Water is one of the most essential nutrients for your body and plays a vital role in maintaining and regulating bodily functions. Getting enough water ensures that your body doesn’t become dehydrated, a condition that can be very dangerous and can keep your body from functioning properly. While the symptoms may appear mild at first, you should replenish your fluids as soon as you begin to notice any signs of dehydration. As the temperatures heat up this summer, it’s even more important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of dehydration.
Younger children and older adults are at a higher risk for dehydration and it can lead to serious complications in these groups. Children and elderly people are often unable to tell when they’re thirsty which means they may not be getting enough water. Individuals who spend a lot of time outside or engage in strenuous exercise should also pay attention to signs of dehydration.
Mild to moderate dehydration can typically be identified by symptoms usually associated with a lack of hydration. For example, the first and most obvious sign would be feeling very thirsty or having a dry throat or mouth. Other symptoms can include headaches, muscle cramps, dark and yellow urine, and dry skin. Mild dehydration can typically be reversed by hydrating your body, so be sure to replenish your fluids as soon as you can if you notice any of these signs.
Severe dehydration is much more serious and will require medical attention. As moderate dehydration becomes worse, you may begin to notice signs such as feeling dizzy, confused, or irritable. Symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, fainting, a lack of energy, and sunken eyes have also been reported with cases of severe dehydration. Prevention is the best way to avoid dealing with severe dehydration, so always be sure to keep yourself hydrated.
Fluid loss is a normal part of a healthy, functioning body but we must know when to replenish those fluids and stay hydrated each day. This is especially important in the hot summer months where any outside activity will lead to more sweating, and therefore more fluid loss. Always be sure to have plenty of water on hand and drink fluids anytime you begin to feel thirsty to prevent dehydration.