The human body is composed primarily of water by design. Water is found in cells, between cells, in the muscle, in the brain, and all over the place. Without the presence of water in our bodies, we run the risk of dehydration, which can be extremely deadly if not controlled and properly managed.
The presence of a water management system in our body enables us to keep the water balanced and overall fluids at an optimum level. The ability to feel thirst is another mechanism that indicates when we should be looking to increase our water intake. Even the smallest drop in fluids can spark the sensation of thirst, which should be immediately acted upon.
Even though water is lost in the biological processes of sweating, urinating, and even defecating, we can replenish that loss by taking in fluids (such as by drinking more water). However, in the cases of severe dehydration, one might need urgent medical attention, depending on the severity. This tends to be an issue when outside in extreme heat, as well as exercising and sweating profusely without replenishing your fluids and electrolytes.
Disclaimer: This article is not medical advice. If you are dehydrated or feel that you are becoming dehydrated, seek out the help of a medical professional. This article is not meant to diagnose any diseases and should never supersede a doctor’s recommendation or guidance. This article is for informational purposes only.
What Are the Symptoms of Dehydration?
When your body pushes out or expels more fluid than it takes in, it disrupts your water balance. This can throw off many processes within the body, from mineral balance, to motor skills, to cognition. To put it bluntly, this is a bad thing, and the end result is dehydration. The following are some symptoms of mild dehydration to be made aware of:
- Darker urine
- Production of urine dwindles or stops
In fact, urine color is a good indicator of the overall level of hydration in a body. In moderate dehydration, these symptoms are accompanied by dizziness, lethargy, weakness, and dry mouth. However, with severe dehydration, the symptoms take a drastic turn. The following are the symptoms of severe dehydration, and should you experience any of these symptoms or be around someone who is, seek immediate medical attention:
- A drastic drop in blood pressure
- Shrunken eyes
- Dry skin
- Loss of consciousness
What Are the Sources of Water Loss from Our Bodies?
Reports say that 17% to 28% of older adults face dehydration in the United States. Water is lost through our skin, GI tract, kidneys, and lungs. Here are some of the following ways through which water is lost from our bodies:
- Our own failure to replace water loss. This can happen either due to a problem with our thirst mechanism or excessive exercise where water that was lost is not replenished.
- Excessive water loss from the kidneys due to the use of diuretics or renal diseases.
- Water loss from the GI tract can be due to vomiting, diarrhea, laxatives, or gastric suctioning.
What Are the Treatments Available for Dehydration?
There are a couple of different stages of dehydration, and they all should be looked at individually and understood, as the care needed can change drastically from one end of the spectrum to the other.
While dehydration can be extremely deadly, understanding how to properly treat this condition is incredibly important to help provide yourself or someone else with the care they need during this potentially life-threatening period.
For a mild case of dehydration, replacing the lost fluids with water should do just fine. Moreover, there are plenty of specialized drinks available in the market that help you better cope with fluid and mineral loss. A lot of people tend to make a rehydration solution themselves without any idea of the balance required in the components to aid the body. In this case, your first choice will be to drink water, fruit juice, and salty soups or broths.
However, it should be noted that fruit juices should be consumed after mixing them with water to avoid the probability of a stomach upset. One should also avoid substances like alcohol and coffee during a time of dehydration. These are diuretics, which entail consuming them and can leave you with an even more extreme form of dehydration.
You can also consider drinking premade beverages specifically made for hydration. Things such as Gatorade, PowerAde, Pedialyte, etc. These have the perfect mix of fluid and electrolytes to help manage a mild case of dehydration.
In the event of severe dehydration, one needs to be rushed into the hospital as soon as possible. There is a chance that the person needs to be treated with intravenous fluids. However, in the case of severe dehydration, the patient will be evaluated to check what kind of dehydration they are suffering from and the severity before a treatment is provided. Patients with fluid issues will generally be given isotonic fluids. Patients with severe cases of dehydration should be given even larger doses of isotonic fluids.
In the case of elderly patients, a smaller quantity of fluid should be given. They are to be checked at regular intervals before additional doses are given. Isotonic crystalloid fluid may be used in most cases of dehydration in a medical setting to help get fluid levels and minerals back in balance.
Acutely dehydrated people suffer from a medical condition called uremia. This condition develops when the kidneys do not filter out toxins from the urine. According to studies, since 1949, one of the most consistent treatments for uremia has been directly going in and treating the water and fluid imbalances in our bodies.
How Do You Treat Dehydration in Children?
If a baby suffers from dehydration, the go-to option would be to treat the electrolyte imbalance by supplementing the child with frequent doses of rehydration solutions. These help replenish fluids and correct any mineral imbalance in the body. For older children, these problems can be combatted effectively using a combination of sports drinks along with water. For children who are still breastfeeding, the rehydration solution can be used in tandem with breast milk.
But all that being said, should a child suffer from dehydration, it would always be wise to contact a medical professional for advice and what the necessary steps should be to help combat the dehydration issue.
Is the Prevention of Dehydration Better Than the Cure?
This should go without saying. You always want to prevent dehydration from taking place. Stay hydrated. Make sure you’re drinking fluids throughout the day. Be sure to replenish any lost fluids due to the heat or exercise.
The best way to deal with dehydration is not to let it happen at all. This is why it is advised that you should keep a water bottle with you throughout the day and sip on it. Also, consider consuming foods with high water values, such as fruit and vegetables. Be aware of your body. Notice thirst when it comes and drink immediately to prevent yourself from falling into the trap of dehydration.
At NutraBio, we want you to not only perform at the highest level but also focus on your health, in which hydration plays a vital role. Pushing your body to the limit can cause you to sweat profusely during your training sessions, and therefore you need to think about your hydration.
NutraBio Intra Blast was created to provide you with all the essentials you need to support recovery and hydration while you train. With the inclusion of key electrolytes and hydration optimizers like taurine, Calci-Kä, sodium phosphate, and di-magnesium malate, you can better manage fluid balance and maintain proper hydration.