10 Signs of Dehydration
You’re feeling funky, but you don’t know why. It’s understandable. You have run down all the common illnesses. No one in the house seems to be sick. You already took allergy meds this morning. You ate breakfast. But, something is still off.
Have you considered that you could be dehydrated? You may have heard that the human body is made up of mostly water (up to 60%!). Water serves as an essential part of the functioning of the human body. It regulates every single cell process. Here are some of the signs of dehydration.
1. Feeling thirsty. This may be a no-brainer, but if you feel thirsty, then you are thirsty.
2. Dark colored urine. Your urine should be a transparent yellow color. Think of the tint of lemonade. If your urine is darker than the color of lemonade you may be slightly dehydrated. Keeping an eye on the color of your urine will help you recognize what is normal colored urine.
3. Confusion. Some call this brain fog, and it’s directly related to the level of hydration your body is experiencing. Even mild dehydration (losing around 2% of your total fluid intake) will impair your cognitive functioning, ability to pay attention, and even your short term memory. This is especially true for older adults who have a lower thirst threshold.
4. Fatigue. In order for your body to make use of your lunch, you have to be hydrated. Water is absorbed and enters the bloodstream to distribute those energy making nutrients. When you have an imbalance of fluid, your heart will work harder leading to fatigue.
5. Dizziness. Blood volume goes down when you’re dehydrated. Less water means less blood. That leads to blood pressure lowering and your brain not getting enough blood to function properly. Those factors lead to dizziness or feeling lightheaded when you’re dehydrated.
6. Dry skin. Have you noticed that your skin is drier than usual? It could be that your body has been dehydrated for a while. Natural oils on your skin ensure that it stays soft and healthy. When you’re dehydrated, your body isn’t producing the natural oils as effectively and you may start to notice dry itchy patches of skin.
7. Headaches. Also called dehydration headaches, these often accompany other symptoms of dehydration such as dizziness, brain fog, and fatigue. Your body has a delicate balance of water, salt, potassium, and more. Endurance athletes who perspire during training might find themselves bedridden with a headache even when they had sports drinks during training. Excessive sweating causes your body to require something more effective like an oral rehydration salt to get the delicate balance back to normal.
8. Urinating less often. This may seem like a no brainer, but if you’re dehydrated you may notice you’re going to the bathroom less frequently. Less water intake means less fluid output.
9. Muscle Cramps. These can be debilitating. One moment you're relaxing on the couch. Next, you’re yelling while gripping your leg. Dehydration means less fluid in your body getting to your extremities. Your body will shift fluid to your more important organs, and sometimes that means muscle cramps as less water is going to your less vital muscles.
10. Rapid breathing or rapid pulse. Rapid heart rate can indicate something more serious than just dehydration. Maybe a chronic illness like POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) or another form of dysautonomia is causing your rapid heart rate. When your heart rate is elevated often your breathing will also pick up the pace. Dehydration can cause rapid heart rate as your heart is struggling to keep up.
Dehydration in Children
In children signs and symptoms of dehydration may look a little differently. You would want to watch for the following: dry mouth/tongue, no tears when crying, no wet diapers, sunken eyes, listlessness, irritability, and in infants a sunken soft spot on top of their head. Infants and children are especially susceptible to dehydration so, as a parent, it’s important to watch for the signs. If you suspect your child might be mildly dehydrated you may want to consider an oral rehydration salt like NormaLyte to quickly and effectively get their levels back to normal. NormaLyte is safe for children over a year, but always consult your pediatrician if you have any concerns.
How to Beat Dehydration
Increasing your water intake is the easiest way to beat dehydration. There are times when drinking water alone isn’t effective at quickly rehydrating you. Electrolytes more efficiently replace lost nutrients when your body has been greatly dehydrated making you feel better faster. We recommend NormaLyte! NormaLyte is a medical grade electrolyte that can get you back to normal quickly and effectively.