WHAT IS DEHYDRATION AND ITS EFFECT ON THE BODY
Ever felt so thirsty and you’re wondering if this is a sign that something is wrong.
Have you been feeling light-headed especially when you’re standing or you feel weak? The cause of all these symptoms might result from dehydration.
The human body is roughly 75% water without this water, we cannot survive. The cell tissue and organs constitute water as it makes up the entire body. It lubricates the joints and eyes, aids digestion, flushes out waste, and keeps the skin healthy.
WHAT IS DEHYDRATION?
Dehydration is when you lose an excessive amount of water and fluids from your system.
CAUSES OF DEHYDRATION
Dehydration occurs when we don’t take enough fluid to replace the ones we lost.
It can also occur when you don’t drink enough water because you are busy/sick/because you don’t have access to safe drinking water.
Other causes of dehydration include;
- Intense workout; this causes you to sweat making you lose a lot of your body’s fluids. If you don’t replace the fluids with drinking water you will be dehydrated.
- Hot environments; hot environment causes a rise in internal temperature to your body, as a result, your body has to lose fluid through sweat to compensate for the heat. When the weather is hot it increases the amount you sweat and the amount of fluid you lose.
- Diarrhea/vomiting: Diarrhea/vomiting can cause a tremendous loss of water and electrolytes in a short amount of time.
- Fever; having a fever could make you dehydrated. The higher the fever the more dehydrated you may become.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Many people ask how do I know if I’m dehydrated. Apart from feeling thirsty, that shows you are not properly hydrated and decreased urine output to try to conserve water loss.
There are other signs/symptoms of dehydration.
- Lightheadedness especially when standing
- Heart palpitation
- Muscle cramps
- Dry mouth
- Decreased urine output or your pee has a strange color.
- Skin looks dry, patchy, or less stretchy.
HOW DO YOU KEEP DEHYDRATION AT BAY?
- By eating fruits and vegetables with high water content, clean water, and low-calorie drinks without any sugar or fats. Avoid soda, alcohol, sweet drinks, or caffeine, they can worsen dehydration.
- Drink water before any sports activity, at regular intervals during the sports activity, and also after the sport.
- Drink a lot of water when you are ill especially if you are vomiting or you have diarrhea.
WHO IS AT RISK FROM DEHYDRATION?
Everyone gets dehydrated but certain groups are particularly at risk.
These groups are;
- Infants and young children
- Older people
- People with chronic conditions such as diabetes, alcoholism, kidney disease, and cystic fibrosis.
EFFECTS OF DEHYDRATION ON THE BODY
- Low blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Sunken eyes
- Lack of sweating
- Dry skin
Dehydration is nothing minor to play with and if you don’t pay attention it may even threaten your life in extreme cases.
Always stay hydrated.