- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Are You Dehydrated?
When our health is at stake, we should not have second thoughts or hesitations about our well-being. Understanding the need of our physical anatomy should be our priority to combat diseases that can shorten our lives. Just take for instance, dehydration. Let us know the reasons of how important this often ignored-topic when we feel thirsty. We just shrugged our shoulder and we'll say, let's just drink water. I think it should not be the case.
Are You Dehydrated?
I came across this question when I used the public comfort room of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in Manila. Heated arguments can be heard from the ground floor of the building due to the overcrowding workers who want to avail the calamity loan last October 2009 after the disaster brought about by Typhoon Ondoy’s flood that almost inundated the main cities of Metro Manila. So I decided to get a quick release before I join the mob saying fiery words to the staff and employees of the Philippine government office.
While I was urinating, so many posters caught my eyes. For every cubicle, there at eye level, is the poster of a famous energy drink with a big inquiry to the user: Are you dehydrated? At the same poster, there’s a bar indicator about the color of a person’s urine, from dark yellow orange to almost transparent or white urine.
The Indicators of Dehydration
Infants and adults as well are always in danger to be dehydrated.
Dehydration means that we lack the sufficient fluids needed by the organs of our body to help us function normally. Infants or babies are more susceptible of being dehydrated. Indicators are non-stop crying, the features of the face become pale and humped. The mother will say that the baby is just hungry. Or the canned infant milk is not suited for the baby.
For the adults, we often regard it as hypertension. Well, it can be true if we suffer irritability, headaches, bodily pains and we feel weak.
Before when I’m using the comfort room at the bus stop when I’m going to go to the province where I used to live, I didn’t mind if the color of my urine ranges from deep yellow orange or pale. I just want to release this liquid waste from my body.
Now that I knew already the indicators of being dehydrated, I always see to it that I packed bottles of mineral water in my travel backpack. It’s not simply being thirsty but this can lead to serious damage to our body. I will be going to be careful now that I’m travelling for about ten hours when going to the province.
Prognosis and Cure
Dehydration (also means hypohydration) among humans is often stress-related and caused by eternal elements.
Jogging for a long time and being exposed to the heat of the sun can cause dehydration if one will not consume liquids or drink water to replace the loss of electrolytes (water and blood plasma) in the body. Too much sweating is dangerous.
Prolonged exposure to dry air like when we travel by airplane is likely to cause dehydration. So, if the air personnel or stewardess or steward will offer drinking water, don't refuse it. It will replace loss of electrolytes in our body. That's why we experience dry throat and parched lips when we travel by air.
Blood loss or low count of blood plasma is a clear indicator of dehydration. When we experienced trauma as in you were losing blood due to open wound, it can also cause death if not treated immediately.
Shock or hypovolemic is when you received or heared bad news or even good ones, and you get excited, a person affected will immediately ask for water to regain herself/himself normally.
Diseases, like diabetes milletus is often the cause of dehydration. Diarrhea, vomiting, burns and lacrimation are also the causes of loss of water. Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) is immediately administer to affected patient. An example of ORS is Oresol (often mixed with salt and water or sometimes with sugar). Infectious diseases like cholera, gastroenteritis and yellow fever can also trigger dehydration, even flu. Intravenous therapy is also provided to the patient.
Malnutrition is the biggest cause of dehydration among children. Those who have excessive intake of alcohol may suffer extreme dehydration. Those persons who don't want to heed nutrition and hydration advise may likely to suffer dehydration. Those who are fasting is most likely to suffer the same fate.
Addiction to drugs like methamphetamine can cause dehydration and also death. Beverages like coffee if drunk excessively can also trigger dehydration.
Commercialism of Drinks
There are many sources of liquid drinks nowadays. Colorful drinks, addictive drinks, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, softdrinks included are but some of it being sold in the market.
The persuasion to drink any kind of liquids that may likely cause dehydration is alarming. We must always know the importance of what we drink. There are elements in it that can trigger loss of liquids in our body even though we are drinking some commercial brands of those.
Natural, mineral or spring water is still the best way to replace electrolytes or liquids in our body. If you go hiking in the mountains and found a sourceof spring water, try drinking it. It's fresh and little sweet to the taste because of the minerals on it. Tap water is already chlorinized, so it is really damaging the functions of our body parts. Although we may not notice it, kidney failures are always linked to drinking chlorinized water. You can also change it to mineral-like taste water by putting a set of water naturaliser, a mineral water-making machiner.
Too much water can also cause problem (read the news supplement on hyponatremia below). Eight to ten glasses of water should be the total amount of liquid intake everyday. Our body organs know if we are thirsty. They're the best indicators when we are dehydrated. You and me know the feeling already.