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Am I Dehydrated? The Signs of Dehydration

Am I Dehydrated? The Signs of Dehydration

29 July 2014 / Category: News
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Am I DehydratedHow much water do you drink on an average day? – Enough to keep you from getting dehydrated? If you don’t consume the 8 recommended glasses of water from sun-up to sundown your body is likely dehydrated. While the guidelines for drinking water are very clear, many people are not getting enough water each day.

Your body is made up of mostly water. When you hop on the scale, 2/3 of your body weight is represented by water. Water makes up 95% of your brain, 82% of your blood and 90% of your lungs. In other words, water is a big deal to the human body—without it none of us would be alive. Here we explain how to know if you are dehydrated and when medical care is necessary to treat dehydration (Read Article).

Why Dehydration Is A Big Problem: 5 Reasons Your Body NEEDS Water

Your body relies on water so much it even has a built-in reservoir for times when water supply is low. Although your body can only make up for lost water so long before your systems start shutting down.

1. Water helps your body do everything, from digesting food to lubricating joints and bones. When you are low on water your body takes from your joints first, causing joint pain that can lead to injury or arthritis.

2. Water also regulates your body temperature, that’s why you sweat when you get really hot. When the body is wet it lets off heat much more rapidly, which is necessary to keep from overheating. When your body runs out of water, you are at a greater risk for overheating, as well dehydration.

3. All of the harmful toxins that filter through your body also need water in order to travel to the kidneys and be released through your urine. Without proper water intake these toxins will build up inside of you and lead to many diseases, some chronic.

4. Water carries nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.

5. Not only does water help your body perform at peak efficiency, but water can also decrease your risks for certain disease. Drinking enough water can limit your chances for getting colon caner by 45%, and bladder cancer by 50%.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Dehydration?

If your body is always thirsty you might not notice the signs of dehydration before it’s too late. Pay careful attention to your body and all that it tells you.
Signs of mild to moderate dehydration include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Bad breath
  • Headache
  • Darker urine, not clear

As dehydration progresses, symptoms will worsen.

Signs of serious dehydration that require immediate emergency treatment include:

  • Sunken eyes
  • No urination, or dark colored urine
  • A reduction in blood pressure
  • Fast pulse
  • Inability to catch breath, rapid breathing
  • No tears are produced
  • Fever
  • Skin does not bounce back after being pinched
  • Delirious or even going unconscious

(Read More)

Dehydration In Children

If you are concerned that your child may be dehydrated, it’s important to consult with a doctor as soon as possible. Kids are sensitive, and so it’s always important to be safe as opposed to sorry.

Symptoms young children with dehydration commonly experience include:

  • Fussy, irritable, or confused
  • Extremely sleepy
  • Not producing a wet diaper for more than 3 hours
  • Sunken fontanels, the soft spots near the top of your baby’s head.
  • Diarrhea or vomiting for more than 24 hours

What Causes Dehydration?

It sounds simple, drink enough water and you will avoid dehydration. Although if it were so simple people wouldn’t become sick or even die due to dehydration all of the time.

A number of contributing factors can cause dehydration, including:

  • If you lose too much water in sweat and don’t replenish it by drinking adequate water.
  • Overexertion without proper hydration, this often happens to athletes, especially young ones who are unaware how important it is to stay hydrated.
  • Any condition that causes increased urination, such as diabetes.
  • A fever naturally causes you to lose fluids and increases the amount of water you need.
  • Diarrhea or vomiting removes water from your system that needs to be replenished immediately.

Complications Associated With Untreated Dehydration

Dehydration is incredibly serious and should always be addressed immediately.

Untreated dehydration can lead to:

  • Heat sickness ranging from heat cramps to life-threatening heatstroke.
  • As the body fights to trap the water it has left, cells expand and then rupture. This can happen in your brain, causing cerebral edema or a swollen brain to occur.
  • Low blood volume shock, also known as hypovolemic shock, occurs when the body does not have enough oxygen. Without oxygen you die, which means this is a life-threatening condition.
  • Kidney failure
  • In the most serious cases, coma and even death can result from dehydration.

When Does Dehydration Require Medical Treatment?

If you are thirsty you can often solve dehydration by loading up on adequate fluids.
For mild forms of dehydration you can visit your local Urgent Medical Care center for an exam and solution. For more serious and life-threatening signs of dehydration you should visit your local Emergency Room, as intravenous fluids may be necessary.

To help determine if you should visit the ER or Urgent Care, ask yourself if you are able to drive safely. If yes, visiting Urgent Care is the more cost-effective solution. If your dehydration is severe enough to impact your driving ability, you should visit your local Emergency Room.

For mild cases of dehydration, Urgent Medical Center is here to help you rehydrate and remain healthy.

About the author

Jonathan Kudrowitz Mr. Kudrowitz is a graduate of Nova Southeastern University’s Physician Assistant Program (MMS) and also completed a master’s degree in biomedical science (MS) at Florida Atlantic University. Jon is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and is a member in good standing of the FAPA and AAPA. He joined UMC in 2009 and shares a commitment to delivering high-quality care with the utmost compassion, respect and attention to his patients.

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