As the hot season begins, a medical practitioner, Dr Emenike Okezie, has advised Nigerians to seek urgent medical help if they observe symptoms of dehydration.
Okezie gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
He explained that dehydration could lead to life threatening illnesses.
“Dehydration occurs when the body does not have as much water and fluids as it should,’’ he said.
According to him, thirst and dark coloured urine are early signs of dehydration.
Okezie said that if severe dehydration was not given immediate medical attention, it would lead to complications or even death because the blood would stop circulating.
He said that there were ways that the body tries to increase water intake and decreases water loss.
The medical practitioner said that continued fluid loss in the body could affect the quality of life and cause damage to the body.
Okezie said that dehydration could be mild, moderate or severe depending on how much of the body weight is lost through fluids.
He said that the dehydration could be as a result of heat exposure, too much exercise and work-related activity.
He said the increase in urination due to infection, fever, diarrhoea and vomiting could also cause dehydration.
“Dehydration can also be attributed to some diseases such as diabetes, significant injury to the skin, such as burns or mouth sores; water is lost through damaged skin.
“Dehydration can affect your kidney function and cause kidney stones to develop.
“It can also lead to liver and muscle damage,’’ he said.
Okezie further identified other signs as dry mouth, eyes that do not produce tears during pain or sorrow, feeling tired and confused.
“Not passing urine for eight hours, dry skin that sags slowly into position when pinched up, rapid heartbeat, irritation, hollow eyes and a weak pulse.
“Blood in your stools, low blood pressure, cold hands and feet, seizures and low level of consciousness are signs that you should watch out for,’’ he said.
Okezie advised Nigerians to take a lot of fluids every day, even when they are well.
He further urged people to drink more water now that the weather was hot and during exercise.
“If anyone in your family is ill, pay attention to how much fluid they are able to drink. Pay close attention to children and older adults.
“Anyone with a fever, vomiting or diarrhoea should drink plenty of fluids so as to avoid dehydration.
“If you think you or someone in your family may become dehydrated, call your healthcare provider immediately,’’ Okezie said.