ZocdocAnswersCan you become dehydrated in a matter of days?

Question

Can you become dehydrated in a matter of days?

I guess I wasn't thinking or something but I wasn't drinking enough water over the last few days and now it hurts to go the bathroom. I'm a 24 year old guy with no other health stuff going on. Did I get dehydrated in three days? What do I do now?

Answer

It is certainly possible that you could be dehydrated, but that is not the only possible cause of dysuria, or painful/uncomfortable urination. In general, it is recommended that people drink enough water so that their urine is clear. This is obviously not true for all, as some people with different medical conditions will be deliberately restricted on their fluid intake, but most people should drink until their urine is clear and then maintain this. If you are having dysuria, it could also be a sign of a urinary tract or other genital infection. This is especially true if you have a new sexual partner or multiple partners, in which case the risk of either a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a sexually transmitted disease (STD) increases significantly. The best way to know for sure is by visiting your doctor and describing your symptoms fully. He or she will usually do a simple lab test, with an answer available almost immediately about what the likely cause of your problems is. Depending on that information, he or she will be able to make recommendations and start treatment. In the meantime, please make sure that you are drinking enough until you see your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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