What you need to know about the Harmful Effects of Dehydration !

What you need to know about the Harmful Effects of Dehydration !

16-09-2019   |   Posted By: Chhavi   |   957 View(s)

We all know that not drinking enough water throughout the day can cause a lot of health problems. Those who stay well hydrated stay energetic all day long. But what happens when we don’t drink enough water? What happens when we are dehydrated? Well, the ill effects of dehydration are scarier than you can imagine. Dehydration happens when your body does not have much water as it needs. Without enough water, your body cannot function properly. Our body naturally loses water through urinating, sweating, and breathing.


Generally, we replace the expelled liquid by drinking fluids and eating food that contains water. But if you lose too much water and don’t drink and eat enough, you can get dehydrated — the symptoms of dehydration range from mild, moderate, or severe. Mild and moderate symptoms of dehydration are generally treated through oral intake of fluids. On the other hand, severe dehydration requires intravenous replacement of fluids. But why does dehydration happens and why is it so dangerous? In this blog, we are going to explain the causes, symptoms, treatment, and harmful effects of dehydration.


What are the Causes of Dehydration?

Two major causes of dehydration are not taking in enough water or losing too much water.
A few other causes of dehydration are:

• Diarrhoea- One of the most common reasons for dehydration is diarrhoea. The large intestine absorbs water from food matter, and diarrhoea prevents this from happening. Hence, the body expels too much water which in turn causes dehydration.

• Sweating – Sweating is the body’s cooling mechanism which releases a significant amount of water. Hot weather and physical activity can increase fluid loss from sweating. A fever can also cause an increase in sweating and dehydrate the patient.

• Frequent Urination- This is a condition usually caused by diabetes, but can also be due to alcohol and medications such as blood pressure medications, and diuretics.

• Burns- When blood vessels are damaged, they cause fluid to leak into the surrounding tissues, which can lead to dehydration.

• Diabetes- Diabetes can cause increased urination and fluid loss.

• Prolonged exposure to dry air can also cause dehydration

• Vomiting – It leads to loss of fluids and makes it hard to replace water by drinking it.

What are the Symptoms of Dehydration?

Signs and symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration are:

• Feeling thirsty

• Dry mouth

• Dark yellow pee

• Dry skin

• Muscle cramps

• Not peeing much

• A headache

Signs and symptoms of severe dehydration are:

• Extreme dry skin

• Dizziness

• Rapid breathing

• Rapid heartbeat

• Lack of energy

• Not peeing

• Very dark, yellow pee

• Faint

• Confusion

Symptoms for babies and children can be different than for Adults:

• Dry mouth and tongue

• Dry diapers for 3 hours
• Sunken eyes

• Soft spot on the top of the skull

• Sleepiness

• Irritability

• Lack of energy

What are the Risk Factors for Dehydration?

Dehydration can happen to anyone; however, some people are at higher risk. Those at the risk of getting dehydration include:

• People with illnesses such as kidney disease, adrenal gland disorders, diabetes, and so on.

• Infants and children

• People living at higher altitudes

• Athletes, especially those who take part in marathons, and cycling tournaments.

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What are the Harmful Effects of Dehydration?

If dehydration is not treated on time, it can cause severe complications like:

• Seizures – Dehydration can lead to seizures due to an imbalance of electrolytes.

• Kidney Problems – Staying well hydrated is important for your kidneys. Dehydration can cause kidney problems like urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and even kidney failure.

• Heat injury – One of the harmful effects of dehydration is that it can cause heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.

• Low blood volume – Less blood produces a drop in blood pressure and a reduction in the amount of oxygen reaching tissues and this can be life-threatening.

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How is Dehydration Diagnosed?

Dehydration is diagnosed by using both physical and mental exams. A doctor will look for the symptoms like fever, lack of sweat, dry skin, disorientation, low blood pressure, and rapid heartbeat.Blood tests are also conducted to test kidney function and to check potassium, sodium, and other electrolyte levels in the body. A doctor may also ask the patient to go for a complete urine analysis because it will provide useful information to diagnose dehydration.

How to Treat Dehydration?

There are many harmful effects of dehydration, and hence it is best if it is treated on time. Dehydration is treated by replenishing the fluid level in the body. This can be best done by taking fluids like water, frozen water, or sports drinks. However, if the case is severe, the patient will require intravenous fluids to rehydrate.

People who are dehydrated should not take caffeinated drinks such as tea, sodas, and coffee. If there is an underlying condition that is causing dehydration, then it should also be treated with proper medications. Consult a doctor and get a health checkup done to find the cause of dehydration.

How to Treat Dehydration at Home?

There are many harmful effects of dehydration, but there are many home remedies that can provide you with relief from dehydration.

Here are some of the best home remedies to get rid of dehydration:

1. Buttermilk

Things You Will Need
• ½ teaspoon of dry ginger
• 1 cup of buttermilk
What You Need To Do
Take dry ginger and mix it in a cup of buttermilk. Consume immediately. You should drink buttermilk at least two times a day to stay well hydrated.
Buttermilk acts as a natural probiotic and contains minerals such as magnesium and potassium that are often depleted when you sweat a lot and become dehydrated.

2. Soups

Soups are rich in minerals and help a lot in fighting dehydration. Soups contain minerals like potassium that helps to restore the lost nutrients in your body. Consume soup one time a day to stay hydrated.

3. Barley Water

Things You Will Need
• 3 cups of water
• ½ lemon
• Honey
• 1 cup of barley
What You Need To Do
Mix a cup of barley in water and bring it to boil. Allow it to simmer for 40 minutes. Let it cool. Then, strain the barley water and mix honey and lemon for flavour. Drink this infusion two to three times a day.
Barley water is rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that help to restore the fluids lost by dehydration.

4. Homemade ORS

Things You Will Need
• 1/2 teaspoon of salt
• 4 cups of water
• 6 teaspoons of sugar
What You Need To Do
Take four cups of water and mix salt and sugar in it. Stir until they are completely dissolved. Drink this two to three times a day.
Consuming ORS is a healthy way to fight the harmful effects of dehydration. This is because the ORS uses glucose content of sugar that helps in increased uptake of water and sodium that are lost due to dehydration.

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5. Apple Juice

Things You Will Need
• 1 apple
• ½ glass of water
What You Need To Do
Take an apple and blend it with ½ glass of water. Stir well and drink immediately. Drink apple juice two times a day.
Apples are rich in magnesium that helps to fight dehydration. They also contain potassium that helps in restoring the lost electrolytes and minerals in the body, thereby treating dehydration.

6. Lemon Water

Things You Will Need
• One glass of water
• ½ lemon
• Honey
What You Need to Do
Mix juice of half a lemon in a glass of water. Add honey and stir well. Drink this two times a day.
Lemon water helps to restore the levels of sodium, magnesium, and potassium in the body, which in turn helps to fight dehydration.

7. Yoghurt

Things You Will Need
• A cup of yoghurt
• A pinch of salt
What You Need To Do
Take a cup of yoghurt and mix salt in it. Consume this every day.
Yoghurt is an excellent source of electrolytes and helps to fight dehydration by restoring the lost electrolytes in the body.

8. Coconut Water

Drink one glass of coconut water three to four times a day.
Coconut water contains potassium and sodium, which helps to fight dehydration. To stay away from the harmful effects of dehydration, drink coconut water daily.

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9. Lemon Essential Oil

Things You Will Need
• 2 to 3 drops of lemon essential oil
• 1 glass of water
What You Need To Do
Take a glass of water and mix two to three drops of lemon essential oil in it. Drink this lemon essential oil once every day.
The antioxidant and cleansing properties of lemon essential oil help to keep you hydrated and healthy.

10. Epsom Salt Bath

Things You Will Need
• 1 cup of Epsom salt
What You Need To Do
Take one cup of Epsom salt and add it to your bathwater. Soak and relax in it for about 15 minutes. Do this two to three times a week.
Epsom salt contains magnesium that helps to fight dehydration.

How to Prevent Dehydration?

1. Add hydrating juices like strawberry and watermelon to your diet.

2. Drink an electrolyte sports drink if you exercise for more than an hour.

3. Avoid drinking alcohol because it increases dehydration.

4. Do not smoke because it can lead to dehydration in the long run.

5. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

6. Wear lightweight colours if you are working out.

7. Eat a healthy diet with water content foods such as yoghurt, cucumber, papaya, and a green salad.

Follow these tips to prevent and treat dehydration. There are many side effects of dehydration, and hence it is best if you drink plenty of fluids to stay away from the problem. If you experience symptoms of dehydration, consult a doctor.

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