According to source close to Janet Jackson’s camp, she suffered dizzy spells during sound check in Montreal yesterday and had to be rushed to a hospital.

The source says Janet was treated for dehydration and exhaustion and released.

In an earlier post about Janet’s illness, a loyal reader left a comment stating dehydration is not a serious illness.

Dehydration is indeed a very serious illness and can result in death if not treated. Dehydration occurs when the body loses more water than it takes in, such as losing water through diarrhea, vomiting, burns or engaging in physical sports without drinking water.

Dehydration is usually the main culprit when football players suddenly collapse and die on the field. The three main electrolytes found in the blood are Potassium, Sodium (salt) and Chloride. If any one of these electrolytes are present in too little or too much amounts, serious problems such as cardiac arrhythmias can occur.

You should familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of dehydration especially if you have very active children:

  • Thirst (some people react to thirst by eating instead of drinking)
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry eyes
  • No sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness especially when standing
  • Confusion
  • Fainting

Please consult with your doctor or visit an emergency room if you experience the above signs and symptoms.

A simple way to check for dehydration is to locate the bony prominence on the outside of your wrist. Pinch the skin above that bone on your wrist and hold it for five seconds then let go. If the skin remains pinched or slowly returns to normal, you may be dehydrated and should see your doctor.

If necessary, you will be hospitalized and given IV fluids and electrolyte replacement to rehydrate you.

This has been your Medical Minute.

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