Signs of Dehydration and Tips on Staying Hydrated

water-in-the-desert

Dehydration is a common problem during the summer months and if left untreated can lead to serious health issues ranging from heat exhaustion to blood clots to even seizures. It’s easy to get dehydrated when temperatures soar into the 90s and above.

Dehydration happens when the body does not have enough fluids to sweat or function properly. The most obvious signs of dehydration include thirst and sluggishness, but there are other indicators that are less known.

Here is a list of signs of dehydration that are less obvious.

Skin test.     Your skin is one of the biggest indicators of dehydration. In addition to red or “flushed” skin tone, you can actually try the pinch test. Simply pull back about 1/2 inch of skin around or near the back of your wrist. Look for skin that stays raised like a dome for approximately 7-10 seconds. If it does, you are already experiencing the signs of mild dehydration and should slam a bottle of water STAT.

Stinky breath.     We are not trying to be mean but if your breath is kickin’ you may need to pay attention to your hydration. A lack of saliva is a common sign of dehydration and can mean that your body is having trouble making saliva. Little known fact: saliva contains antibacterial properties.

Cramping up.     Those muscle cramps might not just be from exercise or too much movement during the day. Muscle cramps are an indicator that your body is missing important electrolytes such as potassium and sodium.

Chills or fever.     In spite of the heat if you suffering from dehydration you may experience chills. This could also lead to an actual fever. These are more severe signs of sever dehydration so seek shade and fluids immediately.

Sweet tooth.     When the body is short on glycogens, you will seek something sweet to drink (soda) or eat. This is because your body is in need of nutrients and is trying to overcompensate. This would explain why you might crave a sugary soda. However, water is best and sugary sodas will only temporarily take care of these cravings. If you are “starving” try eating foods that contain lots of water such as celery, watermelon and even yogurt could get you back on track.

Headache or migraines.     There is a fluid sack that protects your brain from hitting your skull. If your head is hurting, that fluid sack is in dire need of water as well.

Avoid dehydration by sipping water throughout the day and during meals. Additionally, eat foods that contain lots of water in them such as celery, or any fruit in the melon family such as cantaloupes and as mentioned earlier, yogurt. You will want to consume at least a half gallon of water per day or eight 8-ounce glasses of water.

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