Many of us take water for granted. We don’t realize how every day, water is keeping your body alive. Your body relies on water. It can’t function without it. In fact, about 60 percent of our body weight is made up of water. Our cells, organs, and tissues need water to regulate the body’s temperature. This is why we should never take dehydration lightly.
What Happens When You’re Dehydrated?
When you aren’t drinking enough water throughout the day, your body becomes dehydrated. Dehydration occurs when you’re losing more than gaining fluid. You lose water by breathing, sweating, and digesting. You lose even more water when you’re physically active. If you aren’t replacing the water you lose on a regular basis, you are at greater risk of dehydration.
In addition to negatively affecting your mood, attention, memory, and motor coordination, dehydration can also impact other areas of your body, requiring immediate medical attention. Dehydration can have both short-term and long-term effects, so it’s important to identify the symptoms and address them immediately.
Symptoms of Dehydration
According to Very Well Health, you should watch for these symptoms:
- Dark urine (may have a strong odor)
- Inability to urinate
- Dry mouth and nose
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin that does not flatten when pinched and released
The sooner you identify the symptoms of dehydration, the better. As soon as you exhibit any of these symptoms, you should address your dehydration immediately to prevent any short-term or long-term effects.
The Short-Term Effects of Dehydration
In extreme cases, dehydration may cause your blood pressure to drop dangerously low, putting you into a state of hypovolemic shock. This can cause your body’s organs to shut down, which is life-threatening and requires emergency treatment.
You may also experience:
- An increased heart rate
- Heat stroke
Many of these symptoms are the result of an imbalance in your electrolytes caused by a lack of water. It’s also the reason people often pass out from dehydration after experiencing these symptoms. If you are experiencing any of these effects, you should get to an emergency room right away.
The Long-Term Effects of Dehydration
If you are frequently dehydrated, over time, you open yourself up to a greater risk of kidney problems. You are more susceptible to kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and even kidney failure.
Other long-term effects of dehydration include:
- Gastrointestinal problems (e.g. ulcers and even stomach cancer)
- Weight gain
- Respiratory issues
- Skin problems (e.g. discoloration and wrinkling)
- Joint pain
These long-term effects of frequent dehydration (also known as chronic dehydration) show just how important water is to all parts of your body. When you lack the amount of water your body requires, your organs and bodily functions begin to shut down or weaken. This can cause serious issues later in life.
How to Stay Hydrated
To prevent dehydration, you should drink lots of water, right? Absolutely. But how much is enough to keep you hydrated? According to Very Well Health, you should drink about half a gallon of water daily. This intake can come from any water-filled foods or liquids. According to Business Insider, 80 percent of your total daily water intake should come from some sort of beverage, with the remaining 20 percent coming from foods. However, avoid things that cause excessive urination, like alcohol, because they just cause water to leave the body quickly.
Another way to stay hydrated is to drink hydrogen water. Trussi’s hydrogen water can benefit both your body and your brain in many ways, in addition to keeping you hydrated.