More than 70 percent of a healthy human body is composed of water. Plenty of fluids and good hydration are essential for a proper digestion, toxin excretion, and to maintain a healthy skin. Thus, dehydration can cause us serious health problems!
In normal conditions, the human body loses water throughout the day, mostly through sweating and urinations. But, we compensate these amounts through our regular daily meals and drinks.
Knowing that water means life, we can say that dehydration is a serious health problem, and it can affect people of all ages. Thus, it’s important for you to recognize the symptoms of dehydration, and prevent the occurrence of any major problems.
What Is Dehydration?
This is a condition that occurs when a person loses more fluid than he/she consumes, and therefore, disrupts the balance of minerals in the body’s fluid. Dehydration is an unnatural condition, in which the body cells are deprived of adequate amounts of water.
We can classify dehydration into three categories – mild, moderate, and severe, based on how much bodily fluid is lost.
Mild – occurs when the body loses about one to two percent of the total fluid.
Moderate – this is when we lose about 5 percent of the total fluid.
Severe – occurs when the body loses about 10 percent of the total fluid.
What Causes Dehydration?
We all know the main cause of this condition – not consuming sufficient amounts of fluid. But sometimes, the human body can lose too much fluid, or it may be a combination of both.
Vomiting and diarrhea are two common causes of greater water loss.
Sweating is another major cause of significant water loss, and it happens when the human body tries to cool down. There are many reasons for excessive sweating. Some of them include exercising in hot, heated rooms, maximum heating temperature in the workroom, and fever.
High blood sugar in diabetics can cause frequent urination, which is yet another cause of dehydration.
And, not to forget, excessive alcohol consumption!
Symptoms Of Dehydration
The symptoms of this condition vary, depending on the type.
The initial symptoms include: thirst (the body wants to increase water intake), decreased urination (the body is trying to preserve the fluid), and dark urine color. But, the problem is that you’re already dehydrated at the time these symptoms appear.
As the level of water loss increases, more and more signs and symptoms appear, such as the following:
- Decreased urination
- Dark urine color
- Dry skin and lips
- Intensified wrinkles
- Dry mouth and dry tongue, with thick slime
- Bad breath
- Muscle cramps, and pain in the arms and legs
- Dry eyes, with little or no tears
- Reduced sweating
- Increased body temperature
- Fast heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
If you don’t treat it urgently, it may come to severe dehydration, which can lead to heat injury, kidney problems, hypovolemic shock, seizures, and eventually death.
Drinking plenty of fluids and eating watery foods are the easiest way to prevent this condition. You can get the necessary daily liquid not only from water, but also from other drinks, such as freshly squeezed juices, tea, milk, yogurt, soup and smoothies.
Here are a few extra tips for prevention:
– When the weather is hot, increase your intake of water, to replace what you have lost with sweating.
– Drink fluids with electrolytes before you start and while exercising.
– Early in the morning or later in the afternoon are the best times for recreational exercise or sports. Avoid the hottest part of the day for such activities.