Our bodies are made up of approximately 75% water, and so you can imagine the damage that’s done when you become dehydrated. EverydayHealth.com suggests, “Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions.”
Because your body requires water for proper digestion, removing waste and protecting your tissues, a lack of it can present immediate danger to your health. While there are a number of reasons you may become dehydrated, it’s imperative that you recognize your lack of hydration to determine how you can properly rehydrate.
Becoming Dehydrated: Why it Happens
There are a number of reasons you may become dehydrated. While many believe the main culprit is not drinking the recommended daily amount of water – which many health professionals say is eight, 8-oz glasses a day – there are a number of other reasons to consider.
– If you’re sick, then excessive vomiting or diarrhea can cause you to lose enough water to dehydrate your body.
– Drinks such as tea, coffee, and flavored water don’t actually hydrate you; the caffeine, sugar, and artificial sweeteners are in fact dehydrators, making it impossible for your body to extract enough water to stay hydrated.
– Sweating causes your body to lose water, but more importantly, electrolytes. These come in the form of sodium and calcium and help keep your fluids balanced.
Knowing the Signs
The first step in rehydrating your body is knowing what to look for. While not all of indicators may be present at the same time, any one of them can be an inclination that you need to start hydrating right away. Some symptoms to look for include:
– Dry mouth
You’ll know the dehydration is more severe if you are also experiencing no urination, skin lacking elasticity, fever, low blood pressure, or sunken eyes. If you’re feeling any of these symptoms, call your doctor right away.
Time to Rehydrate
Now that you know why you’re dehydrated, and how severe it is, you can begin to rehydrate yourself. It’s important to remember that not only do you want to rehydrate but restore balance to your electrolytes as well. Consider how dehydrated you are then determine your best rehydration plan.
– Mildly dehydrated: A simple rehydration plan of drinking small amounts of water in consistent intervals is often a good fix. Some experts suggest those with mild dehydration replenish potassium levels as well – so be sure to grab a banana, spinach salad, or plain yogurt.
– Severely dehydrated: If you are severely dehydrated, it’s critical that you see a doctor. You may need to receive intravenous fluids, which bring water into your body faster than oral options.
Dehydration is dangerous to your body, and it’s critical that you are able to recognize your body’s need for water and how to treat it. If you’re suffering from any severe symptoms, contact your doctor right away to get the right nutrients and hydration as quickly as possible.