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How do I know if I'm Dehydrated?

Updated on June 30, 2016

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.


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    • profile image

      DoveFreexrolo 2 years ago

      Great post. Quite refreshing provided all the duplicate written content out there. Cheers for doing something original.

    • profile image

      LerSeaLlcrawl 5 years ago

      We employed to get at the top of life nevertheless as of late I've built up any opposition.

    • singingmommy profile image

      Candace Green 5 years ago from OKLAHOMA

      Ashley, I agree with The girl 33. I hope you get better soon and are under doctor care.

      Cassidy, It is possible you are needing hydration, but definitely have your parents take you to a physician.

    • profile image

      Cassidy 5 years ago

      Hello mommy, I'm 12 going on 13 and I have a problem, well my urine is totally clear, and I read that means I'm healthy, but I can't find the veins in my wrist, my head and all muscles are pounding. I have no strength and I feel like spaggittte. I'm not sure what it is. Can you please help!!right now!! :/ I'm scared

    • profile image

      The girl33 6 years ago

      Ashley,- it possibly could be...

    • profile image

      Ashley 6 years ago


      Lately I've been real dizzy, light headed, black outs, major headaches, and last night vomitting. I also feel very forgetful. Could this be dehydration? Thank you.

    • profile image

      laura leigh 6 years ago

      i am 35 and a half weeks pregnant and i was given an iron tablet to take a couple months ago but i cant keep it down and my dr never said anything else about it so i just didnt worry about it but now i am constantly tired i feel VERY faint all the time i cant hold down any food and i am having contractions (not consistant though)almost every night i am really concerned that i have hit a real low level of iron what do yall think?

    • profile image

      Your friend 6 years ago

      nkcishecki, take a multivitamin if you're not already. Also, try throwing a glass of milk in once in a while and don't expect instant changes. You may not get a signification change for several months. But don't quit just keep drinking a comfortable amount of water with no caffeinated products (Coke, Pepsi, Tea, Coffee, energy suppliments/drinks, Mochas, whatever) at all. You also have to eat right. Eating foods rich in water and nutrients will also help. Think of them like water supplement. You eat a dozen grapes and they sit in your stomach for several hours releasing their juice. Anyway, good luck to you and use your common sense with things and you should do fine (just don't give up).

    • profile image

      K80 6 years ago

      Water is nasty.

    • nkcishecki profile image

      nkcishecki 6 years ago from Toronto

      @chicadeoriente I made the mixture you suggested, but it tastes horrible and given that I already feel nauseous I am having trouble getting it down. Any suggestions to make it easier flavour-wise?

      Everyone else, I need help. I recently started taking iron and B12 supplements because my levels were dangerously low. i've noticed since then, though, that my dizziness has persisted, I have had increased cramping in my limbs, I'm weak, lips are chapped, and my mouth dries out constantly. I don't even normally drink water, and I have been drinking up to 8 full water bottles per day. I try to sleep, but I wake up thirsty or having to pee, and then if the latter is the case, I wake up thirsty again. Nothing seems to be quenching my thirst. I have also cut out caffeine entirely, but it has not helped. Suggestions?

    • profile image

      Oscar 6 years ago

      My lips get really dry and my mouth too. Also my lips turned kinda like black which I think is due to not good blood circulation. As I was reading this I thought that it might be due to dehydration. Do lips get black due to dehydration??? Also, I get sleepy a lot. I take like two energy drinks a week when I feel really tired because I have to study or do HW. and I know they are really bad for dehydration.

    • profile image

      hyatt 6 years ago

      diarria keeps coming plz help

    • profile image

      Nessy 6 years ago

      Thank you so much, being dehydrated was the LAST thing I would've expected. My throat/mouth is dry, I feel lightheaded and my lips are chapped a lot. I kept wondering why this was happening CONSTANTLY! Not only was I not drinking water, I was barely drinking anything at all. Starting now I will be on top of that. TY.

    • profile image

      kimberly 6 years ago

      This is really helpful and makes me worry less bc i was concerned when some one told me i look as if i'm holding fluid in my body, i'm pregnant and just want a healthy baby, thanks ! ;-)

    • singingmommy profile image

      Candace Green 6 years ago from OKLAHOMA

      Anthony: I will have to check into your question for the healthy to do that without shocking the body.

      Nicole: Hopefully you've told your parents how you have been feeling that way you can get to a doctor. Hope you get well soon.

    • profile image

      Nicole 6 years ago

      Hi I'M 11 and my pee isn't any strange color but I do have a sharp pain in my temple for 2 says I've had to pee allot and my lips are chaped and I've been sorta dizzy and pueaky feeling also about the fingernails see mine... covered in black nail polishusually :) dang spell check! Grrr

    • profile image

      6 years ago

      Dehydration kills i know first hand.

    • profile image

      rick 6 years ago

      when im sick coke makes me feel better really fast

    • profile image

      anthony z 6 years ago


    • singingmommy profile image

      Candace Green 6 years ago from OKLAHOMA

      I'm so glad your okay Guppy:) Thanks for reading, take care of yourself:)Your welcome!

    • profile image

      Guppy 6 years ago

      Great hub it probably saved my life. Thank oyu so much i was layin down earlier and everytime i got up it felt like i was gonna vomit then my heart wud start racing and stuff. i hope u still read this hub. THANK U TONS!

    • profile image

      kiley  7 years ago

      i love the hub i was in the hostipital and after that and what the hub said then water was my life!!!

    • profile image

      Chaeli cole 7 years ago

      Actually coke really does work!!! I'm dehydrated right now and I keep vomiting ,and fascinating that the only thing I was able to keep down was coke!!!

    • singingmommy profile image

      Candace Green 7 years ago from OKLAHOMA

      I am not at all suggesting Coke as a hydrating option, but a stomach settling option where you can hold fluids. The Dr. told us it has something in it that settles the stomach. When I can't hold anything down I drink it, then I'm able to drink water and eat better. No, it's not a hydrating fluid just a stomach settling medicine.

    • profile image

      chicadeoriente 7 years ago

      Your information on diarrhea is a killer. Drink Coke? are you serious? why don't you and everyone else google what damage does coke do? The recipe for dehydration is as follows:

      Table salt: 3/4 teaspoon

      Baking Powder: 1 teaspoon

      Sugar: 4 Tablespoons

      Orange Juice: 1 cup

      Water: 1 quart

      Mix all ingredients until dissolved, refrigerate. Drink as needed for dehydration.

      Not trying to take anything away from you , as you appear to be a very nice person, but with this type of site you have to be careful as to what information you disseminate. And the readers have a responsibility to check what they read that is not from a medical expert.Including what I just suggested.

      The above recipe is what is given to children who are seriously malnutritioned in Africa and it beats Pedialyte which has poisons in it. Thank you FDA. I recommended this to my daughter when my darling grandson was poisoned by a sausage patty he ate at McDonald's. No more Mickey Dee's for us!

      I also have started taking this drink, because my dehydration is due to moisture loss from the lungs, due to allergies that stop up my nose.

      Wish everyone well. God or the Source keep you healthy.

    • singingmommy profile image

      Candace Green 7 years ago from OKLAHOMA

      He very well could be, but it also sounds neurological. He needs to sip water all day to stay hydrated in his case, but his symptoms clearly go beyond dehydration. He needs to be referred to a neurologist for evaluation.

    • profile image

      carol  7 years ago

      my dad has been told that he is severe dehydrated he has light headed all the time and dizzy when he stands up sometime and he can not walk but about 20ft fell like he is going to faint and when he turn or looks sided ways he gets dizzy then he bends down and back up he gets dizzy fell like he is going to faint and when he turn and look sided ways he gets dizzy do u think that is dehydration and if so can he do something this is the 3rd year he has had it.

    • profile image

      sam35 7 years ago

      i have been told i am a prediabetic by my dr as they did that test and it finds out if you have a tolerence or something and i failed and i have been diagnosed with ibd and fibromyalgia but the problem i have is i get very bad dry mouth and my top and bottom lips so white wheather im thirsty or when i have just been having a conversation with someone and my daughter tells me to get a drink as that is what i think is wrong does this sound like i am dehydrated i do drink alot of juice as i can drink plain water as that makes me ill. I am always tired no energy i aways have to lick my lips also and i get dizzy alot esp getting up from sitting. I would just like to know what others would say is this dehydration or can it be due to prediabites should i go and see my dr

    • Mama Sez profile image

      Mama Sez 7 years ago from Canada

      Hi Mommy,

      Dengue virus can also cause severe dehydration. A practical way of managing the disease is to make sure the patient is well hydrated. I referred this useful hub of yours as reference in my new hub.

      Mama Sez

    • singingmommy profile image

      Candace Green 8 years ago from OKLAHOMA

      It sounds to me you had a severe flu or virus which causes dehydration. Hopefully the severity has passed, because if this continues, it is very dangerous. Possible could be the Rotavirus, if diarrhea was included.

    • profile image

      aliciamarie 8 years ago

      hi last night i got really sick my hands were really clammy and cold and my feet were freezing than everytime i got up i was dizzy and would start throwing up..every time i took a drink of water i would throw up again. I also felt really weak and i kept telling my fiance i think im dying i just felt so crazy. It also felt like i only had half a brain like i could hear him talking but i just didnt want to talk and i kept dazing off. It was extremely scary and I want to know if anyone thinks it was dehydration..thats what my fiance thinks.

    • singingmommy profile image

      Candace Green 8 years ago from OKLAHOMA

      Chloe, it sounds like you need medical attention immediately!

    • profile image

      chloe 8 years ago

      hiya im chloe im really dehydrated i have no spit in my mouth at all to swalllow even though i drank 3 bottles of water all ready my throat feels numb and i feel faint and i run out of breath quickly can u help me please !!!

    • profile image

      Ted Wintriss 8 years ago

      Great information!

      I always carry some gatorade in the car and wherever I go - it isn't the best taste in the world when it's warm, but it's a good refresher!

    • profile image

      madison  8 years ago

      i am dehydrated and i am addicted to sunflower seeds. it was

      really bad last summer. i was dehydrated and the water at summer camp was nasty. i wouldnt drink it. my lips would get

      really dry and i would constantly be licking them. im trying to get hydrated. im drinking juice right now. i really like to drink vitamin water. my froend brings them to us. im very lucky to have him

    • Danton Young profile image

      Danton Young 8 years ago

      Becoming too dehydrated especially when you have to do a lot of physical activity can very dangerous, nice hub.

    • vshining profile image

      vshining 8 years ago from Ellenwood GA

      It took me getting vertigo before I realized how important it was to stay hydrated. Very Very good hub!!! I wrote a hub on Kangen Water, if you get a chance plz check it out. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful hub!

    • profile image

      Curtis J. 8 years ago

      Great Article On Dehydration, this is exactly what we were taught. Ususally you can drink alot of water while you do something important like writing a school paper, or cleaning. Heck Drink water every TV Comercial. There are so many ways that you can stay Hydrated.

      @ WeddingConsultant

      Don't Over Hydrate as that can also lead to Death due to Internal Drowning. That is alot of water your taking in there but if your body is using up all that liquid you should be fine. Keep a Monitor on your feelings with that much water. Once again Stay Hydrated but NEVER over do it.


    • profile image

      Curtis J. 8 years ago

      Great Article On Dehydration, this is exactly what we were taught. Ususally you can drink alot of water while you do something important like writing a school paper, or cleaning. Heck Drink water every TV Comercial. There are so many ways that you can stay Hydrated.

      @ WeddingConsultant

      Don't Over Hydrate as that can also lead to Death due to Internal Drowning. That is alot of water your taking in there but if your body is using up all that liquid you should be fine. Keep a Monitor on your feelings with that much water. Once again Stay Hydrated but NEVER over do it.


    • profile image

      Keshia 9 years ago

      Great advice! Thanks!

    • profile image

      mego loves lego 9 years ago

      haha i love your ideas!

      thanks matee (:

    • profile image

      Meg is cool 9 years ago

      fantastic hints, thanks alot... when i get dehydrated i get hidious headaches. thanks. xx

    • Meg McNeal profile image

      Meg McNeal 9 years ago

      Great ideas. Another way is to look at the tips of your fingers. Are they full and no wrinkles. If there are wrinkles then you need to start drinking something. Doesn't take long for them to fill out again. I go out in my RV

      a lot and was having this problem until I discovered this handy little tip.

      PR: wait... I: wait... L: wait... LD: wait... I: wait...wait... C: wait... SD: wait...

    • profile image

      hi 9 years ago


    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks for these tips. When I become dehydrated, my knees begin to become stiff. I'll look for these other signs first.

    • WeddingConsultant profile image

      WeddingConsultant 10 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Great hub on hydration. I was so dehydrated for years, but have gotten into the habit of drinking at least 70-80 oz of water a day. Good job singing mommy!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I noticed that when I don't drink enough water, my mouth really gets dry. And the next thing I know, I'd be sniffing...and my nose acting up again! Thanks for the hub. :-) Water is great...water is life.


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