Two-thirds of the human body consists of water. Water is essential for normal body functions such as digestion of food, lubrication of joints, and regular elimination of toxins to keep your skin and body healthy.
A water loss of even 1-2% can lead to severe effects in the form of dehydration. This post will look at the meaning and effects of dehydration on your body, the top 7 signs of severe dehydration, and their remedies. Let us start.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration is a medical condition wherein your body loses more liquid than it takes in.
What are the Effects of Dehydration?
When your body dehydrates, your blood becomes concentrated. Your heart rate increases to maintain optimum blood pressure levels, and your body signals the kidneys to retain water. Excessive loss of water hampers your body's ability to control temperature. Low water levels in the brain can lead to memory loss and uncoordinated body movements.
7 Signs of Severe Dehydration and Ways to Treat Them
Here are the top 7 signs of severe dehydration and ways to treat them.
1. Not Urinating Enough or Dark-Colored Urine
Normal urine is pale yellow. If your urine's color is dark, it could be a sign of dehydration. If you are having problems urinating, it means you are definitely dehydrated.
Remedy: Drink plenty of water. Ensure that you take small sips instead of gulping down large quantities. Keep a large water bottle handy to ensure you do not fall short of water throughout the day.
2. Dry Skin
Try pinching your hand's skin. If it moves back slowly, it may be a sign of mild to moderate dehydration. If it does not, it is a clear sign of severe dehydration.
Remedy: For mild to moderate dehydration, drink plenty of water. You can also try rehydrating drinks or coconut water. If you suffer from severe dehydration, consult a medical expert.
3. Rapid Breathing and Increased Heartbeat
If you work out, an increased heart rate and rapid breathing patterns are normal. However, if you continue to notice the same even hours after your workout, or if you do not work out at all but still notice these symptoms, it could mean you are suffering from acute dehydration.
Remedy: Drink plenty of fluids to ensure your body gets enough electrolytes for your heart to pump blood and for other organs to function correctly. If you are severely dehydrated, consult a doctor. The doctor will administer intravenous fluid containing a blend of water, salt, and sugar for quick recovery.
4. Feeling Confused, Dizzy, or Lightheaded
The human brain contains 73% water. If you do not intake enough fluids, your brain stops functioning normally, and you start feeling confused, dizzy, or lightheaded.
Remedy: Drink a lot of water slowly and rehydrate yourself with water-filled foods such as watermelon, cucumbers, apples, strawberries, grapes, tomatoes, etc. If it does not work and you still experience severe dehydration, consult a healthcare expert.
5. High Fever and Chills
When your body loses excessive liquids, it becomes hard to maintain a normal body temperature. It can cause Hyperthermia, high fever, and chills.
Remedy: Stop engaging in strenuous activities. Ensure that your body stays cool by drinking plenty of liquids. If the situation does not improve and your body temperature crosses the 103° mark, please visit your nearest doctor.
Loss of liquids and other symptoms of dehydration, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, and low blood pressure, can lead to unconsciousness.
Remedy: Call or ask somebody to call emergency services immediately so that doctors can initiate the dehydration therapy as soon as possible. The treatment will ensure the water level in your body returns to normal.
7. Muscle Cramps
Excessive loss of water and sodium can lead to muscle cramps. It usually happens when you sweat profusely after a strenuous workout.
Remedy: Ensure that you replenish the loss of fluids by drinking rehydrating liquids such as coconut water containing electrolytes.