Dehydration happens when we excrete more fluids than we take in. We lose fluids by sweating, urinating, defecating, vomiting.
Most of the time dehydration happens because of diarrhea, vomiting, flu/fever. but it also happens because people do not drink enough water. It is recommended to drink approximately 8 ounces of fluid before any exercise. Not drinking water before a workout and after can produce dehydration and also create a headache. If you can drink half your body weight in ounces. I know this can be hard so start with 8 ounces and work your way up.
It can happen to anyone at any age, but older adults and individuals with illnesses are more at risk. Anyone may become dehydrated, but young children, older adults and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk. Always make sure you drink at least 8 ounces of water per day and if you are athletic or ill, add another 8 ounces or more.
What are the symptoms of Dehydration:
- Dry mouth
- Yellow urine (also decreased frequency of urination)
- Decrease in tear production
- Weakness of musculature
For individuals experiencing severe dehydration, these are some of the symptoms: (this can become a medical emergency)
- Extreme thirst
- Irritability and confusion
- Extreme dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
- No sweating
- Very little urination
- Eyes are sunken
- Skin that does not bounce back when pinched/pulled lightly
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat
- Delirious behavior
- In infants, sunken fontanels (baby “soft spot”)
(See a medical doctor if symptoms are severe, if you vomit for more than 8 hours or have severe diarrhea for more than 3 days)
*Always add electrolytes (sodium, potassium and calcium) to water if vomiting or having extreme diarrhea.
Water has zero calories and is essential to human function. An average adult sweats, breathes and secretes up to 2.5 liters of water a day. This needs to be replenished in order to transport and absorb nutrients. Soda has tons of sugar added (or aspartame if diet) which is not good for the body. Water, unless highly tampered with has the best health benefit.
In most cases, simply adding fluids and electrolytes will slowly bring energy and nutrients to the surface. If you body is not responding, then it may be necessary to see a medical doctor for further testing.