The Signs of Dehydration
One of the most noticeable ways that dehydration affects the body is through the symptoms, which can range from uncomfortable to painful. Some of the first warning signs that you will notice as your body becomes dehydrated include:
- Dry mouth
- Feeling lightheaded
- Urine that is dark and has a strong odor
- Dry eyes or lips
Providing that you have only mild dehydration, symptoms like these can be fixed by drinking water and avoiding exertion until you feel better and the symptoms start to dissipate.
How Dehydration Impacts Your Mind and Body
Over 60% of the human body is made of water, which means that we rely on water to live and stay healthy. If you are suffering from dehydration, your body will operate differently even if you don’t notice anything is wrong. Water serves a variety of purposes in our body, including flushing out waste and toxins, delivering oxygen and nutrition to ourselves, and making sure that organs are working properly. By decreasing the amount of water that you are drinking, you are increasing the amount of stress that your body is under.
While many people start to notice the physical effects of dehydration first, like a dry mouth or a feeling of thirst, there are also cognitive impacts. You might find it harder to concentrate, have trouble with your coordination, and struggle with executive functions like decision making.
Do You Need Medical Treatment for Dehydration?
In extreme cases or if you have performed strenuous physical activity without proper hydration, you might require professional help to rehydrate safely. Go to an urgent care facility or hospital to be evaluated. Your doctor might order additional testing, like urinalysis, to make sure that nothing else is wrong. Severe dehydration is a medical emergency, so you should not risk trying to DIY treatment.
If you do not seek medical treatment and have untreated dehydration for an extended period of time, you could experience:
- Urinary and kidney issues
- Loss of consciousness
- Heat stroke
- Heat exhaustion or heat injury
When you visit the hospital, they will probably give you an IV to rehydrate as quickly as possible.
How Can You Prevent Dehydration?
The easiest way to avoid becoming dehydrated is drinking water throughout the day. As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to drink half of your bodyweight in ounces of water a day. So, if you weigh 150 lbs., you would aim to drink 75 ounces of water over the course of the day. If you are drinking juice, eating high-water-content vegetables like cucumbers, or taking in water in other ways, you can adjust your consumption accordingly.
Some general tips to prevent dehydration include:
- Carrying a water bottle with you if you are exercising or out of the house
- Monitoring your hydration throughout the day, especially if you are performing strenuous activities
- Eating a diet that contains lots of fruits, vegetables, and water-rich foods that hydrate you without drinking water
- Avoiding drinks that are diuretics, or that decrease hydration levels, like coffee and tea on sunny and warm days
- Working with Atlantic Blue Water Center to have professional water testing and ensure your water supply is safe
Learn More About Maintaining a Healthy Water Supply with Atlantic Blue Water Center
We provide water treatment and water softening solutions for homeowners that want a cleaner water supply and water that is free from hazardous carcinogens that can contribute to increased cancer risk. We’re also focused on providing additional education on water treatment, water quality, and issues associated with water contaminants. Call us at (410) 751-9200 to schedule your in-home water testing appointment today.