As the summers arrive and we get closer to the hot weather, people start to plan out many activities. These activities end up being indoors as the weather in Pakistan is not very friendly. Along with the weather, there come many conditions that we tend to ignore. In those many conditions, dehydration is the most important one. Dehydration occurs when the amount of water leaving the body is greater than the amount being taken in. The body is very dynamic and always changing. Water is a critical element of the body, and keeping the body adequately hydrated is a must to allow the body to function. Up to 60% of the body’s weight is made up of water.
In summers, the burning areas of Pakistan include Karachi. The extreme summer weather and heat leave people dehydrated that leads to heat stroke. Many doctors and people over the media keep reminding people to stay hydrated so they can avoid the extreme circumstances. This article is just a little effort from Marham to help you take care of yourself before you step outside in the scorching heat.
Early Symptoms Of Dehydration
Symptoms and signs of dehydration can be minor, such as increased thirst, or severe and life-threatening, depending on the extent of the dehydration.
The early symptoms of dehydration are:
Thirst, and reduced urine output and darkening of the urine.
As dehydration progresses, other symptoms develop, including:
- Dry mouth,
- Muscle cramps
- Eyes stop making tears
- Sweating may stop
- Nausea and vomiting
- Light-headedness (especially when standing)
- Decreased urine output
- Bad Breath
It might seem weird and disturbing but if you are dehydrated, your saliva goes down. Saliva has the ability to fight bacteria and odours in our mouth. So if you are dehydrated, it means low levels of saliva and increased bad breath.
- Puzzled Or Lacking Concentration
Dehydration causes trouble concentrating even on little things, most of the times a person feel lethargic and do not have the energy to get up. It might also leave you confused and puzzled in the middle of nowhere.
- Excessive Food Cravings
Our liver needs water to function, it keeps us signalled that our body has enough resources and energy to keep moving. If you feel hungrier and have cravings lately, which is because your liver is thinking you need food instead of water. To keep yourself away from cravings, try to drink more water than usual
- Skin Losing Elasticity
Try grabbing and pulling your skin, snap it back and see if it comes the to the original form. If it does not come back, that is a sign you should start drinking water. If you grab the skin on the back of your hand, pull it up, and let it go, it should quickly snap back into place. Without enough moisture, your skin loses some of the elasticity it needs to snap back.
- No Sweating
The body loses a significant amount of water as sweat when it tries to cool itself. Whether it is because of working out or the weather. When dehydrated, our body sends signals to improve our water intake, but if we still do not pay attention to it we get dehydrated. Dehydration means, whatever a person does, they’ll not sweat.
- Not Pee-ing
Have you ever realised how frequently you run towards the toilet after drinking water? Drinking water means more fluid production in our body which keeps us hydrated. If we do not drink enough water, we’ll end up not peeing which leads to toxins collecting in our body.
In lightheadedness due to high body temperature, they might pass out in a while. Unconsciousness is a result of various factors that include low blood pressure, dizziness, etc. In a case of severe dehydration, it’s key to get fluids or water-filled foods into the body as quickly as possible. However, don’t overdo it. It’s possible to drink too much water, resulting in a condition called hyponatremia. This is when sodium and electrolytes in the blood are so low that they can be life-threatening.
Dehydration In Children
While all individuals can suffer from dehydration, infants and children are particularly prone. This is because their bodies have more water than adults, so they’re more vulnerable to dehydration. Since their kidneys aren’t fully mature, they lose more water than they retain. Young children also often have difficulty recognizing and communicating their need for water. Dehydration in children can result in vomiting, diarrhoea, not drinking enough fluids or any combination of these conditions.
Dehydration in children can be treated at home by replacing fluids with drinks such as freezer pops, other types of popsicles or any product similar that is designed to replace sugar and electrolytes. Children should take small sips every few moments and parents should keep check if they are dehydrated.
Tips To Stay Hydrated Through Summer
The best way to avoid excessive fluid loss is to prevent dehydration in the first place. But many people find it hard to stay on track.
By following these quick tips, you can be one less individual with dehydration:
Buy An Attractive Water Bottle – When you have something right in front of you, it’s hard to ignore. Having a cool and funky water bottle by your side can make it easier for you to remember drinking water at any hour of the day. Remember, it’s better to drink slowly than gulp it all down at once.
Do Not Only Drink Plain Water – Not sure how you’ll manage your liquid intake throughout the day? Try to add fresh things like strawberries, cucumbers, orange or lemon slices to your water.
Eat More Water-Filled Foods – Try to eat fruits which are juicy and healthy, they’re not only good for your health—they also contain large amounts of water. Watermelon and oranges contain 90% water!
Try Switching Your Snacks – If you like eating dry snacks like, crackers, chips or cookies, try changing them with fresh or frozen fruits like yoghurt and veggies. These fruits and vegetables can give you the added boost to get through your afternoon.
Make Small Lifestyle Changes – If you exercise a lot, you might need more than water. Take a sports drink or coconut water for post-workout. In addition, avoid alcohol consumption if you’re already feeling dehydrated as this will increase your fluid loss.
If you feel dehydrated all year long, maybe it is time you start looking at what habit you’ll have to drop. Munching onto snacks and junk all day might not show effects immediately but they’re definitely affecting your lifestyle. Try to have more fluids, more juicy stuff like fruits and vegetables. Try to make little changes to your routine that’ll definitely help you get through summers. Going out in summer is very difficult, we face a lot of difficulties to decide whether to go out and enjoy or not. Keeping children safe is a very tricky task. These tips are to keep you updated and help you decide what to opt for. If this still is confusion you, try talking to a doctor and asking them the better ways you can use to keep yourself safe. Log on to Marham.pk and consult the best general physicians in town. They’ll definitely help you make a better choice.
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Javeria Adil Chughtai
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