20 Signs of Dehydration To Watch Out For
It's common that people forget to drink enough water in their busyness. Here are signs of dehydration and how they manifest day-to-day.
It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of dehydration. Although this is especially important in the hot summer months when we lose a lot of water through sweat and dry air, it’s really important all year — and we may be less aware in other seasons. One of the best ways to stay healthy, feel good, and look great is to avoid dehydration — even when we aren’t so dehydrated that it can really harm our health, mild consistent dehydration can lead to minor annoyances we’d prefer to avoid, such as skin troubles. Dehydration can make us both break out more frequently (no thanks) and show any early wrinkles and fine lines more easily (double no thanks). So it’s important to watch for the signs that are telling us it’s definitely time to increase water intake. Learn to pay attention to the symptoms and keep that body happy and healthy!
As we enjoying camping this autumn, it’s a good idea to watch for common camping dangers and how to avoid them. Because it’s less hot, we may think that dehydration won’t be as much of an issue while camping and hiking, but that’s not strictly true. It’s always a good idea to stay alert about water intake when we’re doing something strenuous, especially in remote areas. Although some of the signs are mentioned in this list, there are also specific ways to tell if a baby is dehydrated. It’s absolutely vital to learn all of them. If there’s one thing we thought we understood, it was how to drink water, right? But it’s possible we’re probably drinking water all wrong and must understand how to do it properly to lead to maximum hydration. Staying hydrated is always a good call no matter what’s trending, but for anyone looking toward what’s next in health and wellness should take a peek at health trends we’re loving in 2019.
First, we should always listen to our body and drink when we’re thirsty — and if it’s very hot out or we’re sweating a lot, maybe even before we get thirsty. Extreme thirst is a real cause for alarm — and a tall glass of water (or three) is the solution.
Even if we don’t think we’re thirsty, if our mouth and tongue are dry and sticky, it’s a sign we’re past the point of just thirst. According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s a symptom of dehydration — and one we should definitely heed.
Sure, summer and the heat call for lazy days. But if we’re always feeling sleepy — possibly borderline lethargic — it might not be the heat. It may be that we’re dehydrated, so we should try upping the amount of water we’re consuming.
If we haven’t peed in a while, that might be because our body has run out of excess fluids. We should being going six to eight times a day. Up to 10 times is also totally healthy — and a sign that we’re hydrated.
Dark Yellow Urine
If urine is a darker yellow than usual and there are no other health problems or symptoms, this could be a sign of dehydration. Often, bathrooms aren’t easily available when we’re out and about, but don’t use that as a reason to decrease water intake — stay hydrated.
Many people experience headaches when they haven’t managed their daily water intake. Before taking medication or jumping to more serious conclusions, try drinking more water throughout the day to get rid of a headache. Going forward, stay on top of hydration, because headaches are a symptom of dehydration.
Skin Has Lost Elasticity
Depending on where we live, heat can take a toll on our skin, drying it out and zapping it of its elasticity. It’s also a symptom of being constantly dehydrated. Also known as skin turgor, if we can pinch our skin and it stays tented for any length of time, we might be experiencing dehydration, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The Mayo Clinic lists dizziness as a symptom of dehydration too. Without enough fluids in the body, brain function can be compromised. This is especially a problem for young children and older adults. If we stand up and feel unsteady, consider whether we’ve had enough water recently.
In very young children, including babies older than newborns, crying without tears might be a sign of dehydration. Young kids can be very active. Add in summer heat, sweat, and time in the sun, and they lose more fluids than usual. Kids, especially, need to be encouraged to take in more fluids, preferably water.
Blood Pressure Drop
Dehydration can also cause blood pressure to drop, which might cause someone to feel faint when standing up. If this happens, go ahead and take a seat, take some deep breaths, and drink a glass of water (or three).
On the other hand, chronic dehydration can also cause high blood pressure, or hypertension. When blood cells aren’t properly hydrated, they signal to the pituitary gland to make vasopressin, which causes blood vessels to constrict. This, in turn, causes blood pressure to increase.
Fever and chills are one of the more unexpected symptoms of constant dehydration. If these symptoms persist, or if we’ve also suffered a sunburn, it’s a good idea to make a quick appointment with the family doctor.
Dry skin, frequent breakouts and skin irritation may be caused by the need to drink more water. If we’re dehydrated, skin is one of the first organs to suffer. Though it will still produce oils, without fluid-rich and supple skin those oils will clog and cause breakouts. Better to just drink eight glasses of water a day!
Lethargy, Confusion, or Coma
Constant dehydration might also lead us to feel confused, inexplicably tired, delusional, and lethargic. In more severe states, it can also lead to coma — so be aware of what dehydration can bring and be careful.
In very extreme cases, constant dehydration may cause a seizure. Lack of, or not enough fluids, can cause electrolyte disturbances in the brain, which might lead to seizures — so be careful, although don’t be paranoid this will happen (it really is very rare).
Constant lack of hydration can cause shock from low blood volume, one of the biggest risks of the condition. Shock caused by a lack of oxygen being circulated around the body can be life-threatening.
Too Many Dry Diapers
Busy parents may miss signs that their kids aren’t drinking enough water, breastmilk, formula, or other healthy fluids. Infants should have at least six wet diapers a day. Toddlers shouldn’t go longer than eight hours without going potty. If this is not the case, a child may be dehydrated.
Diarrhea, although not a symptom of constant dehydration, can be the cause of it. Even though drinking fluids may not seem welcome or possible during gastrointestinal distress, replenishing fluids lost as much as possible — and really increasing fluids once we’re feeling better — is important to keep dehydration at bay.
Can’t Keep Fluids Down
Vomiting can lead to serious complications over time, if hydration isn’t restored following a bout of throwing up. Anyone who has been throwing up consistently should drink plenty of water, sports drinks, and/or coconut water.
Black or Bloody Stool
Although dehydration doesn’t cause black or bloody stools, it exacerbates such problems and prevents healing. Poop says a lot about our health. If we’re straining to go number two, for example, we might just need to drink more water each day.