Dehydration occurs in adults when you use more water and fluids in your body than you are taking in to function properly. Dehydration can attack silently. You may not realize just how little water you are drinking until something happens to how your body functions or to your thinking.
Severe dehydration can result in low blood pressure, fever, delirium, and loss of consciousness, and it can only take three days without water to die.
75% of adults are chronically dehydrated. This means that your body is forced to function for long periods of time without the amount of water necessary for bodily functions. With such a large number of adults having dehydration as an ongoing issue, we should learn how to recognize the symptoms of dehydration.
Thirst is your body’s first warning that it needs more moisture. Excessive thirst and dry mouth can be a sign of serious dehydration, but fewer people are aware that hunger can be a sign, too. This is not the passing “I think I’ll grab a glass of water for the meeting” type of thirst, this is the feeling of never getting enough water no matter how much you drink. When you ignore this message or try to counter it with soda or other sugary drinks that can dehydrate you your body makes a second attempt.
That second warning that your body sends is hunger. If your body can’t get liquids that it needs from drinking, it will try to get it from your food. If you always feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water, maybe even activated water, before reaching for the snacks.
We know, it’s not dinner table talk, but we want you to know. The easiest way to recognize the early signs of dehydration is to check before you flush. Be aware that bright yellow or dark-colored urine (think apple juice) is a sign that you are probably dehydrated. The urine of a properly hydrated body is pale-yellow to clear.
Dehydration can sap your energy, make you feel overly tired, give you headaches and in some cases feel faint. Sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion or irritability are all possible symptoms of dehydration.
Muscle cramps usually happen when exercising in hot weather leading to the body not being able to cool itself. But, muscle cramps and go hand in hand with dehydration not only due to the loss of fluids from exertion but also to an imbalance of electrolytes in the muscles.
Another restroom-related symptom of dehydration is constipation. For this dehydration indicator, the body’s lack of moisture prevents bowel movements from traveling smoothly through your system.
When you’re dehydrated, you may notice that you have hard stool or difficulty getting things out and moving along as they should be. Not only does having a balance of water and fluids in the body transport nutrients, but it also assists in transporting waste and having enough water increases the efficiency of these functions.
Chapped lips and dry skin can be a sign your body doesn’t have enough hydration to keep your skin healthy and moisturized. If your skin becomes red, irritated, cracked, flaky, or less elastic than normal, you may be severely dehydrated. Your skin can also be trying to tell you that you need more fluids even if you are only mildly dehydrated.
The skin and hair care industries constantly broadcast the importance of moisturizing. So, why not begin with moisture from the inside out and increase your fluid intake.
It can be easy to dismiss the signs and symptoms of early dehydration as “no big deal”. And for most people, the issue can be rectified easily. But there are times when the symptoms of severe dehydration should not be ignored.
Preventing dehydration can be easy if you remember to drink enough fluids regularly throughout the day. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water, sip water throughout the day. This does not mean drinking more tea, coffee, or alcohol as these can deplete your body of water. If you are exercising or are sick (vomiting or diarrhea), you must also keep up with the loss of electrolytes in addition to the water you are losing.
If you are already dehydrated, most adults can reverse this by simply replacing the fluids they have lost. Take small sips of cool, not cold, water, diluted juice, electrolyte drinks, or broth. Do not take big gulps of water or other fluids, no matter how thirsty you may feel.
If you or a friend are severely dehydrated, you may need the assistance of a healthcare provider. They will assess the situation and may offer intravenous fluids to combat the last of fluids and electrolytes.
This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The statements regarding this product have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Any information that may be provided herein is not presented as a substitute, nor intended to be a substitute for medical advice, treatment or diagnosis.
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