Can Dehydration Cause Dizziness? Know 12 Startling Facts About It

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Can dehydration cause dizziness? The answer is yes; dehydration may bring about the feeling of dizziness in most cases. Feeling dizzy is one of the significant symptoms of dehydration. Before knowing how dehydration is one of the reasons for getting lightheaded, let us look more closely at dehydration and how to prevent it. 

1. What is Dehydration?

Dehydration is the body’s natural response when it loses a significant amount of fluids, and as a result, the average water content required for our system’s function goes down. It can happen to almost anyone, but it is prevalent in athletes, people working out in hot temperatures, and those unwell. One common thing in all cases of dehydration is that it mainly occurs when people drink less water.

The average water percentage of the human body ranges from 45 to 75%. When a lack of proper hydration somehow reduces this normal range, the balance of minerals like salts and sugar is disturbed, affecting our body’s normal functions. So, don’t forget to drink more water regularly and stay hydrated.

Dehydrated man
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2. How Does Dehydration Occur?

Dehydration can occur when you lose more fluids than your intake. It may be caused by a sudden change in your diet, vigorous physical activities where you sweat a lot, exposure to the hot sun and hot climate, and not drinking enough water. Moreover, dehydration is seen in the below-stated cases:

  1. Not drinking sufficient fluids

  2. Excessive sweating

  3. Vomiting

  4. Diarrhoea

  5. Medical conditions such as diabetes and kidney problems

3. What Does Water Do for Your Body?

Your skin contains between 50 and 70 percent water. The newborns have a water level of 75%, the age of an infant is 65 %, and adults are around 60 %. Your brain consists of 73% water & the brain has your heart as well.

Your bones have 37% water, muscles, and kidneys 79%, and the skin has 44%. 85% of the water in the lung is circulating. Water helps absorb shocks in the brain, spinal cord, femur, and pregnant women.

It helps the human body maintain water, particularly during warm seasons. This helps keep you from getting overheated. When we work out, our muscles create heat. To avoid burning out, you must reduce your body heat. Water also helps create saliva that aids in digestion. It is needed to excrete harmful substances and waste from our bodies through urination, defecation, and perspiration. Adding water helps you stay energized and active by assisting the regular activities of your body.

3.1 What is the Daily Adequate Fluid Intake?

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According to the National Academy of Medicine, 13 cups of fluids for healthy men and 9 cups for women is adequate, with 1 cup equaling 8 ounces. However, the amount of water your body needs will vary depending on your body weight. An average person should consume 4-5 gallons per ounce for average weight loss.

Typically 200-pound people need 150 pounds of water a day. In short, when you’re dehydrated by 5%, you lose around 25% of your energy. Remember to carry a water bottle wherever you do and eat foods that prevent you from dehydrating severely.                                                                                                                                                                              

4. Who’s at Risk of Becoming Dehydrated?

Everyone is at risk of being dehydrated. If the average person’s fluid intake is not met, the body’s essential functions are disrupted by severe dehydration. People who work a lot outdoors, without having a chance to drink more water and replenish their lost electrolytes continuously, and who engage in physical activities are at increased risk of dehydration.

Similarly, diarrhea can be dehydration for people who are sick and lose their fluids through vomiting. Furthermore, patients with a medical history of diabetes and others prescribed certain medications are susceptible to dehydration. Other factors like alcoholism and drug addictions may lead to electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.

5. Signs of Dehydration

Some individuals are more prone to dehydration. You may experience dehydration as well if you see any signs or symptoms listed here below:

  1. Dry mouth, lips, and tongue

  2. Feeling thirsty

  3. Fatigue and tiredness

  4. Sunken eyes

  5. Feeling lightheaded

  6. Sleepiness

  7. Dark urine

  8. Urinating less frequently

  9. Dizziness called vertigo

  10. Light-headedness

  11. Headache

  12. Low blood pressure                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Suppose any of these symptoms of dehydration persist or you’re feeling dizzy even after drinking enough water and following the tips below. In that case, it is strongly advised to go for medical care.

To learn more about the symptoms of dehydration, click here.

6. How Long Does Dehydration Take to Stop after Water is Ingested?

You may recover from mild dehydration after 45 minutes, generally, though it mostly depends on your level of dehydration. If severely dehydrated, it takes longer to get back into shape. Once again, this is also influenced by the amount of fluid and electrolytes you consume. It takes approximately a day and intravenous fluids to restore your body from severe dehydration. 

7. Can Dehydration Cause Dizziness?

Yes, dehydration can result in dizziness. You may feel lightheaded, weak, dizzy, unsteady, and have trouble walking or standing up. Dizziness-caused vertigo is also possible due to dehydration. You may feel a false sense that everything around you and your surroundings is spinning or moving while experiencing vertigo. This happens because when you’re dehydrated, all other essential functions of the body are hindered as the electrolytes are lost.

Your blood pressure reduces, and your heart rate goes up. But, if your blood vessels do not constrict accordingly to raise the heartbeat, you will have low blood pressure. Therefore, the body’s primary organs do not get the necessary oxygen and nutrients to perform their functions. So, you get dizzy in the case of severe dehydration.

Can Dehydration cause Dizziness?

8. What Should I do When I Feel Lightheaded or Dizzy?

You may feel lightheaded or dizzy after you get severely dehydrated. The body’s sudden power down may alert us to a crisis. Call emergency services right away if you feel your dizziness has worsened. Often light-headedness can have mild to severe causes, so you should keep a list of symptoms.

Some causes may include: not drinking water, not staying hydrated, exposing yourself to the sun, and engaging in strenuous physical activities. If a situation becomes fatal, contact emergency services and ask for their instructions on your actions.


If you have mild light-headedness and think you may have dehydration or other mild problem, you can follow these steps: Quickly drink oral rehydration powder if you have it ready. Or, try sugary drinks, fruit juices, or sports drinks.

If you don’t find any of these, drink water with sugar and salt. Sit down in the shaded and well-ventilated area and cool down your body. If you feel worse and your light-headedness doesn’t improve, immediately seek medical attention and go to the emergency room.

9. How is Dehydration Treated?

Dehydration can be treated by hydrating yourself well with enough fluids. You can even try boosting hydration intake by combining oral rehydration powder with water. Other options include drinking lots of water, diluted fruit juices, or squash. Fruit juice with high sweetness can restore low blood sugar, and a salty snack can boost the low salt level in your body.

Consuming fluids with electrolytes, such as sports, sugary, and oral rehydration solutions works. After hydrating, apply a cold compress to your face or take an ice bath to cool your body temperature. Even after all this, seek immediate medical attention if you feel dizzy or unwell.

To learn more about how to cure dehydration, click here

10. Effects of Dehydration

Typically, dehydration makes you feel low in energy and stamina. It can result in low blood pressure, low blood sugar, and dizziness. You may have little to no strength even to stand.

Severe dehydration may also cause serious complications, such as kidney and urinary problems, because the body lacks sodium and potassium, causing hypovolemia shocks.

It may lead to critical conditions like seizures, brain swelling, kidney failure, shock, coma, and even death.

11. In What Other Ways does Dehydration Affect Me?

Dehydration has a lot of potentials to affect people. Does it affect your mental or emotional health in some sense? When you are dehydrated, you might feel mental effects.

Emotions: note they can be worse in people with dementia. Moreover, some studies suggest that dehydration is not restricted to physical impairment; it may also lead to cognitive decline. Scientists have found that people playing in the hot temperature without proper hydration or eating anything find it hard to concentrate.

12. Tips to Prevent Dizziness Caused by Dehydration

Preventing dehydration is not tricky if you drink more water daily. Remember that the average person requires eight glasses of water daily for the body to perform its normal functions. So, always carry a reusable water bottle wherever you go and stay hydrated. A few other tips for preventing dehydration and maintaining your overall health are:

12.1 Consume Water-rich Food

Foods such as fruits and vegetables have a high water content and can help your body stay hydrated. Fruits such as apricots, blueberries, oranges, peaches, pineapples, plums, and raspberries contain over eighty percent water.

12.2 Stay Away from Excessive Alcohol and Caffeine

Alcohol and caffeine can cause the body to lose water, so consuming them in moderation is vital.

12.3 Dress Appropriately for the Weather

When the weather is hot outside, wear lightweight, breathable clothing and a hat to protect yourself from the sun if you stay out for an extended period.

12.4 Stay Indoors During the Warmest Part of the Day

Avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day and take breaks in cool or shaded areas.

Take breaks during physical activity: When exercising or doing physical activity, take breaks and drink water to prevent dehydration.

13. Conclusion

The answer to “Can dehydration cause dizziness?” becomes very clear. Dehydration can cause dizziness in several cases. When the body doesn’t get sufficient water intake, the following symptoms of dehydration, like feeling thirsty, dry mouth, dark urine, muscle cramps(for people who exercise), etc., in addition to feeling dizzy, are not very uncommon. As there is less water in the body, it cannot perform essential functions effectively. This may lead to a drop in blood volume, which can cause blood pressure to decrease. When the blood pressure reduces, the heart rate increases.

Simultaneously, the blood vessels in other body parts constrict to help maintain normal blood pressure. However, your blood pressure falls if your heart rate doesn’t rise adequately or the blood vessels don’t narrow enough.

Consequently, your body’s vital organs do not get the necessary oxygen and nutrients, which will make you go into shock. This may give rise to the feeling dizzy and experiencing vertigo. In conclusion, dehydration can cause dizziness when you don’t drink water adequately. So, ensure you’re continuously drinking water and eating water-rich food to maintain your health and well-being.

To learn more facts about dehydration, click here.

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Gayathri is a health-conscious person who loves to always know more about health, fitness, lifestyle, and how to manage any health issues. Moreover, she was a biology student and anything related to the human body arrests her attention immensely. Currently pursuing her masters in English, she indulges in writing. So, she writes for health and lifestyle-associated websites to show her passion for writing and interest in facts on health.
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