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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I have just been to hospital, and was diagnosed with dehydration

Resolved Question:

I have just been to hospital, and was diagnosed with dehydration (the weather here has been very hot for several weeks, and the paramedics told me they have seen this a lot). My symptoms included a slight fever, dry mouth and lips, muscle cramps, a feeling of weakness in legs and arms, faintness, hot flashes, cold feet and hands
After I started feeling faint, I also had an episode of fast but weak heartbeat for a couple of minutes, associated with breathlessness. This is not normal for me: I am very fit, and in my previous anxiety attacks, I always experienced fast and strong pulse.
Are there any other plausible explanations for these symptoms? (I also recently took antibiotics: may they have depleted my electrolytes to cause these heart symptoms which are unusual for me?)
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
I notice that no expert has responded to your question, but that is likely because there is no reasonable answer that can be made to this question, particularly within the level of detail that you are seeking.

There are always other plausible explanations for symptoms. It is extremely rare that a particular symptom or constellation of symptoms is caused by only one illness. This is why doctors can almost never make a diagnosis based on symptoms alone. Over the internet, we can discuss the most common causes of symptoms, but it would be impossible in a brief internet discussion to have a thorough discussion of all of the possible causes of symptoms.

Since you have already seen a doctor and made a diagnosis that explains all these symptoms, a more reasonable question is whether there is any reason to be concerned about a different diagnosis, and the answer to that is no. Dehydration can cause all of these symptoms. Even if the electrolytes are abnormal, it is much more likely to be due to the dehydration rather than recent use of antibiotics.



Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. I do understand that I cannot expect a diagnosis via this route.

What is concerning me the most is whether my episode of weak rapid heartbeat could be a sign of a cardiac problem. (This symptom was no longer present when I was examined in hospital.) Should I get my heart checked out, or is dehydration really a likely cause?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
It is far more likely for these symptoms to be due to dehydration than for there to be a component of heart disease causing these symptoms.
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18199
Experience: Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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