Dehydration is a major problem. There are researchers who suggest that we’re always in a state of dehydration and that we should sip water continuously throughout the day. However, this type of dehydration isn’t likely to cause us health problems.
Real dehydration can lead to our organs shutting down. Our bodies are mainly made up of water, and they need it just to continue throughout the day. You’ll know if you’re dehydrated because you’ll get various signs and symptoms. The problem is these signs and symptoms are often overlooked or mistaken for other problems.
It’s time to know the signs that you need to look out for. Now is the time to make sure you are putting your overall health first. Here are all the signs of dehydration that you need to be aware of, with some home remedies to prevent the problem becoming a major issue for your health. Knowing these signs will also help you spot signs in your children, who are less likely able to tell you when there is a problem.
Do You Have a Dry Mouth?
When your body doesn’t have enough water within it, it can’t produce all the liquid functions that it needs. The most common liquid function is saliva. Most people will spot this sign of dehydration before any others and start taking the problem seriously from this point.
A lack of saliva leads to dry mouth, and it can be extremely uncomfortable. You are left with a feeling of your tongue sticking to the roof of your mouth or the feeling that your whole mouth is much smaller than it usually is.
Not having enough saliva also usually means that you will have bad breath. Your body can’t remove bacteria from the mouth as much throughout the day, so it congregates within the back of the throat. You can also have more bacteria growing in the gums or between the teeth, causing a higher risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Bad breath is another sign of dehydration but is due to the dry mouth sign. It’s worth looking out for both to see if you are dehydrated.
Most of us will experience dry mouth on a morning. Our bodies don’t produce that much saliva throughout the night, as the body is focusing on recuperating while you sleep. You’ll need a glass of water to get the saliva function in order.
You may also have dry lips because of the dry mouth. This isn’t always due to saliva but due to the fluid getting through the lip surface.
Is Your Skin Dry?
The skin needs water to feel soft and moisturised—yes, the hint really is in that word! If you have dry skin issues, you’ll want to look into the possibility of being dehydrated.
When your body needs water, it will take the water away from functions that require it the least. The skin is always the first to suffer, so you’ll notice the sign earlier than many others. You could start with some flaking of the skin on the fingers and toes or see some dry skin patches and conditions appearing around the elbows and the knees—the areas that need the most moisture to feel and look soft anyway.
You can also test this by pinching the skin and seeing the reaction. If it sags, then it is a sign that you are dehydrated.
Even using moisturising creams will lead to dry skin if you are dehydrated. You can only cover up the problem through the use of creams and lotions. If you really want to get rid of the dry skin, you will need to repair the problem.
Do You Have Dry Eye?
Dry eye is a condition that affects many of us for so many different reasons. It’s commonly overlooked as a sign of dehydration because it can also be linked to poor nutrition, winter weather affecting the tear production, and even blocked tear ducts.
However, dry eye is also a sign of dehydration. Like with the skin, when the body is trying to withhold moisture for more important organs, it will take it from the areas that least require it. The eyes don’t need the water as much as the brain or the middle organs, for example.
You may not initially feel like your eyes are dry. This condition can cause the eyes to feel itchy or even painful. You may also see redness within the eyes, as they become irritated by dirt and dust that is able to get in—the moisture helps to remove irritants from the eyes quickly.
With dry eye, you will be tempted to rub your eyes. Even when you do, you’ll find that they don’t lubricate enough or only for a few seconds while rubbing and then you have the issue again.
Try not to rub your eyes. You can get lubricating eye drops to help give you artificial tears until you’ve got your dehydration issue resolved.
Have You Got a Headache?
How many times have you said you have a headache because you haven’t drunk enough? Sure enough, a headache is a sign of dehydration. If you have a headache, though, it’s a sign that you’ve let the dehydration go on too long. You need to start drinking now!
We tend to suffer from more headaches during the summer, due to the heat. Our bodies are sweating out more liquid, and we don’t tend to replace it with enough. The brain then has to sit inside a fluid sack that isn’t at the right level. The sack is there to protect the brain from the stresses and impacts throughout the day, so if you don’t have enough, then it’s easy to understand that your brain suffers more. It starts to hurt from the damage.
Don’t reach for the painkillers as the first port of call. Get a glass of water or two and see if that settles it first. If you start to feel the water helping, it’s a true sign of dehydration.
Are You Disorientated?
How do you feel within yourself? That is, how do you feel within your mental health? Fogginess or disorientation is a sign of dehydration.
Your middle organs need water more than your brain. So, when your body is dehydrated, it will start to take water from the brain to make sure the other organs are fully functioning. That means your brain’s capabilities are affected.
The majority of people complain of disorientation and lack of clarity. They can forget what they were doing and struggle to focus on the tasks that they are meant to be doing. There’s these feeling of fatigue that starts to take over, and many people start to get frustrated that they’re no longer able to tackle their everyday tasks.
Another issue is dizziness. It’s again linked to the issues in the brain, as well as low blood pressure. This is one of the most severe signs of dehydration.
In children and babies, this sign can look more like fatigue and sleepiness. Your baby may sleep more throughout the day because the brain isn’t fully supported. If your baby doesn’t sleep, they will be extremely cranky throughout the day!
Try drinking more when you find a loss of clarity. There are high chances that it will wake you up and you’ll be ready to get on with things.
How Often Are You Urinating?
Check your urine for signs of dehydration. If you’re drinking less, you will find that less comes out. It is simple math, really. So, if you’re not urinating as much as normal, you will need to consider why that is. Most of the time it is due to dehydration.
Before you see the lack of urine, you will usually see some discolouration. Your urine should be a pale yellow or completely clear. If you have darker yellows and oranges, it is a sign that your body needs more fluid. You definitely shouldn’t have a brown colour, which is a sign that you are completely dehydrated.
You may also find that you have some urinary infections due to dehydration. Your body is holding onto the water, which can lead to the growth of calcium deposits. You end up with kidney stones, which will be extremely painful. Bacteria growth and toxin problems will also increase, so infections and disease became a major concern.
Are You Craving for Food?
Did you know that the body has the same response to dehydration as it does for hunger? When your brain tells you that you’re hungry, there are chances that you’re actually thirsty. This is especially the case when you’re craving sweet foods, like chocolate or cake.
Think about it carefully. When you’re drinking water, do you really think about eating a chocolate bar? Do you really crave it so much that you have to have it? Chances are you don’t, and that’s because your body is satisfied with the water content.
The science behind this is in the liver functions. When you’re thirsty, the liver isn’t able to produce the right amount of glycogens to support the bodily functions. Your body thinks that it needs the glycogens from other places, and tells your body that you need to supply them with the sweet food.
If you’re craving something to eat, try drinking a glass of water first. Wait for a few minutes and then listen to your body again. There are high chances that those cravings have completely gone. If you’re still hungry, then you really were hungry in the first place!
Home Remedies to Cure Your Dehydration
Now that you know all the signs to look out for, it’s time to focus on cures to help get rid of the dehydration. The best thing to do is drink more frequently throughout the day, but that seems easier said than done for many of us. I know I’m guilty of not getting up and drinking enough glasses of water.
But researchers don’t say that you must only drink water to keep yourself hydrated. So, here are some home remedies to help you.
Get Some Green Tea in the House
Green tea is an excellent option for your water intake. You make it with water for a start, but the actual tea will help to keep your kidney and bladder function supporter. There is a diuretic function within the green tea that helps.
In fact, any tea or coffee will help with getting more fluid into the body. The problem is coffee is high in caffeine, and black tea tends to stain the teeth. Green tea is full of antioxidants that will help to support the immune system while keeping you hydrated. You can also opt for herbal teas if you’d like to improve the taste.
Opt for Lemon Water on a Morning
Every morning, start your day with a glass of lemon water. You literally just have to put a couple of slices of lemon in your water!
First of all, you’re starting your day with the fluid that your body will need. And what better way with a boost of vitamin C adding into there? The vitamin C is excellent for supporting the immune system and improving your skin health. You’ll also give your metabolism a bit of a boost.
Lemon in water also helps to create an alkaline water. This has been linked to numerous health benefits, including less tooth decay and supported kidney function.
Fill Up a Large Bottle
Grab a 2-liter bottle and use it throughout the day. This 2-liter bottle is the amount that you need to keep the average body hydrated on a normal day. If you’re in a hot climate, then you will need to drink a little extra.
By filling up a large bottle to start your day, you don’t have to make excuses for not getting up to fill up a glass each time. You can also sip on the water continuously throughout the day.
If you don’t want to carry around a large 2-liter bottle, you can always fill up four 500ml bottles instead! You could opt for two 500ml bottles that you will have to refill half way through the day if the weight worries you.
For those who don’t like water, add some fruit for natural flavour. Strawberries, raspberries, and citrus fruits work the best in water. You can also buy water bottles now that have a section just for the fruit. You can drink the water without getting bits of softened fruit accidentally. Natural flavours through fruit are going to be better for your health and waistline than the use of fruit juices or diluting juices.
Keep Your Body Hydrated Throughout the Day
It really isn’t that difficult to remain hydrated throughout the day. We are all guilty of it now and then, but only we can look after our own bodies. It’s time to stop making excuses and start focusing on ways to improve our health.
Look out for the signs of dehydration. This is a more common issue than we all would like to believe, and most of us will be guilty of it on a daily basis. There’s no excuse when there are so many easy ways to avoid dehydration becoming an issue.