Do you workout at the gym daily? How many kilometers do you run every morning? Do you and your friends spend your entire weekend afternoons playing sports? Does your job require you to carry large, heavy boxes from the warehouse to the truck multiple times a day?
Doing strenuous activities makes you sweat a lot and causes your body to lose water faster than usual. As a result, you get thirsty. To remedy this, you should drink water right away. If you fail to do that, your body will not be able to work properly, and you will start feeling ill.
What causes dehydration?
Your body loses water constantly. When you sweat, pee, poop, breathe, or cry, you excrete water. These are normal bodily occurrences that should not scare or alarm you. You can easily replace the lost water by drinking more water and eating foods that contain high amounts of water.
However, if you are experiencing some other illnesses or complications, you can lose a lot more water than usual. This happens if you are suffering from the following:
- Urinating more frequently due to diabetes or diuretics medications
- Sore throat
- Mouth sores
Thus, you are recommended to consume more glasses of water, or sometimes even take electrolyte drinks and tablets, to make up for the fluid deficit in your body.
However, in many cases, people get dehydrated even they are not suffering from any medical condition. They just are too busy with work or school that they forget that their lips have never touched a glass of water for several hours straight. In other cases, they just do not feel that sensation of thirst, probably due to being inside a very cold room or due to the cold weather on certain times of the years, most especially during the winter months.
It is important that you keep track of the amount of water that you drink in a day, i.e. it should be at least 8 glasses, to keep your body going from morning til night.
How do you know if you are dehydrated?
There are a number of noticeable signs and symptoms that signify that you are dehydrated. They can range from mild to serious, and can cause inconveniences and disruptions to your day-to-day routine.
Some of the most common mild to moderate dehydrating warnings are as follows:
- Dry mouth
- Dark yellow urine
- Dry skin
- Infrequent urinating
- Muscle cramps
Among the severe symptoms of dehydration include the following:
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sunken eyes
- Very dark yellow urine
If you experience any one of these, you should drink a glass of water right away to help make you feel better. If the symptoms persist, go see a doctor to receive proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.
What happens if you ignore the signs of dehydration?
If, after encountering the common dehydration signs and symptoms, you still fail to rehydrate as needed, you are putting yourself at great risk of a variety of serious complications that can be a major problem to your overall health and wellbeing.
How often do you poop? In general, if you only have one or two bowel movements in a week, you are considered constipated. Being in this situation calls for a balanced diet and enough water intake to facility more frequent bowel movement for proper disposal of bodily wastes. If you are constipated all the time, you are in danger of suffering from severe complications, such as hemorrhoids, anal fissure, fecal impaction, and rectal prolapse.
Do you often get hit by a sudden pain on your leg or other body part that seems to take away your ability to move? This condition is called a muscle cramp, and it is caused by extended periods of physical activity, extremely hot weather, or dehydration. While not really harmful, it can bring severe discomfort that can affect your routines.
Do you get persistent pains in your lower abdomen? Caused by the accumulation of salt and mineral deposits, kidney stones are a very painful medical problem. They can be brought about by your body’s inability to eliminate as efficiently as possible the waste materials that enter it, which becomes a lot harder if you are not drinking enough water.
Do you notice how your muscles and joints feel so sore after working out? Joint problems are a risk for anyone who regularly exercises. They bring pain and discomfort that signal that your tendons, ligaments, muscles, cartilage, or bones are not receiving enough nutrients and water to function right. If not treated right away, they can drastically affect your lifestyle, limiting you from moving freely, making even just standing extremely difficult and painful.
High blood pressure
Do you get headaches, nosebleeds, or shortness of breath more frequently now than before? High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a health problem that can lead to a lot more problems. It is a result of the extra force that your blood subjects your artery walls to due to old age, poor diet, other health issues, or dehydration. If not taken care of right away, it can put you at risk of heart failure, stroke, dementia, aneurysm, vision loss, kidney failure, and memory loss.
Do you feel short and rapid jolts of pain in the upper right area of your stomach? Gallstones are made up of digestive fluids that have hardened that can be the size of a grain of sand or a golf ball. If not removed, they can ruin your digestive processes, and even lead to gallbladder cancer.
Not giving your body water for several days straight can lead to death. This can happen in extreme cases, such as if you have diarrhea, which makes you poop and vomit a lot, causing severe fluid loss.