How to keep your body hydrated? How to avoid dehydration? Find out more information about some treatment and tips.
Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration
The human body is made up of about 70 percent water. Under normal conditions, it loses some body water through sweat, tears, urine and stool.
Water also evaporates from the skin and leaves the body in the form of vapor when people breathe. Because of these facts, dehydration becomes a major health concern among many individuals.
Dehydration is a condition in which the body lacks water and electrolytes. Electrolytes are substances which contain free ions that are used by the body in important cellular activity.
This condition may lead to serious ailments and even death if not given proper attention.
Dehydration is more common than you may think. It’s a commonly-known problem, occurring when the body loses too much fluid without having it replenished.
But many people think that you only get dehydrated when you’re extremely thirsty and are exercising for a long period of time or stuck out in the Sahara desert with a cup of water and miles and miles of sand between you and the nearest oasis.
Of course, these examples are both true. Many people who do exercise don’t drink enough water while they work out, and since they lose so much fluid through perspiration they do end up dehydrated.
The same is true for those trudging through the desert, but these are extreme cases.
Many people become dehydrated through the course of their daily lives because they’re not drinking enough water.
Often this happens gradually, and we’ll hardly notice it until at one point in the afternoon we feel extremely thirsty.
If this happens to you, it’s a good indicator that you’ve been dehydrated for a while, since if you feel thirsty it’s a definite sign of dehydration.
Thirst isn’t the only side-effect. Dehydration often leaves people feeling tired, lethargic, sickly, or even faint.
Though you may be drinking the liquid, caffeinated beverages or drinks with high sugar content aren’t very good at hydrating you, and diuretics like coffee can even leave you more dehydrated.
Dehydration is also a big issue if your body is losing a lot of unabsorbed water through diarrhea or vomiting.
If this is the case, not only is the body losing a lot of water, people have a hard time replacing it if they feel sickly or nauseous.
In most cases, this can be remedied by pushing fluids, and electrolyte mixtures often speed the process of recovery.
If the dehydration is serious it may be necessary to take fluids through an IV, though this is usually only required in extreme cases.
One major cause of dehydration is insufficient consumption of water. Coupled with the intensely hot weather, insufficient water intake may lead to severe dehydration or heatstroke, a severe form of heat illness.
In addition to these factors, other causes of dehydration may include intense workouts and other excruciating physical activities.
These activities may cause excessive sweating and deplete the body of electrolytes and other necessary nutrients.
Other causes of dehydration can be digestive problems caused by defects, illness or reaction to gastric bypass or other surgeries on the stomach.
Health ailments like nausea and vomiting or diarrhea are other causes of dehydration. Too much alcohol and coffee consumption may also cause dehydration.
If you do not drink enough, sweat too much, or have severe diarrhea, you can become dehydrated. Mild to moderate dehydration isn’t that dangerous and can be corrected by drinking more fluids.
If the dehydration worsens and becomes severe dehydration, you may need to have IV fluids to correct the condition.
Here are some signs and symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration:
Having a dry mouth
Feeling fatigued or sleepy all the time
Having increased thirstiness
Having a decreased urine output with urine that is more yellow that it usually is
Having dry or flaky skin
Having a headache from low blood volume in the brain
Crying without have many tears
It is important to learn the signs of dehydration and treat them quickly before they worsen. If possible, individuals should try not to get dehydrated in the first place.
The aim in treating dehydration is to replace lost fluids and electrolytes.
Plain water is the best option in the first three hours. Health specialists encourage the use of sports drink and other alternative drinks with electrolytes. These products may replenish lost nutrients faster than ordinary water.
If the dehydration is allowed to worsen and you continue to lose body water, you may see the following signs and symptoms:
A severe reduction in the output of urine or the absence of urine at all. If there is any urine produced, it will be scant in amount and a deep yellow color or amber/brown color.
Lightheadedness or severe dizziness that is worse when you stand up or get up from a reclining position.
Orthostatic hypotension. This is a severe drop in blood pressure that occurs when you try to get up after sitting or lying down.
Rapid heart rate from the heart trying to compensate for a low blood volume.
Fever, which is usually low grade in nature
Seizures, which are usually grand mal seizures
Poor elasticity of the skin. When you pinch it, the skin tents up and doesn’t go back to its normal position.
Being lethargic or confused
Going into a coma
Suffering from extreme shock, which can be life-threatening.
Dehydration has a way of sneaking up on you, especially if you are otherwise occupied with other things, such as the activity you are doing or are wrapped up in being sick with vomiting and diarrhea.
As soon as you start to feel the symptoms, you need to be thinking about hydrating yourself.
Treating Mild to Moderate Dehydration
If the symptoms are mild and you can still drink, try to step up a number of fluids you are taking in. Water is perhaps the best choice for treating dehydration.
Other good choices include Gatorade or PowerAde, which provide liquids plus electrolytes, which can be lost in sweating, vomiting, or having diarrhea.
If the problem is due to vomiting or diarrhea, you can buy some Pedialyte or your doctor may prescribe anti-emetic (anti-nausea) medication. These can be prescribed for you by your doctor.
Over the counter, anti-diarrheal medication is another choice as long as the diarrhea isn’t from food poisoning. In such cases, it is best to replace fluids only and allow the bacteria causing diarrhea to flush out of your system.
Treating Severe Dehydration
If the dehydration is severe and you are suffering from some of the severe dehydration symptoms listed above, you need to consider checking yourself into a hospital and receiving IV fluids.
IV fluids have not only the water you need but contain sugars and salt solution that will restore your normal electrolyte balance. It can take as little as a liter of fluid to turn around the dehydration or as many as five or more liters of IV fluid.
Consequences of Severe Dehydration
Besides seizures, one of the main consequences of severe dehydration includes damage to the kidneys. If the kidneys do not have fluid to flush through the tubules, you can actually suffer from acute kidney failure.
The kidneys can shut down and will only return to normal functioning with a careful replacement of fluids and time. Replacing the fluids too fast, however, can result in cerebral edema and electrolyte disturbance within the brain.
The best way to avoid dehydration, both in times of illness and on a day to day life, is to make sure that you’re drinking enough water.
It seems basic, but making a conscious effort to drink plenty of water over the course of the day can have great effects on your energy levels and your overall well-being.
It’s usually as simple as carrying around a water bottle or keeping a glass of water filled on your counter at home, since if the water is there in front of you, you’re more likely to drink before you get dehydrated.
Always have access to water, by keeping a bottle of water in your car, and on your desk or near you wherever you work. You can even keep a small bottle in a handbag and refill it throughout the day.
Here are 3 quick tips for taking in more water.
1. Always have water available.
Try to buy the 12-ounce bottles of water and keep them in the fridge. Whenever you go to the gym you can grab a bottle.
On your way out the door to work, grab a bottle again. Before a trip that will be 30 minutes or longer, grab a bottle as well. Even when you watch a movie, grab a bottle of water also.
Whenever you are sitting, watching TV or a movie, keep the bottle in your hand with the lid off. Try to take a lot of little sips until the bottle is gone.
A great way of making sure you drink more water is to make sure it is easily accessible.
2. Keep it cold.
Many people don’t like to drink room temperature water. If you keep your water cold, you will drink more. Make sure there is always ice in your freezer, this make it very easy to have a cold glass of water anytime.
3. Choose water in restaurants.
Try to drink water with some lemon. The lemon adds a little spunk to the taste and the water is always nice, cold and refreshing.
After a short time, you will stop craving your old drink of choice and will begin to appreciate the taste, or lack of taste, that water provides.
Here additional remedies that can be done to reduce the development of dehydration:
Reduce or eliminate the consumption of dehydrating beverages like coffee, tea, and sodas. These drinks contain caffeine may increase the risk for dehydration.
If drinks with caffeine are consumed, it is advised that more water than the normal daily total. The dehydration caused by these drinks can be compensated by drinking additional water.
Include lots of fruits and vegetables in a diet. These foods have high water content and may increase the body’s water content.
The sense of thirst is not a reliable dehydration indicator. Individuals may need water long before the sense of thirst is felt.
Many cases of dehydration can be prevented by keeping the body cool and by avoiding hot environments.
It is a preventable condition that can result to death if left unattended. Extreme care should be taken to prevent dehydration especially during sports activities and intensely hot weather.
Home treatment is usually that is needed to treat mild dehydration. However, intense exhaustion and severe dehydration may need immediate medical attention.
Understanding the causes, symptoms, and possible treatments for dehydration may enable many individuals to be conscious of their water intake and improve their health.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
Dehydration is a condition in which the body lacks water and electrolytes.
Signs and symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration:
- Having a dry mouth
- Feeling fatigued or sleepy all the time
- Having increased thirstiness
- Having a decreased urine output with urine that is more yellow that it usually is
- Having dry or flaky skin
- Being dizzy
- Having a headache from low blood volume in the brain
- Crying without have many tears
Treating Mild to Moderate Dehydration
Water is perhaps the best choice for treating dehydration.
Treating Severe Dehydration
Check yourself into a hospital and receive IV fluids.
Consequences of Severe Dehydration
- Acute Kidney Failure
Stay Hydrated! 3 Tips for you to drink more water
- Always have water available
- Keep the water cold
- Choose water in restaurants
Keep the body cool and avoid hot environments
Extreme care during sports activities and extremely hot weather
– How do you keep your body hydrated?
– How do you avoid dehydration?
– Do you monitor if how many glasses of water you drink in a day?
– How often do you drink water in a day?
– How do you keep your body cool?
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