When your body doesn’t get as much water as it needs, this can lead to dehydration. The body needs the right nutrients and water in order to function properly. If your dehydration is severe, this can cause serious health problems. In fact, severe dehydration can lead to a hospital visit where you will need to get assistance to get the right balance of fluids and electrolytes back into your system.
What is dehydration?
Being dehydrated means that you don’t have enough water to keep your body from working properly. It can occur from not drinking enough water right through to excessive sweating after exercise. When you lose more fluid than you take in, this leads to dehydration. You need to replace lost fluids in order to stop the onset of dehydration. There are various levels of dehydration; from mild, moderate to severe dehydration. The level of dehydration that you’re experiencing depends on how much fluid is missing from your body. Dehydration can be especially dangerous for older adults and young children.
What causes dehydration?
Every day, we lose water from our body naturally. This can be through sweating, tears, through saliva and urinating. In general, you replace all of this lost liquid through eating foods that contain water or by drinking fluids. But, there are times when you will lose water a lot faster and therefore cannot replace your fluids quickly enough. Some of the ways that you may lose fluids faster include when you’re experiencing a bout of diarrhoea, vomiting, excessive sweating or if you have a fever. Strenuous exercise, especially in hot weather, is known to cause dehydration in many people. Some medications such as diuretics can also lead to dehydration.
Signs and symptoms of dehydration
Depending on the level of dehydration that you’re feeling, there are a number of different signs and symptoms that you may be experiencing. Mild and moderate dehydration can lead to:
- Feeling thirsty
- Having a dry mouth, tongue and lips
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Having dark yellow urine or not peeing very much
If your dehydration isn’t treated, this may lead to severe dehydration which could then lead you to experience:
- A feeling of extreme thirst
- Having a very dry mouth
- Having a fever
- Feeling irritable or confused
- A faster rate of breathing
- Having little to no urine
- Experiencing low blood pressure or having a fast heart rate
- Sunken eyes
How to treat dehydration
If you think you are suffering from dehydration, there are a number of things you can do to help replace your fluids. One of the simplest and obvious approaches to dehydration treatment is to drink more fluids. Water is one the best fluids to drink, however, if you don’t have quick access to water, any fluids will help. One thing to note, however, is that you should avoid alcohol and caffeine, as these types of drinks can actually make you more dehydrated.
You can also buy various products that include electrolytes to help you gain back the essential minerals that are lost through dehydration. They can provide you with electrolytes and essential minerals that are lost through sweat. Some products can also help support you through your exercise recovery and enhance your energy reserves.
One of the simplest ways to ensure that you prevent dehydration is to ensure that you drink enough water every day. If the weather is excessively hot, you’re experiencing a fever or you are exercising, this is all the more reason to ensure that you replace any extra fluid lost during these times. Drinking plenty of water and utilising products which replenish electrolytes can help ensure that you and your family don’t become dehydrated. Remember, severe dehydration will require immediate medical treatment, so always ensure that you are drinking enough fluids each and every day.