Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Dehydration
We all know how it feels on a hot day, when we intuitively know we need to drink more water. We find ourselves sweating on our way to work and reaching for an extra glass or two when we get to our desks. But do you know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of chronic dehydration?
Maybe you have a hunch that something is off with your health. Or you have some unexplained symptoms that don’t seem to be tied to any single cause. If so, there is a good chance you are suffering from chronic dehydration.
Surprising causes of chronic dehydration
Whether it’s because of our busy schedules or just not having enough water on hand, most of us – about 75 percent – suffer from chronic dehydration.
If you’re thinking, “I drink some water during the day, so I am probably okay,” there are some surprising causes of chronic dehydration, aside from just not drinking enough water, including:
Diarrhea: Diarrhea is the #1 cause of dehydration (and deaths associated with it). Typically, our large intestine absorbs water from food. But when we have diarrhea, the opposite happens: the body expels water, and can’t absorb it.
Stress: Our stress hormones and fight or flight response cause the body to get rid of fluids.
Sweating:Our body’s cooling mechanism works well to protect us from overheating, but can drain us of our fluids. Whether it’s due to a vigorous workout, hot temperatures, or a meeting that increased your anxiety levels, sweat increases fluid loss.
Diabetes:If you have diabetes, you are especially prone to dehydration. High blood sugar levels cause increased urination and fluid loss. One of the earliest symptoms of diabetes, “cotton mouth,” or dry mouth, often accompanies excessive thirst. If not treated, dehydration leads to even higher sugar levels
Living in a higher altitude: Since humidity is lower at high altitudes, sweat evaporates quickly, making it difficult to know how much water you are losing.
Other possible causes include burns, vomiting, and a diet that relies heavily on processed foods.
Quick tip: Learn how to treat dehydration and improve your daily hydration routines in our free guide on rehydration.
Get the guide: How to Rehydrate
Signs and symptoms of chronic dehydration
Essential hydration hacks to help you recover
Research shows that tap water is safer than bottled water. It requires more regulations and has fewer chemicals and contaminates. Plus, the longer the bottled water sits, the more chemicals leak into the water itself. Yuck! Drinking tap water will make it easier for you to reach your daily water intake goal, too, since it is accessible pretty much anywhere.
Although pure, clean water is the best source of hydration (as opposed to tea and juices that contain caffeine and sugar), there is no reason not to have a little bit of fun with your water. It will make it easier to get all 64 ounces in a day, and you will find yourself looking forward to your next hydration break. Try adding lemon to your water, or tossing in some of these extras.
Now that you've read through these hacks, be sure to test yourself. Do you know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of chronic dehydration?
Jump start your efforts to drink more water by letting Healthy Human be your essential hydration partner.
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