Dehydration is something we experience from exercising, hot weather, or illness. People of all ages can get dehydrated. Let’s talk about what is dehydration, the causes and signs that you’re dehydrated, and what to do in order to avoid dehydration.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration happens when your body doesn’t have as much water as it needs. Without enough, your body can’t function properly. You can have mild, moderate, or severe dehydration depending on how much fluid is missing from your body.
Water is essential. You can go without food for up to 3 weeks but not without water for more than 3-4 days. So hydration is necessary for survival.
Causes of dehydration
How do we get dehydrated? The most common cause is not drinking enough water throughout the day — but things like hot weather, drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, and working out are other factors. There are also less common causes of dehydration to keep an eye out for — like stress, certain medications, aging, high altitudes, and burns (including sunburns).
Signs that you are dehydrated include-
One of the easiest ways to tell is by checking the color of your urine. If it looks clear or pale yellow, then you’re drinking enough water. But if your urine is a darker yellow or an amber color, then it’s time to hydrate.
Signs of mild or moderate dehydration include:
- Dry or sticky mouth
- Not peeing very much
- Dark yellow pee
- Dry, cool skin
- Headache- Extreme headache
- Muscle cramps
Signs of severe dehydration include:
- Not peeing or having very dark yellow pee
- Very dry skin
- Feeling dizzy
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- Sunken eyes
- Sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion, or irritability- Not sleeping enough, feeling lethargic
- Fainting- Dizziness or fatigue, loss of electrolytes
Symptoms in Babies and Young children
Symptoms for babies and young children can be different than for adults:
- Dry mouth and tongue
- No tears when crying
- Dry diapers for 3 hours
- Sunken eyes, cheeks, soft spot on the top of the skull
- Sleepiness, lack of energy, or irritability
If you’re feeling any of the following severe signs that you’re dehydrated seek a medical condition right away.
Lastly, So make sure to hydrate yourself enough. Drink 3-4 liters of water per day. Also, taking electrolytes is a good solution if you start seeing early signs of fluid loss.