A fluid imbalance refers to an abnormal level of fluids in the body.
Your body is constantly losing fluids through breathing, sweating, and urinating. If you do not take in enough fluids, you may become dehydrated.
Your body may also have a hard time getting rid of fluids, allowing excess fluid to build up. This is called fluid overload.
Many illnesses can cause fluid imbalance:
Treatment depends on the specific condition that is causing the fluid imbalance.
Call your health care provider if you or your child have signs of dehydration or swelling, in order to prevent more serious complications.
Landry DW, Basari H. Approach to the patient with renal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 116.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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