6 Signs of Dehydration to Watch Out For
You know you should be drinking plenty of water every day, but how often do you actually meet that goal? It’s easy to lose track of how many ounces of water you’re consuming as you go about your busy day, and by nighttime, your mouth may feel a little dry, or your urine is a dark golden color. Those are warning signs that you may be dehydrated and need to get some fluids in you right away.
It can be tricky to tell sometimes when you’re mildly dehydrated. But if you don’t increase your water intake, the condition can worsen. And moderate or severe dehydration can cause complications that are much more noticeable, not to mention dangerous. Knowing the treatments, causes, and early signs of dehydration can help you understand the importance of staying hydrated and avoid potential problems.
What Causes Dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when your body is low in the fluids you need to stay healthy, and you don’t replenish those fluids by drinking enough water. Certain situations pose a higher risk for dehydration:
- Illness. When you vomit, have diarrhea, or sweat out a fever, fluids are leaving your body. Sometimes it can be challenging to drink enough water to make up for the lost liquids, like when you have a sore throat or nausea, and it’s hard to get anything down.
- Heavy sweating. You may spend a lot of time outdoors in a hot climate or engage in high-intensity workouts (or even do those high-intensity workouts outside in the heat). The copious amount of sweat you generate means you lose fluids as well as the electrolytes your body needs to operate at its highest levels.
- Frequent urination. You may be going to the bathroom too often if you are on certain medications, are ill, or have a medical condition such as diabetes.
Signs of Moderate and Severe Dehydration
There are some common symptoms you may experience when you are dehydrated. Here’s what to watch for:
1. Excessive thirst:
This is one of the first signs of dehydration. It’s your cue that you don’t have enough water in your body. Your mouth will likely feel dry and your throat parched; perhaps it will take more than one glass of water to quench your thirst. When you feel thirsty, get a glass of water or other hydrating fluid as soon as possible.
2. Changes in your urine:
You may notice that you don’t have a particular urge to use the restroom. Infrequent urination is another sign of dehydration. When you do go to the bathroom, look at the color of your urine. It’s a pale yellow when you are hydrated and darker when you’re not. (Your bowel movements may also be more rigid.)
Water is necessary for your body to produce the energy you need to get through the day. Less water = less energy. If you feel fatigued even after a good night’s sleep, think about your water consumption and try drinking a glass or two of water to recharge.
4. Pains in the body:
Lack of water can trigger the nerves in your muscles to spasm. It can also lead to headaches because your bodily systems are out of balance.
Are you feeling woozy, especially after physical activity, or moving too quickly from sitting to standing? Dehydration may be the culprit, thanks to a lack of blood flow to the brain and elevated respiratory rate and body temperature that dilate the brain’s blood vessels.
6. Impaired brain function:
You may feel confused or forgetful when you’re dehydrated because your brain doesn’t have the electrolytes it needs.
It’s important to replace fluids as quickly as possible to prevent dehydration from worsening. Extreme dehydration can bring on more complicated symptoms:
- Mood swings
- Dry, papery skin
- Rapid heart rate
- Kidney stones
- Urinary tract infection
- Heatstroke or cramps
Your body may also go into shock due to low oxygen levels and blood pressure. These signs of severe dehydration require medical attention, and your doctor may run blood and urine tests to determine the proper course of treatment.
Who Is at Risk for Dehydration?
Anyone can experience mild or moderate dehydration, as well as severe dehydration if they don’t replace their fluids. However, the signs of chronic dehydration can be especially troubling in young children and older adults.
Kids can lose too much water from their bodies when they are sick with diarrhea or vomiting. Very young children are particularly at risk if they can’t verbalize that they are thirsty, so parents need to keep an eye out for signs of severe dehydration. On the other end of the age spectrum, older adults don’t have as much water in their bodies, so any fluid loss can be more critical. Plus, older people may be more likely to take medications that can increase their dehydration risk.
Finally, people who spend a great deal of time outside in hot climates are also at higher risk for dehydration, as well as people with chronic health conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease.
How to Treat Dehydration
You can usually curb mild dehydration simply by drinking more water. Carry a reusable water bottle you can refill throughout the day, eat foods with high water content like cucumber and cantaloupe, and drink water before, during, and after your workouts. Consuming rehydrating fluids with electrolytes can also be helpful. You may need to see a physician if your dehydration continues; hospitalization is not uncommon for cases of extreme dehydration.
IV therapy is an ideal solution for people who are dehydrated. IVs are filled with vitamins and electrolytes to restore balance to your body. They take quick effect because the fluids are infused into the bloodstream. IV therapy also relieves dehydration symptoms so you can regain your mental and physical strength.
Mobile IV Nurses delivers premium hydration with IV therapy at your home, office, or any other convenient location. The medical professionals on our team are experts at IV infusions for dehydration and many other health concerns. We are here to serve you with affordable IV therapy throughout the state of Arizona. Book an appointment with us today and see how we can help you feel better fast.