Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluid than you take in, and your body does not have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. Your system literally dries out. Next to oxygen, water is the nutrient most needed for life.
The best indicator for dehydration is the color of your urine: Clear or light-colored urine means you are well hydrated, whereas a dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration. Note: Thirst is not always a reliable gauge of your need for water, especially in children and older adults.
Dehydration has many causes including:
In Texas, dehydration resulted in 18,783 hospitalizations in 2012. The average hospital stay was 3.5 days and the average hospital charge was $25,033. In adults, the majority of admissions for dehydration involved the elderly with individuals over the age of 65 accounting for 62% of the hospitalizations.