This summer period is characterized by dehydration. A lot of times we can get so busy, that we forget to hydrate ourselves adequately. Water is an essential nutrient required for the normal functioning of the body. Our blood is made up of 92% water, our brains 75% water and our whole body, 70% water. All metabolic processes depends on water to be carried out and the importance of water to the body can be likened to the importance of blood to the body.

What is dehydration? Dehydration is a condition whereby the rate at which your body looses more fluids (mainly water) is more than you take in. It is a state of excessive loss of body water. More than 10% loss of body water can lead to complications.

What causes dehydration?

  • Summer periods characterized by high temperature.
  • Extended and continuous stressful physical activity
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fasting
  • Illness
  • Alcoholism
  • Lack of access to portable water

How does the body loose water? The body looses water through sweat, urine, perspiration, diarrhea, vomiting, bleeding.

Signs and symptoms of dehydration

  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Increased thirst
  • Chapped and flaked lips
  • Pale look
  • Dry skin
  • Lack of concentration
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Sunken eyes and cheeks
  • Palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Dark color urine

Dehydration complications

  1. Unconsciousness
  2. Organ failure
  3. Seizures
  4. Heat stroke
  5. Shock
  6. shrivelled skin

Diagnosis

  1. Physical examination by observing the signs and symptoms
  2. Blood tests to check your electrolyte levels
  3. Urine test

How to prevent dehydration

  • Drink lots of water regularly
  • Feed on fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid staying under direct sunlight
  • Replace lost fluids immediately when involved in a stressful physical activity such as an exercise
  • Avoid taking caffeine, alcohol and carbonated drinks

Treatment of dehydration

A person suffering from mild dehydration can fix it my taking in lots of water and eating foods that are hydrating such as watermelon. If dehydration is severe, it is best to seek your doctor for proper diagnosis. It is vital for your doctor to know the cause of dehydration for proper treatment.