Dehydration is the results of losing more water than the body needs. It is a result of an imbalance in the fluid and electrolyte content of the body.
Some of the typical causes of dehydration are-
- Use of medications like diuretics
- Consumption of less water and other fluids
- Excessive sweating
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Certain illness like fever, gastritis
Dehydration can occur in three stages - mild, moderate and severe, depending upon the amount of fluid loss from the body. At an initial stage, dehydration can be detected through common symptoms like dark-coloured urine, constipation, thirst, headache, tiredness, dizziness, less passage of urine, dry skin, lips and mouth. But severe dehydration may have life-threatening effects on the body like mental confusion, low blood pressure, unconsciousness, increased heartbeat, palpitations, seizures and sunken eyes.
Therefore, it is important to maintain our body’s fluid and electrolyte balance. Rehydration therapy is the most universal and effectual way to manage dehydration. But one should ensure to stay hydrated to prevent any signs of dehydration at the initial stage only.
It is a ubiquitous fact that we need water to survive. There is no specific recommendation for the amount of water intake as we need it for our overall health and wellness. Apart from preventing dehydration, we need water for the following reasons -
- Water keeps our joints lubricated as it is present in our joints, spine, and cartilage, etc. Less intake of water could be one of the reasons for joint pain in the long run.
- Water is needed to keep our skin hydrated, prevent wrinkles and reduce the signs of ageing.
- It also contributes to regulating our body temperature. When our body gets heated up, water helps in restoring the normal body temperature by evaporation.
- We need water to maintain wholesome digestive health. Our stomach is required to maintain a specific pH level, too much acidity or alkalinity might alter the pH level and leads to poor digestive health. Weak digestion, in turn, will reduce the absorption and bioavailability of nutrients to the body.
- We need micronutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B-complex and C are water-soluble, ie, they need water as a medium for their absorption. Limited water in the body acts as a hindrance in the nutrients absorption mechanisms.
- Water helps in flushing out toxins from the body in the form of urine and stool. Less water intake results in hard stools leading to constipation and less passage of urine. Irregular bowel movement might cause an accumulation of toxins in the body.
- The accumulation of toxins further affects the functioning of the kidneys and make us susceptible to developing kidney stones.
- We all love to stay fit and healthy. During physical activity, our body tends to lose water therefore, active people and athletes are often recommended to consume water for optimal physical performance. Muscle cramps, lethargy, dizziness, and spams are the consequences of less water intake which in turn affects both endurance and stamina.
- Blood is the medium which has the responsibility of carrying all the nutrients to different parts of the body. Water is an essential component of blood thus water intake is critical to carry oxygen and nutrients as well.
To conclude, water is an ineluctable part of our lives. It is imperative to maintain a healthy fluid balance in the body to protect our body from getting dehydrated. Apart from water, we can include sports and electrolyte drinks, coconut water, buttermilk, juices, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lemon water, etc. to keep ourselves hydrated and provide requisite electrolytes to the body.