Tips about dehydration you should know

DID you know that dehydration occurs when the amount of water leaving the body is greater than the amount taken in?

The body is very dynamic and always changing. We lose water routinely when we
* breathe and humidified air leaves the body
* sweat to cool the body
* urinate or have a bowel movement to rid the body of waste products. In a normal day, a person has to drink a significant amount of water to replace the routine loss.

In this week’s shopper we will look at the causes of dehydration and how you can prevent it by website www.onhealth.com

What causes dehydration?
* Diarrhoea is the most common reason a person loses excess water. It consists of unusually frequent or unusually liquid bowel movement and excessive watery evacuations of fecal material.
* Vomiting is the act of forcible emptying of the stomach in which the stomach has to overcome the pressure that are normally in place to keep food and secretions within the stomach.
Constant vomiting can be a serious cause of fluid loss and it is difficult for a person to replace water if they are unable to tolerate liquids.
* The body can lose significant amount of water when it tries to cool itself by sweating. Whether the body is hot because of the environment, intense exercising in a hot environment or because fever is present due to an infection.
* For diabetics, elevated blood sugar levels cause sugar to spill into the urine and water then follows causing significant dehydration.

For this reason, frequent urination and excessive thirst are among the symptoms of diabetes.

Signs and symptoms of dehydration
The body’s initial response to dehydration are thirst to increase water intake along with decreased urine output to try to conserve water.

The urine will become concentrated and more yellow in colour.

As the level of water loss increases more symptoms can become apparent such as increased thirst, dry mouth, cessation of sweating, muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting.

Coma and organ failure will occur if the dehydration remains untreated.

Prevention tips

Plan ahead and take extra water to all outdoor events where increased sweating, activity and heat stress will increase fluid loss.
* Check weather forecasts for high heat index days. When temperatures are high avoid exercise, outdoor exposure and plan events that must occur during times of the day when temperatures are lower.
* The young and elderly are most at risk of dehydration.
Ensure that old people, infants and children have adequate water intake or fluids available and assist them as necessary.
* Avoid alcohol consumption especially when it is very hot because alcohol increases water loss and impairs your ability to recognise early signs associated with dehydration.

More Stories