Water is one of the most vital needs of the body and absolutely necessary for survival. You may lose water in several different ways such as through sweating (heat exposure/physical exercise), diarrhea, vomiting, excessive alcohol and/or caffeine consumption (leads to frequent urination) and others. Doctors and health experts suggest that it is critical to stay hydrated at all times as it impacts several aspects of your overall well being and body functioning.
Most people get busy in their daily activities and ignore basic things like eating nutritious meals and drinking enough water. This ignorance could ultimately lead to serious health problems, especially if not corrected in good time. Drinking adequate water is the simplest way to maintain a healthy body. Here are 9 signs that indicate that a person is dehydrated:
1. Dry or sticky mouth
One of the most common signs of dehydration is a dry mouth. When there is inadequate water in your body, it could cause the salivary glands to malfunction, i.e. they are unable to produce sufficient saliva. This ultimately leads to a dry mouth. A dry mouth condition can also cause difficulties in swallowing.
2. A rise in the heart rate
Scientific research related to human physiology suggests that poor water levels in the body could cause a drop in your blood volume. Decreased blood volume ultimately leads to an increase in the heart rate. You may also experience a lowered blood pressure when trying stand up from a lying position.
3. Cramping of muscles
If you work out regularly, you need enough fluids in your body to avoid pains and cramps. Medical research suggests that in the absence of sufficient water, there is an increased risk of muscle cramping. In majority of the cases, muscle cramps are experienced in the legs; but other body parts such as the abdomen, arms and feet might also be affected.
4. Reduced urination
In the absence of enough water or when there is a water imbalance in the body (more secretion, less intake), the kidneys begin to hold on to the available water in your system. The reason this happens is simple: to match the higher blood concentrations in the body.
You may sometimes experience dizziness during the hot summer season. The reason for this could be a lack of water in your body. According to wellness experts, mild dehydration could also have an impact on an individual’s cognitive behavior. So if you aren’t drinking enough water throughout the day, you may experience concentration problems, dizziness, fatigue and maybe even a temporary memory issue.
6. Poor skin elasticity
A very common complaint among people in the winter months is that of ‘dry skin’. Dehydrated skin, especially during the colder months, is primarily due to the lack of water in your body. And most people tend to feel less thirsty during the winter. So they end up consuming only a few glasses throughout the day. The International Dermal Institute reports that insufficient water levels can lead to the tightening of the skin and ultimately cause cracks that may even bleed due to stretching. Besides reduced elasticity, lack of water can also cause your skin to become dull and lose its beautiful sheen. Dermatologists inform that no amount of products can replace the need for water as far as your skin health is concerned. Also, the water in your coffee or tea does not count as ‘water intake’ since caffeine actually dehydrates your body rather than upping its water levels. If you’re eating fruits or drinking juices, lemon water, coconut water or infused water, then you’re actually helping in hydrating the body.
7. Dry and cool skin
While cracking skin is definitely a sign of poor water intake, so is dry and cool skin that feels and/or looks rough and irritated. You will be able to identify a dry skin condition quite easily. The skin will begin to look scaly and its surface would be quite cool to touch.
8. Feeling thirsty
Even a child can understand that thirst indicates less or poor water intake. When you’re thirsty, your body is clearly telling you that you need a greater amount of fluids. And for those who feel extremely thirsty, take this as a symptom of dehydration that needs quick attention. Be more cautious of how much water you’re consuming on a daily basis and try and suck on ice cubes to keep the body hydrates throughout the day.
People often associate migraines and headaches with stress and excessive mental fatigue. In reality, a headache could be caused by something as simple as reduced volume of body fluids. So next time you’re tempted to pop a pill to cure your headache, consider drinking some water instead. Your headache might disappear pretty quickly!
PubMed informs that there is a certain quantity of water that should be consumed by an average individual on a daily basis. For men, it is 3.7 liters per day, and for women it is 2.7 liters per day. The stated quantities of water need not necessarily come from plain water itself. You could also include other water based beverages such as juices, lemon water, coconut water, herbal teas, and infused water, in your daily diet. Further, the water requirements for both men and women may vary depending on their exposure to heat stress and the amount of physical exercise done on a daily basis.
It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms associated with dehydration as it will help prevent the condition to a large extent. Begin hydrating your body by drinking enough fluids, irrespective of the season. If you are near someone who has lost consciousness due to dehydration, contact emergency health services immediately in order to avoid any serious issues or complications.
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