What is Dehydration? Causes, Symptom and Treatment

Think of the health travels of a summer day and sweat and dehydration will be the first things to pop up in your thoughts. Dehydration is the loss of water and salts from the body. It occurs when more liquids and salts are lost than consumed.

Young children and older people are at greater risk of suffering dehydration than the age groups in between. That is because the loss of electrolytes occurs more rapidly in the young and the old.

Since our body can lose up to half of gallon of water per hour when facing extreme heat and exercise, it is important to stay hydrated so you don’t hurt your body. If too much water is lost through sweating, your blood volume can decrease and also your blood pressure.

You must drink as much water as that which you are releasing. If you are going to be out in the heat or exercising, don’ wait until you feel thirsty to hydrate. Drink water before, during and after.

Water allows nutrients & oxygen to travel to organs & cells. Water also regulates our body temperature, removes waste and protect joints and organs.

Staying hydrated ensures that your organs work optimally. This increases metabolism, allowing you to burn more fat. Plus water has no calories. Proper dehydration helps maintain clear thinking and better concentration.

A major cause of fatigue and weakness is dehydration. Consuming enough fluid hydrates your skin, diminishes the appearance of wrinkles, and it flushes toxins out of your body.

The incidence of dehydration is far too common, in 2012, almost 8000 people were admitted to hospital with dehydration from their homes.

This figure increased by 18 percent over the previous five years. In 20 percent of emergency hospital admissions, the patients have acute kidney injury which is caused by dehydration.

Since water makes up more than half of our body weight, it is essential to stay hydrated not only when it’s hot out, but all year. Find out why is it so important to stay hydrated, and which drink you should drink when you are feeling thirsty.

What is Dehydration

Are You Dehydrated?

Firstly, don’t assume thirst to be the first or only symptom of dehydration. It is not. The many symptoms of dehydration include:

• Fatigue
• Dry mouth
• Dizziness
• Weakness
• Rapid heartbeat
• Dry, flushed skin
• Muscle cramps and myofascial pain

Get Summer Fit:

• Quench your thirst with water.

• Adults need to drink at least 1 ½ to 2 liters of water every day.

• Drink lemon juice, coconut water and buttermilk to replenish the fluids that are lost with perspiration.

• Avoid high protein diets. If on a high-protein diet, you need to drink at least 8 to 12 glasses of water every day.

• Avoid alcohol including beer and wine.

• Drink water before you go out to play or exercise. Drink in between intervals of every 15 to 20 minutes.

Foods to Eat When Dehydrated:

Food Importance



92 per cent water


Rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, Lycopene

Contains rehydrating salts like calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium




Packed with water


Ideal levels of calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium




96 per cent water


Besides hydrating nutrients, it has phosphorous, iron and zinc

Just two or three stalks can replenish the body’s levels of electrolytes

Ice pops



An appealing hydration option for children who are picky eaters
Gelatin desserts As they are primarily water, they are efficient in replacing body fluids

Fortify Yourself Against Dehydration:

Avoid these foods: pungent or astringent vegetables and fruits like spinach, hot pepper, onions, garlic, beetroot, ripe mangoes, dry fruits, sugary items, hot and spicy foods and extremely salty and fried foods.

Adequate intake of water keeps the body hydrated, boosts metabolism and removes toxins, drugs and other metabolites from the body. Fruits and vegetables have high levels of water content. Include melons, oranges, lettuce, celery, tomatoes and cucumber in your summer diet.

Preserving Food in Summer:

• Keep raw and cooked food separate: meat, poultry and seafood should be wrapped separately and kept away from cooked foods or foods meant to be eaten raw such as fruits and vegetables.

• Throw away perishable leftover that have been kept out for over two hours.

• Pre-cooked food should always be refrigerated and consumed preferable on the same day.

• Always wash raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water.

SOURCE: B-Positive Health Magazine

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