Effects Of Dehydration

Common Causes and Effects of Dehydration

The most common causes and effects of dehydration are over heating, sickness and not enough water. Dehydration is defined basically as losing more water than you have coming in over a period of time. Since the body is more than 90 percent water, serious problems can occur if too much water is lost and not replaced.

Our bodies lose and replace gallons of water every day. The body can function normally for a certain amount of time even if water is not immediately replenished. If too much water is lost and not replaced within a short while, however, the effects of dehydration can set in pretty quickly. If we keep on losing water even after becoming dehydrated and go too much time without replacing the lost water, we may be headed for serious health problems – up to and including death. Dehydration is nothing to mess with.

The most common effects of dehydration are the following:
> persistent thirst
> dry mouth
> inability to cry or form tears
> inability to sweat, even when hot or exerting a lot of energy
> muscle cramps
> nausea and vomiting
> lightheadedness
> decrease in urination or more concentrated, yellow-colored urine

Dehydration occurs when our body is not sufficiently hydrated to replenish everyday water loss. When we are sick with diarrhea or vomiting, we can become dehydrated more easily because we can’t keep food or drinks down. The same is true when we perform strenuous activity, exercise or spend time in extremely hot conditions. All of these scenarios can cause dehydration if they do not include proper hydration.

The best way to prevent dehydration is to drink water. Drinking water is the quickest and easiest way to replenish the water that our body loses during the course of each day. It is best to drink pure, clean water, but there are other water-based drinks, like juice, that will also hydrate the body. Not all drinks are good for hydration, however. Drinks that contain caffeine, like coffee, tea and soda, can act as a diuretic, which actually does the opposite of hydrate – it increases the desire to urinate, causing more water loss.

For optimum health, it is important to keep a consistent balance of water going into and out of the body. Most nutritionists and doctors recommend drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day, every day. That will ensure that enough water is consumed to make up for all the water that is expelled. When it’s time to exercise, play sports or spend time outside in the heat, make sure to bring a long a drink both to stay hydrated and cool off from time to time.