Hypertonic Dehydration: Signs, Causes, and Management Tips
Dehydration is a condition where fluid loss exceeds fluid intake. However, it’s not just about water. Your body needs electrolytes like sodium and potassium to function properly. When you don’t get enough electrolytes or experience an imbalance of electrolytes and water, dehydration can set in.
Not all cases of dehydration are alike. While many cases of dehydration are associated with low fluid levels, others occur when you have an abnormally high or low concentration of electrolytes like sodium and potassium.
Here, we’ll show you what hypertonic dehydration is. You'll learn about the main causes of the condition and find out how to recognize the warning signs. Plus, you’ll discover how an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS is your best line of defense against dehydration.
What Is Hypertonic Dehydration?
Hypertonic dehydration, also known as hypernatremia, is one of the three main types of dehydration. Hypertonic dehydration occurs when water depletion exceeds the rate of sodium excretion. In simple terms, you lose water more quickly than electrolytes. This results in an increased sodium concentration in both extracellular fluid (ECF)and intracellular fluid (ICF).
The other two types of dehydration are hypotonic dehydration and isotonic dehydration. Hypotonic dehydration, also known as hyponatremia, occurs when you lose more sodium than water while isotonic dehydration occurs when you lose water and electrolytes like sodium in equal amounts.
To diagnose hypertonic dehydration, doctors can use a blood test to look at the water and electrolyte levels within your body and determine which type of dehydration you have.
When you are experiencing hypertonic dehydration, your serum osmolality levels — the amount of pressure your body requires to move substances in and out of cell membranes — will increase. Serum osmotic pressure readings above 300 mOsm/kg and serum sodium levels greater than 150 mEq/L indicate you are hypernatremic.
For mild to moderate cases of all types of dehydration, the general treatment approach requires electrolyte and fluid replacement. You can replace electrolytes and fluids by using an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS, which contains a precise balance of sodium and glucose to tackle dehydration.
In severe cases of dehydration, doctors can tailor the IV therapy solution to meet your body’s needs — whether you need more sodium or greater amounts of water.
Common Causes of Hypertonic Dehydration
Like most types of dehydration, hypertonic dehydration occurs when you lose water and electrolytes through sweat and when you simply don’t drink enough fluids.
Everyone is at risk of developing hypertonic dehydration, but children and older adults are at higher risk. That’s because medical conditions like diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus can cause this type of dehydration. Infants may not get the right balance of nutrients they need, particularly if they’re having trouble nursing.
Here are the main causes of hypertonic dehydration:
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Sweating excessively
- Illnesses that cause diarrhea and vomiting (particularly gastrointestinal disorders and gastroenteritis)
- Taking diuretics like weight loss pills and medications for high blood pressure
- Diuresis caused by alcohol consumption
- Ingesting large amounts of saltwater (when swimming in the ocean for example)
- End-stage renal disease
- Medical conditions like kidney disease that affect the production of the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin
- Hypovolemia (depletion of blood volume often caused by trauma or severe burns)
It’s important to understand the cause of dehydration so you can take steps to avoid or remedy the condition. One of the best ways to remedy dehydration is to use an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. You can drink the delicious oral rehydration solution at any point throughout the day to avoid the detrimental impacts of dehydration. It's a fast, low-cost, proven alternative to IV therapy for the management of mild to moderate dehydration.
Signs of Hypertonic Dehydration
When you have hypertonic dehydration, your body has too much sodium and not enough water in the body, especially in the extracellular space. As a result, certain signs begin to appear, signaling your body that it needs to act fast to remedy the condition.
Here are some of the common signs of dehydration:
- Extreme thirst
- Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
- Irregular heartbeat
- Lightheadedness and fatigue
- Decreased urination
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Dark urine
- Dry mouth and dry skin
- Decreased skin elasticity and delayed capillary refill
- Sunken soft spot in the head for pediatric patients
In cases of severe dehydration, you may also experience more dramatic signs including fainting, irritability, and confusion. Dehydration is a serious condition and can lead to cerebral edema (brain swelling), hypovolemic shock (a precipitous drop in oxygen levels), or heart failure if left untreated. If you recognize the signs of severe dehydration in yourself or a companion, seek medical attention immediately.
Once you recognize the signs of dehydration, you can spring into action. Start to increase your fluid intake by using an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. It comes in convenient packaging so you can bring a high-quality dehydration protocol wherever you go.
How To Manage Hypertonic Dehydration
When it comes to tackling hypertonic dehydration, you need to replenish fluids to balance out the higher concentration of sodium. For mild to moderate cases of dehydration, the best approach is to use an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS.
DripDrop ORS was developed by a doctor on a mission to defeat life-threatening dehydration. The patented formula provides medically relevant electrolyte levels, improving on the World Health Organization’s Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) standards because of its delicious taste — giving you a medically viable ORS that also tastes great. By comparison, sports drinks contain about one-third the electrolytes of DripDrop ORS and twice as much sugar.
DripDrop ORS also helps to restore fluid balance, which is key to rectifying hypertonic dehydration. That’s because DripDrop ORS has a low osmolarity, meaning your body can take the fluids and distribute it between fluid outside your cells (ECF) and inside your cells (ICF) to restore hydration fast. This helps to decrease sodium concentration more quickly than other rehydration solutions which have a higher osmolarity.
When you're in a state of dehydration, water alone is not enough. Your body needs the perfect balance of sodium and glucose to help absorption. With the precisely balanced ratio in DripDrop ORS, you can replenish vital electrolytes and fluids to relieve dehydration quickly. Plus DripDrop ORS supplies vitamins like zinc, potassium, and magnesium which are essential to support your overall health.
Severe cases of hypertonic dehydration may require hospitalization. A doctor will use hypotonic fluids to treat hypernatremia and increase water intake. These include 5% dextrose in water solutions, as well as 0.2%-0.9% sodium chloride solutions. The solution doctors use will depend on the cause of the dehydration and whether you have any underlying medical conditions.
Remedy Dehydration With DripDrop ORS
When it comes to hypertonic dehydration, you can’t just chug a bunch of water to remedy the condition. In fact, drinking too much water too quickly can increase the risk of brain swelling. Instead, you need a precise balance of fluids and electrolytes to restore proper hydration levels. The best way to do this is to reach for an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS.
Medical-grade DripDrop ORS allows you to alleviate mild to moderate dehydration outside of a hospital setting, without the need for costly and painful IV therapy. Our patented formula is powerful enough to help patients suffering from dehydration caused by Ebola and cholera, but safe enough for everyday use. Plus, DripDrop ORS tastes amazing and comes in a variety of flavors you can enjoy hot or cold.
For cases of mild to moderate dehydration, DripDrop ORS is a fast, effective, and great tasting remedy. The convenient packaging allows you to have DripDrop ORS when you need it, where you need it.
Get started with our most popular multi-flavor pouch for dehydration relief fast. Or, learn more about how you can save up to 25% on every purchase when you subscribe.
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8 oz / 32 sticks
8 oz / 32 sticks
8 oz / 32 sticks