While most people think that being thirsty is the only sign of dehydration, there are many other surprising indicators that your body needs liquids to keep functioning properly.
According to WebMD, dehydration happens when you loose too many fluids and the loss of bodily fluids exceeds the amount taken in. Fluids leave in multiple of ways, like during our breath’s exhale we loose water vapor, as also from the obvious like sweat, urine and excretion.
Considering the body is made up of 60% water, give or take, it actually begins to break down when we don’t drink enough. Our cells degenerate and the blood actually thickens when we don’t get enough water, causing the heart to work harder to compensate.
Many confuse the symptoms of dehydration with sickness for good reason: the symptoms vary and can be mild, like dry skin, to severe like stroke and even death.
Other symptoms to watch out for, and if appropriate, call your physician:
- Kidney stones
- Inability to sweat
- Decreased urine
- Heart Palpaltations (jumping or pounding)
A good way to remember how much water to drink is to apply what some call the 8 x 8 rule – and drink eight 8oz. glasses of water a day. However, how much water an individual exactly requires depends on the individual and their circumstances.
When you are ill, your body needs much more fluids. Fever, vomiting diarrhea, diseases such as diabetes, and significant injuries to the skin may cause rapid and continued dehydration. In cases like this drink extra water and consider replacing electrolytes as well.
Here’s an interesting video of nutrition expert Dr. Kopko explaining the dangers of dehydration. He describes water as the single most important nutrient to the human body,” and emphasizes that, “70% of all Americans are chronically dehydrated.”