Room for evaluation and treatment for dehydration, nausea, and vomiting.