We're used to thinking that thirst is the main symptom of dehydration. But - surprise! It turns out that thirst often doesn't make itself felt strongly enough for us to notice. Oddly, there are many other signs that might indicate that we're in urgent need of a glass of water.
Because our body is incapable of storing water, when too much water is lost, either through sweating, running a high fever, or through urine, its organs, cells, and tissues fail to function as they should.
Essentially, dehydration takes place when your body loses more fluid than you drink, causing mild to severe complications, but, fortunately, there are several ways to tell if you’re dehydrated. Let’s take a closer look at the indicators.
Many factors can cause a headache, but the major one is the lack of water. This means that if you slept enough and aren't prone to migraines, but still suffer from a headache, chances are your need to drink water. In fact, experts say that dehydration is the no. 1 reason for headaches among children. It is therefore especially important that the little munchkins drink enough water throughout the day. Now, you may ask: what's the connection between headaches and lack of water? Studies show that blood vessels in the brain contract in an attempt to control the level of liquids in the body. The contraction reduces the amount of blood and oxygen coming to the brain, leading to pain.
It turns out that a major symptom of dehydration is muscle pain and cramps. A possible explanation is that the lack of water causes an imbalance of salts and minerals in the body, causing cramps and pain. If you're an active individual who moves a lot and doesn't sit still for long, the cramps will be more severe.
Skin is the largest organ of the human body and, when it’s hot, it loses water by sweating. In cooler weather, you can also lose moisture through skin, as the air is drier. Check your skin for signs of dehydration such as roughness or flaking, flushing or redness, cracked skin or lips. Beyond that also note that dry skin is more exposed to sun damage and infections than well-hydrated skin.
The general rule is simple: the clearer your urine, the better. That’s why you may be able to tell if you’re dehydrated, by looking at the colour of your urine. Dark yellow urine may indicate mild dehydration. You may also urinate less than normal when dehydrated; it is especially important in infants whose diapers ought to be damp: a dry diaper for several hours might be a sign of trouble.
The most common digestive problem is often the result of a lack of water. Water is needed to help digest food and move waste along your digestive tract. But, if you’re not getting enough water, you may have difficult or fewer bowel movements.
When the body is dehydrated, the volume of blood decreases, linking low blood pressure to dehydration, making the heart work harder to move blood throughout your body.
Also, since the human brain is more than 70% water, studies show that dehydration can affect alertness, concentration, and memory. Because the kidneys aren't getting enough water, they don't function as they should, leading to vomiting and further loss of liquids.
Dehydration occurs when you’re not getting enough fluids. Whether it’s from exercising, hot weather, or an illness, dehydration can quickly escalate to become dangerous.
In most cases, you can help prevent and treat dehydration by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, but of course, always seek medical advice if experiencing prolonged symptoms.
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