5 Signs of Dehydration Everyone Should Know
Statistics show that over 75 percent of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. But, what exactly is dehydration? Well, it doesn’t take much for a person to become dehydrated. Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluid than you take in. Remember water makes up two-thirds of the body and is essential for human life. Even if your body loses 1 to 2 percent of its water content, your body functions are likely to be affected. What most people never realize is that, by the time they’re feeling thirsty, the body is likely already dehydrated.
Your blood becomes more concentrated as your body loses water which isn’t being replaced. As a result, it becomes difficult for your body to regulate your temperature and your heart rate increases to maintain your body’s blood pressure. With reduced water levels in your body and brain, your memory, mood, and body coordination are affected as well. Here are some of the symptoms of dehydration.
Dry or Flushed Skin
Perhaps you should start by checking your skin elasticity. Dehydrated skin will feel rough, clammy, and tight. When you look in the mirror, your skin may appear dull with exaggerated wrinkles. Try pinching your cheek or hand as a test; if it feels less plump and wrinkles with gentle pressure, your body could be begging for water. Increase your water intake at this point. You may need to see your doctor if you’re severely dehydrated.
When your body is dehydrated, the mount of saliva in the mouth decreases, allowing bacteria to grow and thrive. This results in bad breath. Saliva has been shown to have important antibacterial properties. With less saliva in your mouth, your tongue and mouth may feel sticky and dry. It’s important that you not only brush your teeth but also drink plenty of water so you can get rid of odor-causing bacteria.
Signs of Fatigue, Confusion and Anger
Ever wondered where that mild-afternoon slump comes from? What if someone told you it’s because of dehydration? Mild-levels of dehydration, especially in the young and elderly, has been shown to affect a person’s cognitive functions, energy, and mood. Dehydration leads to increased heart rate, reduced blood flow to your brain, and decreased blood pressure-all of which can alter your mood and make you feel fatigued. You may find it more difficult to do physical tasks since your muscles and joints are lacking water.
You’re likely to experience muscle cramps when exercising if you’re suffering from dehydration. Performing physical activity agitates your body, raising your body temperature. Since there’s no enough water in your body, blood circulation slows down, causing your body muscles to cramp up. Cramping may also occur due to changes in electrolyte, potassium and sodium levels, through sweat loss.
Fever and Chills
Yes, dehydration can bring on fever and chills. When you’re dehydrated, your body limits the flow of blood to the skin. Remember water plays a crucial role in regulating body temperature, so when you’re dehydrated, you’re likely to get chilly faster. You don’t have to be in a cold environment to feel fever or chilly. Fever, in turn, increases the dehydration level, making the condition even worse.