Are you aware that your body temperature, skin texture and breath can indicate you’re running low on water? Every one of us needs water to survive as loss of it can cause dehydration.
If you’re feeling thirsty, it’s the common sign you’re dehydrated which happens when your fluid intake is less. Being dehydrated doesn’t mean you’re body is losing water but it’s also losing electrolytes that help your body to maintain proper metabolic functions too.
Dehydration occurs when our body cannot function properly due to insufficient water level. Some health conditions such as diabetes can put you at an increased risk for dehydration. Though mild dehydration can be tolerable but severe dehydration can cause blood clots, convulsions and other fatal complications. So, it is important to detect the early symptoms of dehydration.
Common symptoms are feeling fatigue or thirsty however there are other uncommon signs that often go unnoticed. Here are some surprising signs of dehydration that you should know:
- Bad Breath – Saliva has antibacterial properties but dehydration can prevent your body from making saliva. If your body is not able to produce enough saliva, you could experience a significant increase in bacterial growth in your mouth which causes bad breath.
- Dry Skin – It is believed dehydration causes excessive sweating, but in fact it can make your skin dry, red and irritated. To determine the dryness, you can apply pressure on the skin to check if it takes time to return to normal appearance, then it’s time to drink water and rehydrate.
- Muscle Cramps – While doing physical activity or being in hot weather, muscle cramps occur which is a sign of dehydration. It happens due to rise in body temperature and heat effect on the muscles. As the muscles suffer the strain of physical activity they can seize up causing change in electrolyte, sodium and potassium levels which can lead to muscle cramps. Moreover in cooler weather, dehydration occurs if you don’t drink enough water while working out. Though the symptoms may be mild but the risk however remain the same.
- Fever and Chills – If you have severe dehydration, you may experience fever and chills. It can make your dehydration even worse. The higher your fever the more dehydrated you become. It is important to seek a medical professional whenever you have high body temperature.
- Food Cravings – Several body organs such as liver need water to release glycogen and other components which can cause cravings for food. This is the reason when you’re dehydrated you experience low level of energy and get strong food cravings. You can crave for anything sweet or salty snack as your body may experience difficulty breaking down glycogen to release glucose into the blood to use as fuel.
- Headaches – You might wonder but even mild dehydration can cause a severe headache or a migraine. Although there are various factors that can cause headache but drinking plenty of water to maintain optimal hydration level is the best way to prevent or alleviate a headache.
How to check if you’re dehydrated?
If you’re thirsty, you are dehydrated but lack of thirst doesn’t mean that you’re hydrated. To check whether you’re dehydrated you can:
Try skin test: Pinch some area of your skin and then let the skin go. If the skin spring back to its normal position slowly, you might be dehydrated.
Check your urine: If your urine colour is dark yellow, it is a sign that you need more fluids to prevent dehydration. However, if your urine is clear with a tinge of yellow it shows you’re well hydrated.
How to Stay Hydrated?
Our daily water intake depends on our age, gender or underlying medical conditions. According to National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 2.7 liters of water per day is recommended for women and 3.7 liters per day for men from food and fluid.
You can follow some tips to keep yourself hydrated:
Carry water bottle with you every time – Keep a bottle handy so that you can drink water whenever you feel like.
Spice up plain water – You can add a splash of fruit juice or chunks of fresh fruits in your water. If you don’t like plain water, you can make it flavoured which enhances the taste and you’ll like to drink it more frequently.
Sip herbal tea – Drink sugar free herbal tea which is available in lots of different flavors to fill your daily fluid goal.
Drink more fluid during meals – Sipping water with meals will help you eat more slowly, pace your eating and keeps you hydrated.
On a final note, for your overall well-being you need to drink enough water as a healthy body composed of at least 60 percent water. Make sure to keep that healthy balance and drink up!