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Are You Drinking Enough Water?
- Guide to Prevent Dehydration


Body of Water

Dehydration occurs when the body is lacking in vital fluids. Often, this can occur during hot weather when people work outside and not drink enough water. But dehydration can also happen in many other scenarios. For example, severe, acute diarrhea can cause tremendous loss of water; high fever could cause severe dehydration; increased urination due to uncontrolled diabetes. It can be extremely dangerous and in some cases, deadly. There are three main types of dehydration. The first type is called hypotonic. When this form of dehydration occurs, the victim is very low in proper electrolytes and sodium. The second form of dehydration is hypertonic dehydration and it occurs when the body lacks water. The third form of dehydration is called isotonic, which results in an equal loss of both water and electrolytes. Isotonic is the most commonly seen type in human beings, and can easily be rectified by taking enough of both water and necessary electrolytes.

 

Signs of Dehydration

There are various signs and symptoms of dehydration. The first sign is typically a severe headache, followed by dizziness. Other signs of dehydration may also come out at the beginning including extreme thirst, discomfort, and loss of appetite. Next, the muscles begin to cramp, particularly the muscles in the legs. Visual difficulties, including fuzziness, along with hypotension (decreased blood pressure), are also common symptoms. When the dehydration worsens, the symptoms increase and worsen as well. Respiration and heart rates will begin to increase as dehydration gets more severe. Patients often experience constipation because there is not enough water in the bowel. Clammy skin and fainting can also occur. People who are dehydrated may also appear as if their skin is a yellow tone, and their eyes may appear as if they are sunken in or dark. Blood pressure drops, and patients can go into a dangerous state of hyperthermia in hotter temperatures, which combined with dehydration can be deadly. Without enough hydration, the heart can stop beating, resulting in death. Dehydration symptoms normally start to become noticeable after the body loses about 2% of its normal water volume. When the body gets to a point where it has lost 10% to 15% of its normal water volume muscles start to become spastic, urination becomes painful and is greatly reduced, and the skin starts to shrivel up and wrinkle. When the body loses more than 15% of its water volume, it is usually fatal.

While the most common cause of dehydration is due to lack of proper hydration or consumption of water and other liquids, there are also other causes. Stress-related issues can also cause dehydration. Some examples of stress-related causes can include blood loss, diarrhea, shock, too much alcohol consumption, vomiting and burns to the skin. Infectious diseases can also be a cause for dehydration. A few examples of these diseases include cholera, yellow fever, and gastroenteritis. Malnutrition as a result of a high rate of weight loss, fasting, or diabetes related problems can also cause dehydration to occur. Too much weight loss can also take important electrolytes with it, which is why it is important for people who are diabetic or on a diet to stay properly hydrated.

How much water should I drink?

The best way to prevent dehydration is to stay properly hydrated each and every day. Consumption of water is essential to human life. Avoiding too much caffeine and beverages that are high in sugar are two good ways to help prevent dehydration. When working in hot weather or in the sun, drinking extra water is a must. If someone becomes dehydrated, liquids may be replenished through intravenous methods, and simple water consumption is also a way to treat mild dehydration. Since water is absorbed through the skin, applying wet towels to the body can help ease symptoms. Regulating body temperature is also important in treating dehydration. It is important to catch dehydration symptoms early on before they start to become severe.

For more information about dehydration, please refer to the following websites:

 
 
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