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Dehydration Affects Your Mind & Body
Water is an extremely necessary element for the proper functioning of our body, since much of our body is formed by this liquid. Until today, many people do not understand the importance of drinking enough water and keeping our body hydrated.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration is a decrease in the amount of fluid in our body which causes a lack of water inside the cells. This situation occurs when the amount of liquid ingested is less than that which is eliminated as a consequence of the different organic functions.
It is the alteration or lack of water and mineral salts in the plasma of a body, it can also be defined as the loss of body water above 3%. It can be caused by being in a very hot situation (especially if there is a lot of humidity), intense exercise, lack of something to drink or a combination of these factors. It also occurs in those diseases where the electrolyte balance is altered.
Regardless your age, you can suffer from dehydration if you do not drink enough water on hot days, especially if you engage in intense physical activity or exercise. Mild or moderate dehydration can be tackled easily by taking fluids, but in the case of severe dehydration, immediate medical treatment is ideal.
Symptoms of Dehydration
The symptoms of dehydration are noticeable after having lost 3% of the volume of water. Initially thirst and discomfort appear, possibly accompanied by loss of appetite and dry skin. Athletes may suffer a loss that increases by 30%, flushing appears, resistance is lost, heart rate increases, body temperature increases, and fatigue quickly appears.
Degrees of Dehydration
Risk Factors of Dehydration
Anyone can suffer from dehydration.
However, certain people are at greater risk:
On certain occasions, dehydration occurs due to simple reasons: When you do not drink enough because you are sick or busy, or because you do not have access to safe drinking water when you travel, are hiking or camping.
Health Complications of Dehydration
Dehydration can lead to serious complications, such as the following:
If you fail to consume enough fluid when you are performing physical activity and you sweat a lot, you may have a heat injury. The severity of this injury can range from mild muscle cramps to heat exhaustion or heat stroke that can put your life at risk.
Kidney & Urinary Problems
Electrolytes - like potassium and sodium - help carry electrical signals from one cell to the other. If your electrolytes are unbalanced, the normal electrical signal can mix, which can lead to involuntary muscle contractions and sometimes loss of consciousness.
Shock Due to Low Blood Volume (Hypovolemic Shock)
This is one of the most serious complications of dehydration and can put your life at risk. It occurs when a low volume of blood causes a decrease in blood pressure and the amount of oxygen in your body.
If you did not drink enough water, your body will begin to use the reserves of your body to carry out essential physiological functions, such as digestion or elimination of toxins. Try to adopt the habit of drinking 2 glasses of water in the morning and before going to sleep to keep your body hydrated throughout the day.
Although blood pressure varies according to different factors, one of the causes can be dehydration. When the body is well hydrated, the blood is composed of 92% water, but when we are dehydrated, the blood becomes thicker and hinders circulation, causing hypertension.
Skin Problems / Quick Aging
If you suffer from dry skin, dehydrated skin, or are prone to develop rashes or rash, your body may not be getting the amount of water it needs. Dehydration affects the body's ability to eliminate toxins, which makes the skin more vulnerable to these types of conditions. In addition, lack of water can cause premature wrinkling and discoloration of the skin. To prevent this from happening, make sure you drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water a day.
Constipation is one of the most annoying digestive disorders and one of the clearest signs of lack of water. The colon, the place where the last stages of the digestive process take place, is one of the main sources of water in the body. When we are dehydrated, our body begins to get water from the colon, making it difficult or obstructing the passage of waste through the large intestine. As a result, we suffer from inflammation, abdominal cramps and constipation.
Joint Paint & Stiffness
Cartilage, one of the most important parts of the joints, is composed mainly of water. Therefore, when we are dehydrated, the cartilage weakens, hindering movement and function of the joints.
How to Prevent Dehydration
To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids and eat foods rich in water, such as fruits and vegetables. Letting thirst be your guide is an appropriate daily guideline for most healthy people.
This may involve drinking between 6 and 8 glasses (between 1.5 and 2 liters) daily for some people, depending on how much water they get through food and how much they sweat as a result of the physical activity they perform. You have to remember that drinking water does not add calories to your diet and is definitely very good for your health.
If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors on a hot day, it will be convenient to use appropriate clothes for the activity that will be developed: loose clothing and a hat, if possible. This will generate a sense of freshness. If there is dizziness or you feel very thirsty, it will be necessary to rest for several minutes, sit in the shade or in a cool place and drink water.
If you are going to practice a sport or participate in strenuous physical activity, you will need to hydrate well before starting the activity. Also, drink at regular intervals (every 20 minutes, approximately) during the activity and at the end of it. The best time to train or play sports is in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the hottest hours of the day.
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