There are many things humans can live without; water is not one of those things. It is crucial to be hydrated for human health, and we should be drinking water daily. Despite the dangers of dehydration, millions of Americans are chronically dehydrated. It is an extremely common but preventable health condition. Being dehydrated for extended periods of time can have dangerous side effects, and many are unaware of the true dangers of dehydration. Here are some tell-tale signs of dehydration:
Thirst is not a great indicator of hydration because if you feel thirsty, you have already been dehydrated for an extended period of time. Thirst usually kicks in at around 1-2% water loss in the body which also leads to health issues like dizziness, stress, and irritability. People usually feel thirsty when they eat something salty, and this is a great example of how reverse osmosis works in our bodies. Salt is a solute that can become overly concentrated in our cells if consumed in excess. The body’s sodium-rich fluid attempts to draw more water from the cells in order to balance the blood, and this causes the chemicals messenger in our body to scream for water. Water helps keep our body functioning properly, and being dehydrated is a sign of disruption. If you want to stay hydrated, you want to drink regularly and never feel “thirsty”.
Dark Yellow Pee
Urine is an easy indicator of your hydration levels. If you are properly hydrated, your urine should be a pale yellow due to the presence of urobilin. It is a chemical compound with naturally yellow pigments, and the reason why we can dictate our hydration level is through pee color. Pee color can vary, but if your pee is generally a color between colorless and light yellow in color, you are adequately hydrated. Dark yellow pee is a sign of dehydration because the urine is more concentrated in urobilin than water. This also means your fluid system has greatly depleted. Having occasionally dark yellow pee is normal, but you should still look to avoid it when possible. Increasing your water intake on the days where you sweat more or eat particularly salty will decrease the chances of darker urine. If the color of your urine starts to approach brown, there is likely a chance you have an undiagnosed medical issue. Contact your doctor immediately if you think your urine color is strange.
As stated earlier, being properly hydrated is important to keep the body functioning. Even if you have had an adequate amount of sleep, tiredness can still occur as a result of dehydration. Dehydration is known to impair cognitive performance and mood in people, even mild dehydration. Fatigue and lethargy are both symptoms of being dehydrated so the next time you randomly feel tired, consider drinking some water before taking a nap. The feeling of sluggishness can be a result of inadequate water intake. Fatigue caused by dehydration is usually a result of lowered blood pressure, and being adequately hydrated can keep this issue at bay. This is a preventable effect.
A common symptom of dehydration is having a dry mouth. If your body does not have enough fluid in its system, the salivary gland will not be able to produce enough saliva; thus leading to a dry mouth. This is also common for those who are anxious or regularly nervous so be sure to determine the cause of the issue before assuming it is dehydration. Adequate saliva is necessary to keep your mouth healthy. Increasing your fluid intake can prevent the side effects of dry mouth, such as tooth decay, bad breath, and dry lips.
When people experience mild dehydration, it is common to also have adverse physical effects. A common issue is experiencing sudden dizziness or nausea. This dizziness can be enough to induce vomiting, furthering dehydration. Vomiting causes your body to purge excess liquid, and if the issue is caused by dehydration, it will also worsen the problem. Medical studies on dehydration suggest that vomiting following dizziness is likely caused by low blood pressure from dehydration. If the dehydration is mild, most people will experience a slight headache that is also linked to low blood pressure. Increasing your fluid intake should address the issue. If your dehydration becomes severe, the dizziness can morph into lightheadedness and even cause you to faint. A dramatic decrease in blood pressure and volume caused by dehydration is linked to fainting episodes.