Dehydration Headaches: Symptoms, Treatment, And Prevention Dehydration Headaches: Symptoms, Treatment, And Prevention

Dehydration Headaches: Symptoms, Treatment, And Prevention


Most people will experience a headache at some point, but some common types, such as dehydration headaches, can be easily treated and prevented. We will discuss the symptoms of a dehydration headache, headache treatment tips, how long your dehydration headache will last, and when to consult a doctor.

What Is Dehydration?

Rather than "you are what you eat," we should say, "you are mostly what you drink." About 60% of the average adult's body is water. To function correctly, our bodies need water and the right balance of electrolytes.

As a result of daily activities such as sweating and urinating, the body loses water. It is usually easy to balance fluid loss by drinking or eating foods that contain a lot of water. It is possible, however, for the body to lose moisture faster than it can replenish it. It is essential when you have diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms.

As a result, the body can become dehydrated. You are mildly dehydrated if you lose up to 5% of your body weight through fluid loss. You are moderately dry when you lose 6-10% of your body weight due to moderate dehydration.


What Is a Dehydration Headache?


A headache caused by dehydration is a complication of dehydration. Headaches caused by mild to moderate dehydration can range from mild to severe, such as migraine headaches.

Dehydration headaches may be induced by the brain contracting or shrinking temporarily due to fluid loss. Dehydration headaches can be caused by the brain pulling away from the skull. Due to plasma's high water content, the plasma volume in the brain's blood vessels may also decrease.

Rehydrating the body and returning the brain to its standard size and state relieves dehydration headaches.


Causes Of Dehydration Headaches

Dehydration can occur quickly and for simple reasons. You could become dehydrated if you don't drink sufficient water on a hot day while exercising or hiking. Water shortages can exacerbate the situation in some places without access to safe drinking water.

You can also become dehydrated if you're sick. If you don't do anything like eating or drinking, even a relatively mild cold or sore throat can lead to dehydration. You also lose fluids and electrolytes through diarrhoea and vomiting when sick with a fever.


Fluids and electrolytes are lost in four main ways:


  • Acute diarrhoea can cause you to lose water and electrolytes quickly when sick.


  • The act of vomiting is also a way to lose fluids and electrolytes.


  • Sweating: If you are active or outside in hot weather, you sweat more and lose more fluid. During humid weather, sweat can't evaporate and cool you as quickly, which causes your body to heat up and need even more fluids.


  • Undiagnosed or unmanaged diabetes can cause you to urinate more than usual. Certain medications, such as diuretics and some blood pressure medications, can cause increased urination.

The loss of fluids and electrolytes causes dehydration and headaches


Risk Factors For Dehydration


Everyone will suffer from at least mild dehydration at some point. However, some people are at increased risk of dehydration, including:


  • People with chronic illnesses that cause increased urination, such as diabetes or kidney disease


  • Medication users who produce more urine


  • In infants and young children, diarrhoea and vomiting are more likely, fevers are more frequent, and thirst can't always be communicated.


  • In older people, water conservation may be complex, and thirst may be reduced.


Chronic disease and mobility problems can further exacerbate these factors, making it more difficult for them to get water for themselves. Examples include:


  • Those who live at higher altitudes


  • Get outside and exercise.


  • Hot climates


Dehydration Headache Symptoms

A dehydration headache may cause front, back, side, and head pain. Unlike sinus headaches, you won't feel facial pain or pressure.

It is possible to become dehydrated because thirst is not necessarily a reliable indicator of your body's need for water. Many people, especially older adults, feel thirsty once dry. It is, therefore, essential to drink more when you are outside in hot weather or ill rather than waiting until you feel thirsty.


Symptoms of chronic dehydration include:


  • The extreme thirst


  • Urination is less frequent.


  • Urine with a dark colour


  • Tiredness


  • Feeling dizzy


  • Uncertainty


  • A mouth that feels dry and sticky


  • Elasticity loss in the skin


  • Their blood pressure is low.


  • Heart rate increased


How To Get Rid Of A Dehydration Headache

As dehydration is the cause of your headache, rehydrating as well as relieving the pain is essential. To treat dehydration, you should:


  • Sip small amounts of water frequently until symptoms subside.


  • To help your body quickly rehydrate, drink a rehydration solution formulated with a balance of glucose and electrolytes. World Health Organization-recommended rehydration solutions are more effective than sports drinks, which often contain sugar and artificial colours and flavours.


  • Could you rest in a relaxed environment to rehydrate without sweating?


Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen over-the-counter to relieve pain and get fast relief.


Prevent Dehydration Headaches

Dehydration headaches are best treated by prevention. Drinking enough water can prevent unpleasant headaches and medical interventions. Could you make sure you have water and drink it throughout your day? It is essential if you are overweight, live in a warm climate, or live at a high altitude.

Before any sporting or active event, hydrate and avoid being outside during the hottest times of the day. The best way to prevent dehydration headaches is to take this proactive approach before you feel thirsty. Dehydration headaches can at least be reduced in intensity and duration by drinking enough water.


You can ensure that your body gets enough fluids by following these tips:


  • Be sure you drink enough water throughout the day, never to feel thirsty.


  • Make sure your urine is light yellow or clear by drinking enough water. The average person urinates between six and eight times a day. Going as many as ten times a day is expected if you drink plenty of water.


  • To stay hydrated, drink water or non-alcoholic drinks. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to 'alcohol dehydration.' Alcohol inhibits the body's production of an antidiuretic hormone, which reabsorbs water. More fluid is lost from the body through urination if there is less of this hormone.


  • Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables to increase your water intake. Here are some tips for eating healthy.


How Long Does A Dehydration Headache Last?

For some people, it may take as long as three hours to feel better after drinking water.

Drinking more water won't relieve a dehydration headache for days, so you should see a doctor.


When To See A Doctor

It may be necessary to seek medical attention if you are severely dehydrated, unable to keep fluids down, or experiencing a headache that does not subside with home remedies.

If you are experiencing other symptoms of dehydration, such as:


  • Sweating less


  • Sunken eyes


  • Having a fever


  • Confusion and delirium


  • Insomnia


  • Skin that is shrivelled



Serious complications can result from these symptoms.

If you experience dehydration headaches more frequently than occasionally, you should see a doctor to rule out other causes.


How Mobi Doctor Can Help

Mobi Doctor offers online urgent care. 


Write a Comment