When your body doesn’t have enough fluid to maintain its equilibrium to sustain itself, you may be suffering from dehydration. According to osteopathic physician, Dr. Joseph Mercola, your body requires water to work well. In fact, up to 60 percent of your entire body is made of water, 83 percent of your lungs is water and 73 percent of your brain and heart are composed of water. Water is very important to your ability to function, think, breathe and live. More information is found at this website: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/05/14/urine-dehydration.aspx#_edn1
Summertime means outdoor activities, prolonged exposure to the sun, and excessive sweating—all of which can lead to dehydration, according to Medicine in Motion. Although dehydration can happen any time of the year, the summer months are of particular concern because of the higher temperatures. When a person has lost more than two percent of their body weight during activity, they are considered to be dehydrated.
The best way to battle dehydration, of course, is to drink lots of water or sports drinks before, during and after any intense physical activity or prolonged exposure to hot temperatures. If ignored, dehydration can lead to other problems such as heat exhaustion, muscle cramps, fatigue or even heat stroke. More information is located at this site: http://www.newson6.com/story/31979569/austin-sports-medicine-practice-provides-warning-signs-and-life-saving-tips-for-dehydration.
Fluid concentration does not have to experience a major change before dehydration can occur. Dehydration is mostly caused by fever, serious sweating (after an intense workout, especially in summers), and diarrhea. Dehydration can occur in any age group, but it is most common in young children and older adults. The signs and symptoms of dehydration can be mild or severe. The good news is that your body will notify you if you are getting dehydrated. More details are available at this website: http://fatalsymptoms.com/10-symptoms-of-dehydration/?gclid=CL621JfU3swCFZCIaQod4NEBbg.
According to the Mayo Clinic, mild to moderate dehydration is likely to cause the following symptoms:
· Dry, sticky mouth
· Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
· Decreased urine output
· No wet diapers for three hours for infants
· Few or no tears when crying
· Dry skin
· Dizziness or lightheadedness
The Mayo Clinic also reports that severe dehydration, a medical emergency, can cause these symptoms:
· Extreme thirst
· Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children; irritability and confusion in adults
· Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
· Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be darker than normal
· Sunken eyes
· Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn't "bounce back" when pinched into a fold
· In infants, sunken fontanels — the soft spots on the top of a baby's head
· Low blood pressure
· Rapid heartbeat
· Rapid breathing
· No tears when crying
· In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
Unfortunately, thirst isn't always a reliable gauge of the body's need for water, especially in children and older adults. A better indicator is the color of your urine: Clear or light-colored urine means you're well hydrated, whereas a dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration. More details about this health care issue are located at this site: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/basics/symptoms/con-20030056.
According to the New York Times, there are some ways to help prevent dehydration:
· Drink plenty of fluids every day, even when you are well. Drink more when the weather is hot or you are exercising.
· If anyone in your family is ill, pay attention to how much they are able to drink. Pay close attention to children and older adults.
· Anyone with a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea should drink plenty of fluids. DO NOT wait for signs of dehydration.
· If you think you or someone in your family may become dehydrated, call your health care provider. Do this before the person becomes dehydrated.
For more severe dehydration or heat emergency, you may need to stay in a hospital and receive fluid through a vein (IV). Your health care provider will also treat the cause of the dehydration. Dehydration caused by a stomach virus should get better on its own after a few days. More information is available at this website: http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/dehydration/overview.html.
According to Everyday Health, when it comes to total water intake, which includes water gained from foods and other beverages like tea and milk, the Institute of Medicine recommends that most women get about 2.7 liters of water a day (or about 12 cups), and most men get about 3.7 liters a day (or about 15 cups). Much more detailed information is available at this site: http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/unusual-signs-of-dehydration/.
According to Merck Manuals, seniors are more susceptible to dehydration. In older people, common causes of dehydration include the following:
· Disorders that make obtaining fluids difficult (usually because of restricted mobility)
Additionally, older people sense thirst more slowly and less intensely than younger people do, so even those who are otherwise well may not drink enough fluids. Seniors usually have a higher percentage of body fat. Because fat tissue contains less water than lean tissue, the total amount of water in the body tends to decrease with age. More detailed material is available at this website: http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/hormonal-and-metabolic-disorders/water-balance/dehydration.
Children are especially prone to dehydration. Be alert for the warning signs of dehydration in children, and notify the pediatrician immediately if any of them develop. More info is located at this site: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/injuries-emergencies/Pages/dehydration.aspx.
Should you be concerned about dehydration during pregnancy? According to the American Pregnancy Association, the answer is YES. Dehydration is the result of your body losing water faster than you are taking it in. It is a serious issue for the health and wellness of anyone, but for pregnant women, it is especially important to stay well-hydrated.
Pregnant women need more water than the average person, since water plays an important role in the healthy development of your baby. Water helps to form the placenta, which is what a baby relies on to receive nutrients during pregnancy. Water is also used to form the amniotic sac later in pregnancy. Therefore, it is important to avoid dehydration during pregnancy. More information on this topic is located at this site: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/dehydration-pregnancy/.
Dehydration can be prevented if common sense safety precautions are observed. Don’t let yourself or someone you know lose too much fluid without replacing it right away. Dehydration can happen quickly and unexpectedly. It pays to know the symptoms and how to react when you suffer the symptoms.
Until next time.