Water is absolutely necessary for survival. It makes up approximately 60% of the human body, with every system depending on water to function properly. Water is constantly leaving your body, mostly through sweat, urine and stools. An adequate amount of water must be consumed to make up for this loss.
Dehydration occurs when more water is leaving the body than coming in. It can be caused by either a lack of fluid intake or excessive fluid loss, such as: vigorous exercise, exposure to heat, vomiting and diarrhea, nausea, diabetes, fever.
Thirst is the body's first indicator of dehydration. For most people, responding to thirst effectively prevents dehydration. The color and amount of urine that your body produces are good indicators of your hydration status. Dark yellow urine or a low urine output are signs of dehydration. Fatigue or sleepiness can be a sign of dehydration. Drinking water may boost your energy and help you feel more alert. Dehydration can cause headaches. In most cases, drinking water can resolve a dehydration-related headache. Decreased skin turgor, or elasticity, is a sign of dehydration. Skin that is dry, cool and clammy may also indicate dehydration. Fluid and sodium depletion can lead to muscle cramps. Drinking water is particularly important during strenuous exercise. Dehydration can cause a drop in blood pressure, which might make you feel light-headed, weak and tired. Severe dehydration can cause dangerously low blood pressure that requires medical attention. A lack of fluid in the body decreases blood volume. The heart makes up for the lack of blood volume by working harder and faster to pump blood throughout the body. Dehydration can negatively affect brain function and cause symptoms like moodiness, anxiety, decreased concentration and confusion. Extreme dehydration can cause shock and organ failure. This level of dehydration can be fatal if not treated immediately.
In order to prevent dehydration, drink when you are thirsty and replace fluids lost through sweat or illness. Symptoms of dehydration range from thirst, in the case of mild dehydration, to organ failure when dehydration is severe. While most cases of dehydration can be easily remedied by drinking water, more severe dehydration will likely require medical attention.
The key to preventing dehydration is to drink plenty of water throughout the day, along with other beverages; water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables also contribute to hydration. Staying properly hydrated may have additional benefits, such as boosting your mood, fighting fatigue and improving memory and concentration.
In this extremely hot summer help yourself to stay hydrated when you're out and about, always carry your thermal water bottle or a thermos for your favorite beverages always at hand, avoid single use plastic bottles and drink ware: find your favorite among our many portable reusable eco-friendly bottles and thermoses. Say Yes to Life, Earth Thanks! 🌿