A dehydrated body loses more water than it takes in. It can pose a severe threat if left untreated. Dehydration is most common among infants, kids, and the elderly. Approximately 75 percent of the human body is composed of water. Hence, water is essential to survival. Your body’shydration management systems balance your water levels while your thirst mechanisms advise you when to drink more.
Your body loses water all day long through inhaling, sweating, urinating, and defecating, but it can be replaced by drinking fluids. Increased fluid intake generally reverses most cases of dehydration. However, severe cases must be treated immediately.
Signs Of Dehydration
Mild or severe dehydration manifests different symptoms. It is possible to display signs of dehydration before a person is completely dehydrated. You may first notice being thirsty, having darker urine, and decreased urine production if you are dehydrated. Moreover, urine color indicates a person’s hydration levels—clear urine indicates adequate hydration, while darker urine indicates dehydration.
It must be noted, however, that dehydration can happen even without feeling thirsty—especially in elderly adults. This is why people should drink even more water during times of illness or hotter seasons. It’s best to take note of the following symptoms for mild or moderate dehydration to know what signs to look for:
- Dry Mouth
- Dry Skin
- Increased Thirst
- Decreased Urination
- Less Tear Production
As for severe cases of dehydration, one is more likely to experience the following symptoms:
- Lesser Sweat Production
- Excessive Thirst
- Low Blood Pressure
- Rapid Breathing
- Rapid Heart Rate
- Dark Urine Color
- Sunken Eyes
Extreme dehydration is regarded as a medical emergency. These signs and symptoms should be taken seriously, and you need to seek medical intervention as soon as possible.
Potential Complications When Dehydration Is Left Untreated:
- Low Blood Volume – less blood negatively impacts oxygen delivery to tissues, which can be fatal.
- Seizures – severe dehydration can lead the body’s electrolytes to beimbalanced, which then results in seizures.
- Kidney Problems – problems in the kidney will develop like kidney stones, urinary infection, and ultimately, kidney failure.
- Heat Injury – Heat exhaustion can range from mild cramps, to fatigue, or heat stroke.
Ways To Prevent Dehydration
There are several ways to prevent dehydration, and it’s important to keep these in mind, especially during the summer season:
- Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Dehydration can be primarily avoided by drinking plenty of fluids, especially while you are out in the sun or living in a hot tropical location. Try to monitor how much water you’re losing when you’re sweating or urinating and get enough fluids to replenish what you’ve gotten rid of.
If you have fever that’s accompanied by vomitingor diarrhea, all of these can cause you to lose fluids more rapidly than usual. Whenever you lose fluids, you lose electrolytes as well. The electrolytes function as minerals that are important for your muscles and nerves.
Continue reading this if you want to know more about the balance of water and electrolytes in your body. When electrolytes are lost, they must be replaced. Over-the-counter products are readily available for this purpose. Most people who eat meat, vegetables, and fruits get these nutrients through their regular meals. However, you can ingest these minerals when you take up sports drinks, candies, gels, gummies, and other alternatives. Drinkable tablets are even available as hydrating options.
- Eat Water-Rich Foods
Also, you can have foods high in water like grapes, watermelons, berries, cherries, cabbages, tofu, and lettuce. It is a great way to increase your hydration levels without having you drink large amounts of water every day. This is particularly good for those who aren’t fans of gulping large quantities of water daily.
Usually, fruits and vegetables are high in water, and they are also easy to digest. In addition to hydrating yourself with such healthy foods, you are also getting all the benefits of the vitamins and minerals they contain.
- Constantly Remind Yourself To Hydrate
Is forgetting to stay hydrated one of the primary issues that you’re worried about? It’s okay; you’re not alone. Many people fail to properly hydrate throughout the day due to hectic obligations. It is recommended that you carry a water bottle anywhere you go and at any time of the day so you can have easy access to drinking water.
Some bottles have reminders that make it easier to drink enough water every day, so you won’t ever forget! One more way to remember is to drink one glass in the morning and one before you sleep. Keeping hydrated throughout the day can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Consider IV Treatments
You can supplement your fluid intake by taking an IV if you feel like it’s a better option. While IV treatments are not the only option to stay hydrated, they are quick and efficient—especially for those who are experiencing possible heat exhaustion. Additionally, as with drinking water, treatment can be administered while sitting at your desk or staying in the comforts of your own home.
- Avoid Consuming Alcohol And Caffeine
It might sound good to take a cocktail on the beach, but it won’t be as helpful nor healthy for your body. This is because alcohol only leads to dehydration. You can choose to drink water in between your beer if you want to drink alcohol under the sun.
As with alcohol, caffeine makes you dehydrated too. And during summer or hot seasons, you should stay away from it as much as possible. Caffeine is a diuretic, so it’s not good for keeping your body hydrated. Unlike water, it works to pull out water from your body instead of feeding it.
- Drink Electrolyte Drinks
Sports drinks are filled with electrolytes which could be an excellent replacement for water. Sports drinks can be helpful when exercising, as they replenish electrolytes in your body. Just make sure they’re low in calories so you won’t be able to waste your efforts in exercising. You may consider drinking coconut water as it’s healthy and full of electrolytes as well.
However, water is still the best beverage to drink before mixing up your exercise routines or engaging in sports. Make sure to replenish your fluids during workouts. Drink electrolytes after an intense workout, too. This will keep you hydrated after sweating a lot.
- Choose What You Wear
Wearing the right clothes can significantly determine your body temperature, especially when you are in direct sunlight. Looser clothing lets air pass over the skin, dispersing heat, while lighter clothing doesn’t absorb as much heat.
Several male celebrities wear white linen shirts on the beach, and they’re not only worn to make them extra gorgeous, but they serve a better purpose, which is to make them feel more relaxed and cooler. It is known that dark clothes absorb more heat and that tight clothes will not be able to rid of your sweat. Hence, choose the best clothes for summer getaways so that you can keep hydrated.
- Avoid Staying Outdoors For A Long Time
As much as possible, do not go out in direct sunlight or heat. Take breaks from the heat by spending time in cool temperatures. Find a cooler place with shade to take a break from the sun. Cool your body as often as possible, and be aware of how high the temperature is so you can escape it in intervals.
When you don’t drink enough water, you can become dehydrated. And if the weather is warmer, it’s important to increase water intake to regulate your body’s temperature. The effects of dehydrationcould be fatal. So, use the tips mentioned above to prevent it from happening.