We are all familiar with the term and most, if not all of us, have have felt some side effects of dehydration.
This condition is defined as the excessive loss of bodily water, when more water is leaving the body than being taken in.
Most of our body weight is made up of water and normal functioning of the human body depends on these healthy fluid levels.
A number of factors lead to increased water loss from the body, therefore fluid intake should be maximized proportionately.
For example, more water should be consumed if one is ill, injured, consuming alcohol, or producing sweat.
Causes of Dehydration
Individuals who are sick and experiencing diarrhea or vomiting are definitely at risk for dehydration.
A significant amount of water is lost with each bowel movement, thus reoccurring motions should be compensated with more water intake.
Vomiting is also a major cause of water loss from the body.
Nausea often makes it difficult to keep anything down, including water, a critical substance toward recovery.
Although at such a sickened state fluid consumption may seem forced, one must continue drinking water frequently in small increments.
Large volumes of liquids all at once will likely upset the stomach further and repeat the process.
Injuries are a common but often overlooked element toward dehydration.
Cuts leading to excessive bleeding or burns cause the body to lose water.
Skin, the largest organ of the body, is our main protective barrier.
It has several bodily functions, an important one in this case, is the ability to control fluid loss.
Skin that has been damaged, such as a deep cut or burn, is unable to prevent fluids from leaving the body.
Excessive alcohol intake can also lead to dehydration, easily demonstrated by the side effects of the next day hangover.
This is because alcohol is a diuretic which causes the kidneys to release more water through urine output than what the body is absorbing.
To escape dehydration and consequently the dreaded hangover, continue to drink a significant amount of water in addition to the alcoholic beverages.
Sweating is a natural reaction to keep the body cool and is induced in several ways.
A person may sweat due to a fever, exercise, or from being exposed to a hot environment.
Sweating releases a great amount of water from the body.
Although this is one of the most well known factors leading to dehydration, many people still do not consume an adequate amount of water in relation to the loss, or they do but it’s too late.
Imagine a scenario where you are outside all day in the hot sun and later in the evening experience a dull headache or excessive thirst.
These are mild dehydration side effects.
Side Effects of Dehydration
The effects of dehydration on the human body include, but are not limited to, heat stroke, weakness, lack of energy, headaches, nausea, swollen tongue, dry mouth, dizziness, increased thirst, and decreased sweat or urine.
The color of urine is also an indicator of dehydration. If it is a dark yellow or amber your fluid intake needs to be greatly increased.
If proper hydration is not performed after any of these symptoms, it could lead to more severe effects and potentially result in hospitalization.
For most of you readers such severe dehydration would not likely develop as chances are you are a health conscious individual, judging by your interest in reading this and similar health articles.
However, it is important to be aware of warning signs for not only your own health but in further educating others to make healthy decisions.
Avoiding dehydration is basic; eat and drink enough to maintain a healthy bodily balance.
An average person loses a substantial amount of water each day through sweating, waste removal, and vapor from breathing.
Many sources will tell you exactly how many glasses of water to drink per day to prevent dehydration, but the simple truth is everyone is different.
You are the best judge of your own body.
It is not necessary to obsess over the daily recommended intake but replenish yourself by the adequate amount that feels healthy, and sometimes perhaps a bit more.
*This article was written by guest blogger, Libby Berg.