The Dangers of Dehydration

By: KIMBERLY RUDD

Edited By: CHRISTINA COLAVECCHIA

During the summer everyone loves to be outside when the weather is hot and the sun is shining. There are so many activities to do outdoors such as fishing, swimming, and continuing your daily workouts including walking, biking, running and exercising outside. What most people don’t realize is that your body is continuously losing water, and while you’re outside in the heat, your body is losing it at a greater speed.

Every day your body is losing water when you breathe, sweat, and eliminate waste. When it is a hot day, you’re losing a significant amount of water by your body just trying to cool itself down. According to MedicineNet.com, dehydration occurs when the amount of water leaving the body is greater than the amount being taken in. The human body is able to monitor when it is losing water, that is why there is the thirst mechanism telling you that it needs more water to function. When there isn’t enough water to function, then your body begins to shut down.

Here is a list of signs and symptoms of dehydration:

• Thirst
• Dry mouth
• Weakness
• Muscle cramps
• Nausea
• Lightheadedness

It is important to know these symptoms in case you begin to experience these signs and become dehydrated.

Prevention is the most important step for treating dehydration. Before doing any outside activities in the heat, it is necessary to hydrate and drink lots of fluids. Dr. Ben Wedro explains that you need to learn your body cues so that you know when you feel weak, lightheaded, or nauseated. Dr. Wedro says, “Urine is a good way to monitor body’s hydration status. Concentrated, yellow, strong smelling urine is a sign that your kidneys are trying to hold onto water and you may be dehydrated. Clear, dilute urine means that there is enough water in the body to allow the kidneys to get rid of the excess.” For at-home treatments for mild dehydration, you need to get the fluids back into your body.

This includes:

• Water
• Popsicles
• Gatorade
• Jell-O
• Clear broths

Severe dehydration can lead to many complications including kidney failure, coma, or shock. If you have been experiencing cases of dehydration, you should contact your local doctor or, in case of an emergency, call 911. Dr. Wedro says, “Avoid working out in the heat of the day, but if your job requires you to be outside, make certain that you drink enough water.”

Lastly, here are some tips to remember about being outside during the hot summer months:

• Before you do any activities outside, make sure you drink lots of fluids
• If possible do activities in the shade
• Don’t go outside if the temperature is over 100 degrees
• Be aware of your bodily cues
• Drink plenty of water while you are outside in the heat

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One Comment on “The Dangers of Dehydration”

  1. Xavier Tramble
    August 23, 2012 at 6:22 am #

    When i get some bad muscle cramps, i would just take some OTC pain killers and food supplements that helps and healing the joints and muscles. ”;.”

    Kind regards http://www.foodsupplementdigest.com/5-htp-dosage/

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