Even for people who have regular access to clean water, mild dehydration occurs all the time. In fact, up to 75 percent of US citizens suffer from chronic dehydration.
Benefits of Drinking Water
Have healthier skin, hair and nails
Decrease your appetite to help you lose weight
Stay full in between meals
Cleanse your body of bad toxins
Maintain a healthy body and mind
Signs And Symptoms Of 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
- Being dizzy
- Having a headache from low blood volume in the brain
- Crying without have many tears
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 the amount 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 from 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 the 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 careful replacement of fluids and time. Replacing the fluids too fast, however, can result in cerebral edema and electrolyte disturbance within the brain.
To avoid these horrible consequences drink water regularly. This is easy when you 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 handbag and refill it throughout the day.
Infused Detox Water Recipes
Infused water is an excellent way to detox your body, since you are only using all-natural ingredients, like fresh produce and herbs. It is a good way to drink more water as well, which is another simple way to detox your system. Try some different detox water recipes.
Overhydration – How Much Is Too Much?
Too much of a good thing is never a good thing. This goes for water too. We’ve probably all heard you must drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. However, we aren’t all created equal. What works for one person may not work for another is also true for water consumption.
You’ll need more water, for example, on a hot day or when you are very active and sweating a lot. But drinking too much water can cause a condition known as hyponatremia. This is when the sodium in blood becomes too diluted. If this happens, you might experience things like confusion, headaches, nausea, and bloating – all things which can be confused with dehydration.
In extreme cases hyponatremia can lead to seizures, organ failure, and even death. So how is one to know if they are dehydrated or have overhydrated, if the symptoms are similar? Here are some ways to tell if you’re drinking the right amount of water.
- Weigh yourself daily for a week. Yes, this goes against everything you have been told, but your body weight shouldn’t fluctuate too much from day to day. So by doing this you will know if you’re getting too much water and are bloated.
- How’s your pee? You should have a large amount, and check the color too. Pale to clear is the sign that you’re getting the right amount of water. If your pee is completely clear, then you’re overhydrating.
- Don’t wake up thirsty. If you wake thirsty, then you’re not drinking enough.
- If you are peeing a lot, consume more salt. Since there’s an imbalance of salt to water in your body, adding salt will help to balance things out. Similarly, if you’re not peeing enough you should drink more water.
- Drink to quench your thirst. You might have heard that you should not wait until you’re thirsty to drink, as that’s too late. And that could be true, especially if you’re losing water rapidly, but it’s not always the case. So drinking when you’re thirsty and just until you have quenched your thirst is a good way to keep yourself from drinking too much water. But still watch for symptoms in your body when you pee to know if you’re consuming the right amount of water.
- Drink sports drinks when working out instead of water. Watch that they don’t contain high amounts of sugar, though. The benefit of sports drinks is that they contain electrolytes and sodium. So you are balancing the water and sodium amounts in your blood, which will help to prevent overhydration.
All in all, listening to your body is very important to finding the happy medium to how much liquid is enough to keep you hydrated. You can make quick adjustments to help balance the sodium in your blood and keep it from becoming overhydrated. Most likely you have nothing to worry about with overhydration or even dehydration, so long as you’re listening to what your body is telling you.