What to Do When You Are Dehydrated

Being dehydrated comes very easily and most people don’t even realize they are! Dehydration in your body doesn’t always come with an overwhelming need of thirst like most people believe. If you aren’t drinking more than 50 ounces of water a day then your body is most likely in a state of dehydration even if you don’t feel thirsty at all, and although everything may feel good on the outside, on the inside your body definitely needs that water. Water is so necessary for the all the functions that your body performs on the daily, from the movement of blood throughout the body to cellular respiration and practically everything else in the body. Practically every process in your body cannot be completed without proper hydration and for this reason hydration is way more serious than many seem to understand. If your body outwardly begins to express signs or symptoms that begin to affect you physically, then your body is desperately trying to send you a message that things aren’t working very well in the body and water is very much needed. Today this article will cover all the signs and symptoms of dehydration that you should watch out for as well as the many ways you can alleviate dehydration once you are in that state!

What Exactly is Dehydration?

Dehydration is a result of your body losing a lot of fluids, and generally in a state of dehydration, the amount of water you have lost has exceeded the amount of water that your body has taken in. When dehydration occurs, the body begins to lose normal function, producing symptoms related to the loss of fluid. Water is lost from the body in many ways from sweating, urinating, stools, and more. When you lose this water, small amounts of electrolytes and salt are lost with the water as well and this can be a significant issue if you lose too much. Medically, doctors have divided dehydration into 3 different stages to assess how severe and urgent the situation is while also understanding what the appropriate methods are should be carried out to rectify the problem. The three stages of dehydration are mild, moderate, and severe dehydration which can actually lead to death. The symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration are as follows:
● Increased thirst
● Dry mouth
● Decreased urine output
● Few or no tears
● Dry skin
● Headaches
● Dizziness
● Urine is more yellow
● Tiredness or sleepiness
Over time these symptoms can dramatically worsen over time if not taken care of immediately, leading to severe dehydration. With severe dehydration the symptoms that follow include:
● Urine output is decreased severely or nonexistent and the color can be a deep yellow or amber color
● The dizziness or lightheadedness is severe enough that the person cannot stand or walk normally
● Extremely low blood pressure that occurs if the person attempts to stand after laying down
● Rapid heart rate
● Fever
● Poor skin elasticity (this means that the skin takes a while to sink back to its normal position)
● Lethargy
● Confusion
● Coma
● Seizure
● Shock
As you can see the symptoms for severe dehydration are very scary and for this reason should be avoided at all costs by taking water regularly. Yet, if you do reach such a state of dehydration, the article will provide the steps one should take to remedy the problem immediately!

How to Treat Mild to Moderate Dehydration

dehydration

Thankfully mild to moderate dehydration can be cured easily at home and there isn’t really a need to go to the doctors to rectify the situation. Yet it is important to keep in mind that many would think that the easiest way to cure dehydration is simply drink water, yet it is more complex than that. Plain water may be better than no water at all, but once in this state you need an ORS or oral rehydration solution to rehydrate your body back to health. This is needed because plain water does not restore the electrolytes that you have lost. If you choose to drink only water to solve the problem than the water can dilute the little electrolytes that you have in your body, remaining in your body until it has completely draw out the rest of your electrolytes. For this reason, it is best to turn to ORS for good rehydration. ORS are basically salts that you mix with your water to restore your body with needed electrolytes. Other ways you can get electrolytes include drinking sports drinks or special drinks powered with electrolytes (yet if you aren’t actively sweating them out it is best not to drink them in heavy amounts). Turn to coconut water or water with salt or sugar! For the most part coconut water may be your best solution for rehydrating because it has less sugars, calories, less sodium, higher amounts of potassium, than most sports drinks, proving to support you with good hydration while also keeping you healthy and away from other unnecessary ingredients. It can even be a better solution to water because coconut water offers more electrolytes for your body, which your body needs after it has lost fluids. Water with salt or sugar can act similar to coconut water by providing your body with the electrolytes it needs to restore hydration while also not giving your body those extra or unnecessary ingredients that sport drinks may give you. In addition to these options, you can also turn to eating fruits and veggies! There are many fruits and veggies out there that provide a great amount of water to the body. For example, vegetables such as zucchinis, radish, celery, broccoli, spinach, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, and more are great sources of water and hydration. Fruits such as oranges, strawberries, watermelons, star fruit, grapefruit, peaches, blackberries, lemons, honeydew, prickly pears, nectarines and more. There is a lot you can do with fruit such as salads, smoothies, juices, sorbets, and etc. There are many versatile ways to rehydrate your body that if you find yourself in mild to moderate dehydration, don’t worry about it too much, simply trying out these methods will get your body rehydrated in no time and you will really begin to feel the effects of it when your symptoms subside and your pee turns to a very light color. These are signs that your body is properly hydrated once again!

How to Treat Severe Dehydration

Severe dehydration becomes the tricky part of the equation. Severe dehydration is extremely complicated and serious, so if you do find yourself or another in such a situation, this situation can really only be remedied by professional medical care. Signs that you or someone else have entered the severe stage of dehydration include a fever higher than 103 degrees Fahrenheit, seizures, difficulty breathing, chest or abdominal pain, fainting, no urine within the last 12 hours, confusion, increased vomiting, weakness, diarrhea, increased heat rate and more. For adults, severe dehydration can be taken care by a doctor by implementing some of the methods talked about above and being monitored at the same time, yet if a child has become severely dehydrated than the problem becomes a lot more serious. If a child has become dehydrated, doctors most likely do what is known as intravenous rehydration. In this case, fluids will be injected in the child’s body. Depending on the case and severity of the dehydration, the fluids may vary from a being water with salt or water with sugar. Normally for adults, IV rehydration is not really necessary and can be taken care of with other methods; however, for children, IV rehydration is definitely needed because they are much more vulnerable and sensitive to dehydration.

The Process of IV Rehydration for Severely Dehydrated Children


The doctor will begin the process by inserting an IV needle into the vein of the arm. The IV line will have a tube with a needle on one end. The other end of the line will then be connected to a bag of fluids which is hung over the child’s head. The type of fluid given to the child will be determined upon the severity of dehydration, the medical conditions the child may have, and their age. Routine checks will be made to ensure the child is receiving the fluid correctly and that the thin plastic tube is not leaking the IV fluid. In rare cases, the same process may be used with adults.

Other Rehydration Tips & Methods to Consider
● Do not gulp down water quickly because if you drink water too fast, your body cannot absorb it and use it effectively. This means your kidneys will expel most of the water quickly, causing frequent trips to the bathroom.
● Avoid alcohol and excessive caffeine when trying to rehydrate the body. This is due to the fact that they cause you to urinate frequently, making your dehydration even worse.
● Milk can actually be another great way to rehydrate your body. Specifically skimmed or fat free milk. By drinking these types of milk, you can ensure that your calorie and fat intake remain at a minimal while your body can focus on getting the proper rehydration that it needs. If there is too much excessive fat in the body (which can be caused by whole milk) than this fat can actually curb your fluid retention and this will greatly inhibit your ability to rehydrate.

Fun & Fast Facts About Dehydration
● 75% of the human body is made of wat/er
● diarrhea, vomiting, and sweating can cause dehydration
● Athletes, people living in higher altitudes, and older adults are the people most at risk for dehydration
● 75% of Americans are actually incredibly dehydrated. A survey conducted with 3,003 Americans showed that about 75% of Americans drink about eight servings of hydrating beverages a day yet this is completely thrown off by the number of caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and sodium consumed daily.
Hydration can actually boost your metabolism. In fact, men and women’s metabolic rates can actually increase by about 30% when drinking cold water. The studies showed that the body expended more energy in an attempt to heat the cold water and this resulted in a boost in metabolism.
● The average American only drinks 2.5 cups of water daily which is way below the standard 8 cups of water per day rule.
● Studies showed that after mildly dehydrated men consumed only 2 bottles of water, it only took their body less than an hour or around 45 minutes for their bodies to function in a perfectly hydrated and healthy state.
● By the time you are thirsty, your body has already reached a state of dehydration. The next time you think you are starting to feel a little bit thirsty then you know that already your body is functioning in a dehydrated state already.
● Your ability to think perfectly clear and normally can be inhibited immediately by even mild dehydration. It has even been said by scientists that dehydrated people can actually make the same mistakes while driving as someone who is inebriated.

Now that you have gotten the 411 on all things dehydration and water, it’s time to take the necessary steps yourself for you to decide if you are truly dehydrated. Try out the methods given above and you will instantly feel a difference in your body with energy levels, thinking ability, and mood. Water truly can be the remedy to a lot of the problems you can experience and if you want to taketh most out of a busy day, it is so important that you make sure to keep water as an integral part of your daily life. Not only just with drinking some water, but also with drinking the right and necessary amount of water. If you feel as if you suffer from bad moods, lethargy, fogginess, and more than most likely your problem starts with a lack of hydration. Luckily you have learned the easy steps you can utilize to fix the problem immediately and with that in mind, you won’t have to sweat it the next time you get dehydrated!

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