How Dehydration Impacts Your Overall Health

Water is a big deal for humans. It makes up around 60% of your total body weight and fuels most of your bodily functions. You can go a span of weeks without food but only a couple of days without taking a drink of water without your body shutting down. Even a 1% decrease in hydration can make you feel sick and sluggish. It’s no wonder then that dehydration can have a serious impact on your overall health. 

Dr. Timothy Scott Beck at Life Point Medical specializes in treating your dehydration and replenishing your system so you start feeling better. 

Dehydration and its effect on your health

When you’re properly hydrated, everything in your body works as it should. Your body temperature is normal, your system moves nutrients efficiently, and you have all the bodily fluids you need. Water and sufficient hydration have other external benefits like healthier skin, more energized muscles, and a slimmer waistline. 

Dehydration simply means you’re losing more water than you’re taking in, and all those important functions start to suffer. Your mouth is dry, your head aches, and your muscles cramp. In more severe cases, you feel dizzy, have dry skin, or even faint. 

Sometimes you’re dehydrated because you’re not taking in enough water. Other times it might be because you’ve recently gone through a sickness which resulted in diarrhea or vomiting, you have a fever, you’re not replacing fluids after a strenuous workout or on a hot day, or you’re urinating more frequently as a side effect of diabetes. 

Whatever the cause of your dehydration, it can have dangerous results including: 

Urinary and kidney issues

Your kidney and urinary tract help to move waste out of your system. If you’re not properly hydrated, your waste-removal systems have to work overtime to get rid of waste. This can lead to painful kidney stones and urinary tract infections or kidney failure. 

Seizures

Your body is full of electrolytes. You know them as potassium (the nutrient commonly found in bananas) and sodium. These minerals carry electrical signals between cells aided by the water in your system. Dehydration jeopardizes your electrolytes’ ability to send signals, which can lead to muscle spasms or even loss of consciousness. 

Heat injury

A hard work out, especially one in the hot sun, increases your risk of complications from dehydration if you’re not adequately replacing the fluids you lose. Specifically, you could suffer from heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat strokes, which can be life-threatening. 

Hypovolemic shock

Hypovolemic shock is the most severe complication of dehydration. This occurs when you lose over 20% of your total fluid supply. Losing that much fluid makes it very difficult for your heart to pump blood. If you go into hypovolemic shock, seek medical attention immediately as it can be fatal. 

How to prevent complications from dehydration

If your dehydration poses a serious threat to your health and a couple of glasses of water won’t solve the problem, Dr. Beck recommends IV hydration. During IV hydration, you receive vitamin-enriched fluids into your arm through a small needle. You’ll start to feel results almost instantly and leave the session feeling replenished. 

It’s important to walk away from your IV hydration session equipped with some strategies to stay hydrated and healthy during the day. Here are a few things Dr. Beck recommends:

Get a new water bottle

These days, reusable water bottles are essentially a fashion statement. There are tons of options when it comes to design, functionality, colors, and other features. Investing in a new water bottle, especially one that you think looks cool, can keep you motivated to drink more water during the day. 

Keep yourself accountable

Another way to boost motivation is to track your water intake. Along with eye-catching designs and colors, some water bottles will light-up to remind you to take a drink. You can also try health tracking apps or set alarms to remind you to drink.

Flavor your water

If water just tastes boring to you, try slicing up fresh fruits like lemons and strawberries or other produce like cucumbers and mint to give your water a refreshing, healthy, and natural flavor. 

Skip coffee and alcohol

Both of these beverages are what are called diuretics. Diuretics are used to purge your body of salt, and that’s the opposite of what you want if you’re trying to stay hydrated. You don’t have to stop drinking coffee or alcohol completely, but remember to switch to water at some point. 

If you’re in need of hydration treatment or just need some guidance on how you get healthier and increase your water intake, call or schedule an appointment today

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