Many people are so busy with work that they forget to drink water. However, dehydration can lead to many dangerous, even life-threatening complications. Therefore, you need to know the signs of this condition in order to take timely intervention.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), when you are so dehydrated that you lose more than 10% of your body weight, you can experience serious complications that can lead to death such as seizures, cardiac arrhythmias or shock. volume (a state of shock caused by a sudden decrease in circulating blood volume). However, this case is quite rare, you can easily replenish water for the body.
If you lose only 3-4% of your body weight due to dehydration, you will not feel any symptoms. If you lose 5 to 6%, you will begin to feel mild symptoms of dehydration such as thirst, fatigue, dizziness or constipation. In addition to the obvious symptoms, you may also experience 6 symptoms that may surprise you below:
6 “strange” dehydration symptoms you need to pay attention to
Here are 6 symptoms of dehydration that may surprise you:
1. Bad breath
Saliva has antibacterial properties, but dehydration can prevent the body from making enough saliva. If you don’t produce enough saliva, bacteria in your mouth will multiply rapidly and lead to bad breath. This also explains why every morning when you wake up, your breath smells. When you sleep, your body will produce less saliva, causing your mouth to have a bad smell due to the growth of bacteria. If your mouth is dry and your breath is bad, think about replenishing your body with water.
See more: 2 very miraculous yoga exercises to cure bad breath that few people know
2. Dry or red skin
Many people think that when you are dehydrated, your body will sweat a lot, but in reality, when you are dehydrated, your skin will be very dry and may even become red. Not only that, when pressed, you can also see that the skin “sinks” down and it takes a while to return to normal.
When dehydrated, the skin can become very dry and may even turn red
3. Cramps (Muscle Contractions)
When the body lacks water, the cooling function will be impaired. This condition leads to muscle contraction during exercise, especially in hot weather due to a purely thermal effect. The harder the muscles work, the more heat is produced and this leads to cramps. In addition, changes in electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, can also lead to this phenomenon.
To avoid dehydration, remember to rehydrate your body after exercise. A study published in March 2019 in the BMJ Open Sport and Fitness Medicine found that people who rehydrated their bodies with electrolyte drinks after exercise experienced fewer cramps than those who did not. people who only drink filtered water. So if you feel cramping after exercising, opt for an electrolyte-packed sports drink.
Dehydration can cause muscle Muscles are prone to shrinkage when exercising, especially in hot weather
Fever can cause severe dehydration. The higher the fever, the more dehydrated you are. Without the fever, the skin loses its ability to cool itself and becomes hot, red, and dry to the touch. At this point, you need to bring down the fever by applying a cool compress and moving to a cool area. If the fever is above 38.5°C, you can think about taking antipyretics and when this persists you should see a doctor.
5. Craving for sweets
Every organ in the body needs water to function, especially the liver. When dehydrated, it becomes difficult for the liver to release glycogen and other components of the body’s energy stores. This leaves you with cravings from chocolate to a snack, but mostly for sweets. The body is having trouble breaking down glycogen to release glucose into the bloodstream to use as fuel for daily activities.
Sometimes, even mild dehydration can cause a headache. So, when you have a headache, drink water and see this condition improve, you have traced the right “culprit”.
How do you know if you have dehydration and not other health problems?
Thirst is a clear sign that the body is dehydrated. However, not being thirsty does not mean that the body is not dehydrated. To find out if you’re dehydrated, you can do these 2 tests:
- Skin test: Use two fingers to pinch part of the skin on the back of your hand and let go. If your skin returns to normal immediately, your body is fine, but if it returns to normal more slowly then you are most likely dehydrated.
- Urine test: When the body is full of water, the urine will be pale yellow. If the color is darker yellow or orange, you need to drink more water.
How to avoid dehydration?
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables because these are all foods that contain a lot of fluids, vitamins, minerals and fiber
When it comes to how much water to drink each day, it can be difficult to know the exact number. This depends a lot on factors like your age, gender, health problems, and whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. However, health experts recommend that women should get 2.7 liters of fluid per day and men should get 3.7 liters per day through drinking water and eating foods.
- Carry a water bottle with you at all times: This will remind you to drink water regularly even when you are not thirsty.
- Drink juice: If you feel that filtered water is too bland, you can change to fruit juice.
- Eat healthy snacks: Instead of eating chips, cookies with low water content, you can switch to other nutritious snacks such as yogurt, smoothies, etc.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables: These are all foods that are high in fluids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You can consider adding some fruits and vegetables that contain more than 90% water to your daily menu such as watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers, celery, lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc.
Elderly people are at a higher risk of dehydration for a variety of reasons. Some people are also at risk of chronic dehydration if they take certain medications, such as diuretics. Chronic dehydration in the elderly can lead to confusion, low blood pressure, dizziness, and constipation. If you have an elderly relative with limited mobility or cognitive problems, be sure to watch out for signs of dehydration.
6 Unusual Signs of Dehydration You Should Know About https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/unusual-signs-of-dehydration/ Accessed date: 7/19/2020
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.