What Happens To Your Body When You De-Hydrate?

As the summer approaches and everyone is coming out to enjoy the sun.

Dehydration is a heat related illness which occurs when a person does not take in enough fluids. It is associated with summertime because when we get hot, or go on holiday to hotter countries, it is easy to be unaware of just how much essential water and salts we lose through increased sweating. Without replacing these fluids, our bodies begin to dry out.

There are many warning signs to look out for, with infants and older people being the most vulnerable to dehydration. In infections, mild to moderate dehydration is indicated by sleepiness and excess fussiness, a rapid heartbeat and producing fewer than six wet nappies per day. In older children and adults, symptoms of dehydration can be a dry or sticky mouth, extreme thirst, darker colored urine than usual or no urine, headaches, dizziness and feeling light-headed.

Thankfully, in urbanized areas, where access to potable water is commonplace, it is easy to avoid dehydration. Prevention is always better than cure so adults should aim to take in around six to eight glasses of water per day to avoid dehydrating.

There are also some other things you can do to make sure that you stay hydrated in the heat of summer. Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day (between 12pm to 3pm). Wear loose fitting clothes and avoid doing strenuous activities. Avoid caffeine drinks, and try to replace the sodium and minerals you lose through heavy sweating by re-hydrating with a mineral supplement drink; eating something savory can also help.

Should you experience any of the signs of dehydration, try drinking water immediately. If the dehydration is severe, seek medical attention.

One way to safeguard yourself and the people around you from dehydration is to install a water cooler in your home or office. Cool water re-hydrates the body and also helps lower body temperature, which is especially important during the hot summer months or in a humid climate. Water coolers can be bought or rented and are a welcome addition to any office or home environment.