Symptoms of Dehydration

What are the symptoms of dehydration?

Well, there are two types of dehydration which cause different symptoms.

The first is acute dehydration, such as occurs after strenuous exercise, excessive perspiration, or a day where you drank too much coffee and forgot to drink water too.

You can recognize acute dehydration by the physical sensation of feeling thirsty, having a dry mouth, and/or a whitish colored tongue which is restored to a more reddish hue by drinking water or other non-caffeinated beverage.

The second form of dehydration is chronic dehydration, which is a more long-term condition brought about by a situation in which a person simply does not take in enough hydrating fluids and/or foods on a daily basis.

There are a number of ways your body can tell you it needs more water, but a number of chronic dehydration symptoms don't necessarily seem like a symptom of dehydration, so they can easily be attributed to some other source.

Of course, don't just assume it's dehydration and start self-treating your medical condition with more water. If you have serious health concerns please do get checked by your doctor or natural health care practitioner. And then, consider the possibility of chronic dehydration as a part of the cause of your symptoms.

Below are some common chronic dehydration symptoms, with a short description of what happens in the body to cause each symptom. I compiled and adapted information for this page from a number of sources including: The Water Prescription, by Christopher Vasey, N.D, Your Body's Many Cries for Water by Dr. Batmanghelidj, MD. and a website called Diagnose Me.



Symptoms of Dehydration


Symptoms of Dehydration

Yawning, Fatigue, Lack of Energy: Dehydration of the tissues causes enzymatic activity to slow down. Also, blood carries oxygen to the brain. If blood volume is low due to dehydration then the brain can receive less oxygen than is optimal, resulting in fatigue and yawning.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Constipation: When chewed food residue enters the colon, it still contains a high percentage of water, which the colon reduces to form a stool. In chronic dehydration, the colon takes out too much water from the stool for other dehydrated parts of the body, which leads to hardened, compacted stools.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Digestive Disorders: In chronic dehydration, the secretion of digestive juices are less than optimal, which can cause some trouble in properly digesting your food.

Symptoms of Dehydration

High and Low Blood Pressure: Low blood pressure can be due to there simply not being enough blood volume. Here's the really interesting part - high blood pressure can be a state of adaptation of the body to chronic long-term dehydration. As the body fills blood vessels with volume to normalize low pressure due to chronic dehydration, the constriction of the vascular system forces the water from the blood vessels into the cells in order to deliver vital nutrients and oxygen. Such effort by the body can lead to a high blood pressure reading which can actually be traced to dehydration as the root of the problem.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Gastritis, Stomach Ulcers: To protect its mucous membranes from being destroyed by its own acidic digestive fluid, the stomach secretes a layer of mucous. When there is not enough liquid to go around for all the body's vital functions, there can be a reduction in the amount of protective mucous formed.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Respiratory Troubles: The mucous membranes of the respiratory region are normally slightly moist, which protects the respiratory tract from substances that might be present in inhaled air. Again, in chronic dehydration this is a part of the body which might not get enough moisture.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Acid-Alkaline Imbalance: Dehydration causes a slowing down of enzymatic activity which can produce an overly acidic condition in some people.

Dehydration Symptoms

Excess Weight or Obesity: Thirst is often confused with hunger. If you tend to overeat it's good practice to drink a glass of water about 5 minutes before each meal.

Dehydration Symptoms

Eczema: Your body needs a sufficient supply of water to sweat out enough moisture, thereby diluting toxins so they do not irritate the skin.

Dehydration Symptoms

Elevated Cholesterol: When dehydration causes too much liquid to be removed from inside the cells, the body tries to stop this loss by producing more cholesterol.

Dehydration Symptoms

Cystitis, Urinary Infections: If toxins contained in urine are insufficiently diluted, they can cause problems for the urinary mucous membranes.

Dehydration Symptoms

Pain: Localized pain may be a warning of localized thirst. The pain signal may be a warning of dehydration in that specific area, for example; low back pain, migraine headache, joint pain, and angina.

Dehydration Symptoms

Rheumatism: Dehydration abnormally increases the concentration of toxins in the blood and cellular fluids, and rheumatoid type pain increases in proportion to the concentration of the toxins.

Dehydration Symptoms

General Malaise: Chronic dehydration can contribute to a reduction in lymph flow (lymph fluid carries excess toxins from the body) which in turn may cause general feelings of malaise.

Dehydration Symptoms

Premature Aging: The body of a newborn baby is composed of about 80 percent liquid. This percentage declines to no more than 70 percent in a healthy adult and will then slowly continue to decline with age. If you're aging prematurely you might just be drying up.

Some Foods Contain Water Too

It's easy to get a little too caught up in the water craze (you know the people who get nervous if they haven't drank their "eight glasses of water a day"), but still, it's important to keep well hydrated.

Remember that many foods are high in water, so the popular recommendation to drink eight glasses of water a day is simply not appropriate for everyone.

If you eat soups and stews you're getting some water in those foods. If you eat plenty of vegetables (and fruits if you tolerate them) you're getting water in those foods. Even meats contain water.

Herbal teas are not dehydrating the way caffeinated beverages are.

Take a look at the Drinks & Teas section, and the Vegetable Recipes Section for lots of great ideas.

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