Cancer and Dehydration

Dehydration During Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatment causes many side effects that increase the risk for dehydration. For instance, vomiting and diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite and fever – common chemotherapy side effects – all increase the speed at which the body expends water. In fact, dehydration is so common after chemo, some doctors proactively prescribe IV fluids a day or two following treatment.

Cancer and Dehydration: Risk Factors

Proper hydration requires near-constant maintenance. During cancer treatment, as the body uses water more quickly, the potential for dehydration increases. Risk factors include:

  • Infection and Fever: Infections are more common for people battling cancer, and fever is a subsequent side effect. Fevers increase body temperature and speed up metabolism, which in turn, increases the loss of fluids and electrolytes through sweat.
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea: These common side effects of chemotherapy treatment cause a rapid loss of fluids and electrolytes. Depending on the length and severity of an episode, a patient may need to supplement water and electrolyte intake to offset extreme losses of these nutrients.
  • Loss of Appetite, Nausea, Mouth Sores: Not drinking enough water is a common cause of dehydration, and all three of these symptoms discourage patients from consuming water voluntarily. Sipping fluids slowly can help ease drinking when mouth sores or nausea are present. Caregivers should encourage those with a loss of appetite to sip small amounts of water throughout the day.


DripDrop: Medical-Grade Hydration for Cancer Patients

DripDrop is a great tasting, medical-grade hydration solution developed by a pediatrician. Built on decades of proven science, it contains a precise ratio of salts, sugars and potassium to optimize fluid and electrolyte absorption and speed recovery. DripDrop contains 2-3 times the electrolytes of sports drinks and other hydration solutions and was shown to rehydrate 34% better than water alone. Available in natural lemon and berry flavors, DripDrop does not contain any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. DripDrop is also low in sugar, which, when sipped slowly, may make it more palatable for patients experiencing nausea.