A lack of hydration leads to dehydration, which can be dangerous. Dehydration occurs when your body does not have enough fluids as necessary. It is essential to understand that hydration is not just water but can be completed with any liquid.
Severe cases of dehydration, however, need medical treatment. Most of the time, dehydration is a one-time occurrence, and it’s fixable at home. However, sometimes dehydration occurs naturally with certain foods and medical conditions throughout the day.
The causes of dehydration are endless. Nevertheless, dehydration is a common condition that regularly occurs in children and adults. Rarely is it severe enough to cause detrimental effects or symptoms; however, you should actively try to hydrate yourself.
Lack of water
The leading cause of dehydration is a lack of water. When people do not drink enough water, they dehydrate approximately eight glasses of water a day. Without fluids, you can die and harm your organs, as water is integral to our bodies. Although eight gasses is recommended, the amount differs depending on your height, weight, and gender.
Overheating and exercise
Exercise and heat cause sweat. There is nothing wrong with sweating, and it is a normal function of our body that protects us from overheating. However, when you sweat, there is a reduction of fluids in your body. Therefore, it is necessary to replenish these fluids by drinking water or hydrating drinks with electrolytes.
Overheating can also occur when you overpush yourself. When you overwork your body, you cause the heart to pump more blood and work harder to raise your body temperature. Therefore, it is essential to understand your limits regarding exercise and overheating. For example, only exercise when the temperature outside is manageable.
Not only can common everyday occurrences cause dehydration but also pre-existing conditions. If you have the conditions listed below, you have a higher chance of experiencing dehydration:
Depending on the exact cause of your dehydration, your symptoms will also differ. However, there are common symptoms that people with dehydration present, which include:
- Dry lips
- Parched throat
- Scratchy voice
- Pale skin
- Red skin when exercising
- Temperature increase
If you belong to a dehydration risk group, you have a higher chance of developing dehydration. One risk group is athletes, as they exercise and compete frequently. Constant exercise is good for the body as it helps maintain weight, muscles, and blood circulation however it can also cause dehydration as you lose fluids When you sweat.
Older individuals past the age of 60 are also at risk of developing dehydration throughout the day. As we grow older, our bodies and organs change, and older individuals are likelier to develop other health conditions that can cause dehydration. Another risk group is children and infants under the age of 6.
Children and infants cannot regulate their water or fluid intake. Because of this, they may not know they are dehydrated and go days without consuming water or fluids.
Most of the time, you can diagnose dehydration independently, and it is not necessary to see a doctor. However, if the effects are more severe and you find this little passing out, or with nausea unable to hold down fluids, it is time to go to the hospital.
When you cannot keep fluids, it is a concern for doctors because of the lack of hydration. So they’re likely to take scanning imaging tests to see if anything is wrong with your organs, which also helps rule out any severe underlying conditions.
When you go to the hospital, they will likely treat you with an IV drip that hydrates your body if you cannot keep liquids. However, you can also treat dehydration if it is a less severe case at home. The one thing you should focus on when experiencing dehydration is hydrating yourself immediately. Dehydration can complicate itself, causing seizures, stroke, vomiting, and shock.
To help children who do not like to drink water, you can also provide them with Gatorade or fruity drinks that provide them with electrolytes. If dehydration is caused by overheating, regulating your body temperature with water and cooling rags is necessary. Go immediately to an area with air conditioning or shade. The treatments can change, however, depending on an underlying cause.
It is important to prevent dehydration because it can cause severe problems if you do not. Dehydration, for the most part, is completely preventable.
If you have trouble remembering your water consumption, it is possible to track your glasses of water. You can do this by using a notebook that tracks your movement and diet. However, some online applications and websites interactively store the information. These same applications use push notifications to send reminders when it is time to drink water.
You can talk to your doctor to find the amount of water you need to consume every day or find a credible online calculator. To keep yourself accountable, create goals, and challenge yourself! Sometimes, you can also bring friends along to the challenge and compete.
Water is not the only thing you can consume that has enough fluids. You can also eat your daily dosages of fruits and vegetables that contain hydrating fluids. For example, watermelon is a refreshing summer fruit that is mainly made of water. Keeping your temperature cool and protected when playing outside is also important. Although it is tempting to tan yourself with the sun, wear long-sleeved clothes and a sun hat to protect your head from overheating,
In conclusion, dehydration is completely preventable. You can help yourself out of this condition by increasing your water intake and carefully watching your actions and body heat.
Parents and older adults should encourage their children to drink plenty of water. Sodas and juices with sugar can dehydrate, even if they are liquid.
All in all, it is necessary to protect your body from overheating, dehydration, and extreme temperatures.
- How can I quickly cure dehydration? You can help ease dehydration easily by consuming water – for more efficient dehydration correction, ensure you consume electrolytes.
- Can I die from dehydration? Unfortunately, yes. The human body can go a maximum of 14 days without fluid – dehydration is essential for overall mental and physical health.
Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment. Always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!