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The Importance of Hydration: How to Tell if You’re Dehydrated

Dehydration is a condition that affects so many people, especially young children, and older adults but the rest of the population as well.

We are talking about dehydration because we want to avoid complications that result from your body getting dehydrated, like electrolyte imbalance, which can be life-threatening.

Dehydration can be mild, which means it can be managed easily at home or it may be so severe that you may actually require hospitalization.

What is dehydration?

Dehydration is a condition that limits normal body functions because you’re either losing too many fluids or losing too much water compared to the one you’re taking in. In other words, there is a deficit.

What causes dehydration?

Many things can cause dehydration;

  1. Too much exercise, you will lose so much water through sweat.
  2. The weather is hot, again you are losing water through sweat.
  3. Diarrhoea and vomiting, are symptoms of many diseases and can lead to the loss of too much fluids.
  4. You are not taking in any fluids.

What are the main signs/symptoms of dehydration ;

  1. Headache, sometimes after working out there in hot weather, you might come back home and feel a very bad headache, which could be simply dehydration.
  2. Very dry mouth, should be among the top most common symptoms of dehydration, take a glass of water.
  3. Extreme thirst, the unending need to drink water.
  4. Less urination, or very dark-coloured urine output.
  5. Children, especially very small babies, become very irritable. With very dry eyes

Understanding dehydration can help you manage it very easily when the condition is still mild and also prevent it from getting to a severe state.

What causes dehydration;

  • Uncontrolled Diabetes

When you have diabetes but are not taking your medications, and not following a modified diet.

That means your blood glucose levels will remain uncontrolled.

Your kidneys are going through a hard time trying to filter the glucose out, this is why people living with diabetes have frequent urination.

Frequent urination definitely will lead to dehydration.

  • Age

Older adults and children are the most at risk of getting dehydration. 

Children are very active, and through their playing and running up and down, they end up losing too many fluids through sweating. 

As a parent or caretaker, you Must put a schedule for water intake, to keep the kid’s water intake up at all times.

The older we get, the smaller our fluid reserves become. Also, most older adults have reduced kidney function, hence the high risk of dehydration.

  • Diseases

A disease like malaria comes with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea. 

When you have vomiting and diarrhoea, you lose too many fluids and electrolytes in that process.

You, therefore, need to take in water frequently to avoid getting into dehydration.

  • Weather

It’s too hot? You are sweating too much. You are losing too much fluid in that process. You start to feel fatigued and have less energy, you are not sick you are most likely dehydrated.

  • Exercising

You are having a very extreme exercise, you’re working out so hard. You’re going on and on and on. you’re sweating so much, but you’re not taking water at all. What are you doing to yourself? you are going to get dehydrated.

Excessive exercise should go hand in hand with water intake.

Increase your fluid intake because you’re losing so much water through sweating.

How to treat dehydration.

  • Take small amounts of water frequently, taking large amounts of water, especially when you’re sick or when some kind of medication can easily lead to vomiting and we don’t want you to start vomiting.
  • Drinking water first thing when you wake up and just before bed is really helpful. At night, don’t take too much or, just a glass of water should be enough because you don’t want to increase your runs to the washrooms all night which is not healthy as well.
  • It’s important to get oral rehydration solutions prescribed from the hospital, just in case you have diarrhoea and excessive vomiting, this is because when you vomit and you also have diarrhoea you are losing a lot of fluids you are going to develop electrolyte imbalance. You want to replace those minerals lost through vomiting and diarrhea and oral rehydration solution contains these minerals as compared to just plain water. It’s important to get oral rehydration solutions prescribed for you to create electrolyte balance in your body.
  • Carry a water bottle. When you have your water bottle, you always be taking water. When you’re walking in town and you have your water bottle and it’s hot outside. You can at least sip some water because the water in the streets is not exactly safe. so when you have your own water bottle, you’ll always take water because the water bottle is closer to you. Even if you’re at the gym, and you’re doing your exercises, having a water bottle would really be helpful.

You want to treat my dehydration because we don’t want to get into a severe state like developing kidney problems, kidney failure, or kidney stones, and those are medical bills you don’t want to get into.

So if you can prevent dehydration and treat dehydration in a mild state.

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