Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

The signs and symptoms of dehydration can be mild or in extreme cases, dehydration can lead to coma and organ failure. Chronic dehydration has been linked to increased cancer risk, reduced salivary gland function, kidney stones, and even fatal heart attacks.

Dehydration occurs when we don’t consume enough water, or when a large amount of water is lost through sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration?

  • Thirst
  • Fuzzy brain – you’ll be groggy, slow, and feel out of it
  • Muscle weakness
  • Impaired kidney function
  • Problems regulating body temperature
  • Constipation
  • Not metabolizing stored fats in the body
  • Frequent feeling of hunger, hence a likelihood of eating more
  • Dry, itchy, and saggy skin
  • Dry mouth and lips

The body needs water to carry out its essential functions. The importance of drinking water to our bodies cannot be overstated.

The Important Role of Salt:-

Salt plays an important role in helping the body avoid dehydration by preventing water from leaving the body. Large amounts of salt, in addition to water, are excreted in extreme conditions – during exposure to extremely high temperatures for an extended period, when you are fevered, when you have vomiting or diarrhea, and when your physical activity is very intense.

The more salt the body loses, the more quickly it dehydrates. It is the loss of salt that causes the symptoms of dehydration.

When salt in addition to water is lost, merely drinking water will not resolve the problem. Salt is required so that the body can retain the extra water you may drink. Drinking lots of water by itself can actually make things worse. The water must be accompanied by salt so that the body can establish the correct amount of water in the cells, and then retain it.

Someone who has heatstroke or sunstroke will actually get worse if you only give them water. Add a little salt to the water, which should do the trick. Make sure they drink slowly and take little sips. If symptoms of dehydration persist, seek medical attention.

You May Be Thirsty But You Don’t Know It:-

You may be thinking, “I never feel thirsty.” That’s because we can easily become immune to our thirst. Each time you ignore your thirst, the sensation of thirst becomes less pronounced until eventually, you don’t even notice your dry mouth.

Another reason we don’t feel thirsty is that we have difficulty telling the difference between hunger and thirst. So when we eat instead of drink, we have again conditioned ourselves not to recognize the signs of our thirst.

The good news is that if you train yourself to drink even when you don’t feel thirsty, the sensation of thirst will return. If you are not drinking enough water, how about some drinking water tips to get you started.

What To Do When Extreme Dehydration Occurs:-

Children, especially infants, can easily become dehydrated, especially if they have been vomiting or have diarrhea. Symptoms of acute dehydration in young children include lack of tears, lethargy, dry mouth, very little dark-colored urine or no urine over an extended period of time, limpness, loose dry skin, or sunken eyes. Get immediate medical attention when these occur.

Adults, after excessive sweating, taking water pills, or prolonged diarrhea may develop a mineral imbalance which can have serious, even life-threatening, health consequences.

Signs of dehydration in adults include heart palpitations, fluttering, skipped beats, weakness, dizziness, heart pounding, leg cramps, dry mouth, cessation of sweating, and light-headedness. Seek medical attention right away.

Also see, Benefits of Drinking Water Daily.

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