Medical Encyclopedia


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Fluid imbalance

Contents of this page:

Definition    Return to top

A fluid imbalance occurs when the level of body fluids is abnormal.

Causes    Return to top

Many illnesses can cause fluid imbalance. A fluid imbalance also can occur after any type of surgery.

It is common to retain large amounts of fluid for several days after surgery (causing swelling of the body). Children may have symptoms of fluid imbalance from diarrhea.

Treatment    Return to top

It is important to replace fluids in a child who has diarrhea, but not give the child too many fluids. The child may not need medical supervision.

When to Contact a Medical Professional    Return to top

Call your health care provider if you have signs of dehydration or swelling, in order to prevent more serious complications.

References    Return to top

Verbalis JG. Posterior Pituitary. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 243.

Update Date: 8/2/2008

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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