How do I know if I'm Dehydrated?
Detecting Dehydration and Preventing It
by Candace Green
Dehydration occurs when the adequate floods the body requires are eliminated by a variety of causes.
Dehydration Can Be Dangerous! Some people have no idea they are suffering dehydration. They continue their everyday activities not knowing they are straining the life from their bodies with fluid deprivation.
Ways to detect dehydration:
Checking Your Veins: Check you veins around your wrist. Remember what the size of your veins are normally. If your veins are hard to find visibly through your skin you are probably severely dehydrated. If your veins are like strings of thread you must drink immediately. If your veins are puffy and full you are most likely well-hydrated. (Note: This applies if the fluid intake was water-based.)
Dry Mouth: If your mouth feels dry or its hard to create saliva you are dehydrating. Also if you are developing foam around your jaws you must find water.
Thirst: Obviously thirst is natural prevention for dehydration. "Don't ignore your thirst!" If anything, drink even when your not thirsty. Some people forget to drink or ignore their thirst because they don't like to drink much. You must make it a habit to keep fluids in your body. Fluids are more important for survival than food. Keep a sport jug around to carry with you as a reminder.
Tip:Sipping your water all throughout the day insures adequate hydration, yet won't make you feel water logged.
Caffeine: We all don't like to hear this, but caffeine is a dehydrator (diuretic) . A 44oz soda may satisfy your longing, but it won't truly quench your thirst or give your body the proper fluid intake. For every caffeine drink consume water as well. The marine corps don't allow their guys to have caffeine during exertion because hydration is necessary for the body to preform to it's potential. Most of America are half-dehydrated because of so much caffeine intake.
Water: Water and water-based products are essential for hydration. Drink eight 8oz glasses a day, this will ensure proper fluid absorption. If you don't like plain water try a sugar free flavor packet. Also keeping water in the refrigerator makes it colder and more desirable (a glass bottle is great). Freezing water until it is slushy is a great a treat as well.
Diarrhea and Vomiting: Diarrhea and vomiting can cause severe to deadly dehydration if not treated properly and quickly. No-matter how sick you or your loved-one is you must drink. Even if you are not holding it down keep drinking. Soothe your upset stomach with cold Classic Coke and then try water or hot tea. Chicken broth is a great choice as well. If you are unable to hold any fluids down seek medical attention immediately don't wait until too late especially with children and babies.
Note: Coke is not recommended for hydration just when you are unable to hold any liquid down it works to soothe your stomach and provide more tolerance for proper fluids.
Check your fingernails: Push in on your fingernails until they turn white, then release. If your fingernail remains white or slowly returns to normal then you are likely dehydrated.
Dry Lips: If you constantly have to use chap-stick and your lips are cracked or dry, this likely means you need more fluid intake. Luscious lips go along with steady healthy liquid indulger's.
Dry Hair and Skin: Hydration is necessary for healthy skin and hair. Not only conditioners are necessary for hair health, but internal conditioning. The same is for your skin, lotion can only do so much, the rest is up to your drinking habits.
Pregnancy: If you are pregnant or nursing it is vital for you and the life of your baby to stay hydrated. If you are questionable about whether you are hydrated or not seek medical attention. Some women lose fluids no-matter how much they try to maintain. Occasionally an IV is needed to increase fluid flow.
Decrease In Urination:
If your trips to the powder room have become more infrequent then you should beware of dehydration. If you are pregnant this could be a symptom of toxemia or preeclampsia, call the doctor. Decrease of urination can also mean water retention, check for swelling. Retaining floods can be harmful and produce toxins.
Strange Colored Urine:
If your urine has a strange color or a strong odor this could mean dehydration, but these symptoms may have more serious reasons, so inform your doctor.
Alcohol: Alcohol is by no means a form of hydration, but eliminates fluids like evaporation. Alcohol is very unhealthy, but if you choose to consume beware of the consequences and replace the inadequate fluids with water or tea.
Blood Test: Blood tests can accurately diagnose dehydration, your doctor may order one if you have any of the above symptoms.
Stay healthy and take care of your self.