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Dehydration is a reduction in the normal levels of fluid within the body. It is caused by insufficient fluid intake or a dramatic loss of fluid, due to diarrhea, vomiting or sunstroke. In addition to a raging thirst, there may be nausea, dizziness, confusion and the skin may appear dark and wrinkled.

If left untreated the fluid depravation will eventually cause the kidneys to fail, resulting in the potentially fatal accumulation of waste products in the blood. Drinking clear fluid can treat mild dehydration but more severe cases may require re hydration by intravenous drip.

To avoid dehydration, particularly during illness, drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluid. A mild form of dehydration can occur following a large intake of alcohol and is more commonly known as a hangover. To prevent this form of dehydration, either avoid alcohol or drink at least a pint of water before going to sleep.

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