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What exactly is dehydration??

The meaning of dehydration is defined as 'A condition whereby it occurs when there is loss of body fluids whereby mostly is water which exceeds the amount that it is supposed to be taken in'.

But, in medical terms, dehydration usually means a person has lost enough fluid so that the body begins to lose its ability to function normally and then it begins to produce symptoms that are related to the fluid loss. Although infants and children are at a higher risk for dehydration, many adults and also the elderly tend to also have significant risk factors.

Human being lose water every day which is in the form of water vapor when we exhale. In the form of water, it will be our sweat, urine, and stool. Along with the water, there will also be some small amount of salt or electrolytes which are also lost. Our bodies are constantly re-adjusting the balance between water, salt and electrolytes losses with our fluid intake.

When we lose too much water, our bodies may become dehydrated. Most doctors divide dehydration into three stages:

  1. Mild
  2. Moderate
  3. Severe

Below are the syndromes for mild and moderate dehydration:

  • Thirst
  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Not peeing very much
  • Dark yellow pee
  • Dry, cool skin
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps

Syndrome of severe dehydration include:

  • Not peeing or having very dark yellow pee
  • Very dry skin
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sunken eyes
  • Sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion or irritability
  • Fainting

Yet, there are several ways to prevent dehydration:

  • You may plan ahead and bring some extra sports drinks which contain electrolytes and remember to bring water bottles to all outdoor events and work where increased sweating, activity, and heat stress will likely happen.
  • You may listen to weather forecasts for high heat stress days so that you can arrange your schedule to avoid exercising and exposure to high heat. If not, you may go out when the temperatures are cooler, which usually will be in the early morning or after sunset.
  • When it is a very hot day, you must avoid alcohol consumption because alcohol increases water loss and it will impair a person's ability to sense early signs of dehydration.
  • You may wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothing if you are going out when it is hot outside. Try to carry a personal fan or mister to cool down your body so that there will be less fluid lost through sweating.
  • Bring yourself a bottle of cold drinks by keeping them in a thermal flask as thermal flask are able to keep your water warm or cold for a very long period.

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