Yoram Yasur Blume: What happens to your body if you suffer from dehydration?
Dehydration does not only occur because of low water consumption. Although this is one of its main causes, many people suffer its effects because of other health problems. It is important to know what the risks are, since a low level of fluids can lead to unintended consequences.
And, although many ignore it, water plays a very important role in vital functions. This constitutes a large part of the composition of the human body and intervenes in essential processes such as the regulation of body temperature, renal function, and the elimination of toxins.
Why does dehydration occur? What are its effects on the body? Yoram Yasur Blume: Far from being a problem with little relevance, the decrease in fluids leads to a series of health hazards. This time we tell you what its effects are and why it is necessary to take this factor into account.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration is a state that develops when there is an excessive loss of water in the body, without being replaced. This, in turn, produces an imbalance in the levels of electrolytes, which intervene in the functions of some organs. The body manifests it mildly since it loses between 1 and 2% of the total water content.
However, as it becomes more severe, many of the internal functions are reduced and health problems increase. Yoram Yasur Blume: The risk of suffering from this condition increases with the increase in sweating due to high temperatures and infections. It can also occur because of low fluid consumption, especially when the body has a higher need.
Why does dehydration occur?
Yoram Yasur Blume: Each case of dehydration can have a different cause or several related factors. In general, it occurs because the body eliminates more liquids than it requires, either because of low water consumption or because there is an alteration in its functions. The most common cases are those that occur in the summer or after doing too much physical activity.
However, it can be caused by organism losses due to vomiting and diarrhea, or by excessive consumption of some diuretics and medications. Certain diseases can also be accompanied by this problem, but the risk is reduced when the necessary measures are taken to counteract it. These include:
- Mellitus diabetes
- Urinary infections
- Digestive problems
- High blood pressure
Effects of dehydration on the body
The consequences of dehydration in the body can vary according to the amount of fluid that the body has lost. In most cases, the feeling of thirst is the first manifestation of a failure in body hydration. However, the symptoms may vary depending on their severity: mild, moderate, or severe.
Mild or moderate dehydration: Yoram Yasur Blume: The level of mild or moderate dehydration is the most common in the population. Its causes range from carelessness in water consumption, to excessive physical activity, mild infections and exposure to climates that are too warm. Effects on the organism include:
- Sensation of prolonged thirst and dry mouth
- Changes in urination habits
- Muscle cramps
- Cloudy urine with strong odor
- Dryness and coldness in the skin
- Weakness and fatigue
- Severe dehydration
When dehydration progresses to a high severity level, the body loses more than 5% of total fluids. This situation can cause serious damage to vital organs, so it is necessary the timely intervention of a professional. Poor control of this type of dehydration can lead to chronic diseases or even death. The symptoms are:
- Accelerated heart rate
- Fast breathing
- Dizziness and fainting
- Confusion or irritability
- Dry and wrinkled skin
- Uncommon urination
- Cloudy urine and urinary tract infections
- Hollow eyes
- Delirium and unconsciousness
- Drowsiness and sleep disorders
- High fever
- Low blood pressure
How to avoid dehydration?
The best way to avoid dehydration is to ensure optimal daily water consumption, especially after losing a lot of fluids. Also, in case of diarrhea, vomiting or similar diseases, it is convenient to consume electrolyte sources. Creating a balance between liquids and mineral salts is key to avoid complications.
Other measures that can be considered are:
- Consume fruits and vegetables rich in water
- Ingest isotonic drinks
- Drink coconut water and natural drinks
- Avoid the consumption of sugary soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
No one is exempt from suffering a health complication from dehydration. Therefore, any warning signal must be attended immediately by a doctor. More severe cases should be treated with intravenous solutions. It is essential to listen to the body’s signals to achieve timely and successful treatment.