Dehydration is a natural and serious matter that we may face on a regular basis, no matter what state we’re in. Whether we are in the comfort of our homes or in the midst of surviving in the wilderness, dehydration can always be an issue.
In this post, we will cover everything you need to know about dehydration, so that you will be able to handle dehydration at any given point.
Causes of Dehydration
As everyone should already know, dehydration usually happens when we don’t drink enough fluid compared to the fluid that we are constantly losing. But there are actually many contributing factors which often result in dehydration, such as the body’s sodium levels, weather, physical exertion, or even poor health.
Here are the certain conditions that may cause dehydration:
Sweating too much can cause dehydration, especially if you engage in some intense physical activities under hot temperatures.
Your body temperature will rise if you spend enough time under the sun or in a hot environment. Your body will cool itself down by releasing sweat which will prompt the deficiency of fluid inside your body.
Consuming salt or sodium in large quantities will get you dehydrated as well since it will force your body to pull water from your cells. To rehydrate your cells, you just need to drink fluids to counteract the sodium.
Vomiting and/or Diarrhea
These two are the most common causes to get dehydrated since a substantial amount can be lost after just one episode of vomiting or diarrhea. If you are in a survival situation, do not drink from water that you aren’t 100% sure is clean. You don’t want to end up with bacteria or a parasite.
People diagnosed with diabetes have a greater risk of getting dehydrated since they possess high levels of glucose. These high levels of glucose cause increased urine production prior to the kidneys working to eliminate them in the bloodstream. As a result, people with diabetes usually urinate more often, which results in fluid loss.
Symptoms of Dehydration
Generally, dehydration has plenty of symptoms which can range from mild to severe. It can be easily alleviated if you rehydrate once the early mild symptoms have displayed. But if these symptoms go on unnoticed or disregarded, they may lead to serious trouble or even death.
The mild symptoms of dehydration may include:
- Darker urine
- Less frequent urination
Here are the indicating symptoms when mild progresses to moderate dehydration:
- Dry mouth
- Muscle weakness or cramps
- Lethargy (lack of energy and enthusiasm)
If moderate progresses to severe dehydration, it signifies a loss of your body’s fluids at roughly 10-15 percent, the symptoms may include:
- Dry, wrinkled skin
- Insufficient sweating
- Low blood pressure
- Delirium (confused thinking and reduced awareness)
- Faster heart rate
- Sunken eyes
Furthermore, if severe dehydration is not taken care of at once, it may result to some serious complications, such as:
- Low blood volume
- Kidney problems
- Heat stroke
NOTE: If any of these symptoms occur despite drinking plenty of fluids, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Prevention of Dehydration
Rather than wait until the point of dehydration to work yourself back to baseline, you should work hard to prevent it from happening in the first place. You do not have to wait for the first few mild symptoms to progress when you can just simply avoid them by doing your best. Remember the old saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That certainly rings true here.
Here are the tips to prevent dehydration that you should try:
Plenty of Fluids
The most conventional way to prevent dehydration is to drink plenty of fluids. Try to arrange a timetable for when you have to drink and hydrate. It is always a good idea to get yourself hydrated first before engaging in physical activity.
There are water-rich fruits and vegetables that you can eat to supplement your fluid intake.
If you are going away for a few days with a limited amount of drinking water, then you are likely to end up getting dehydrated. You should always bring more than you think you need.
Do not drink too much fluid as getting excessively hydrated can lead to hyponatremia which is a life-threatening condition. The human body is not capable of absorbing more than a cup of water every fifteen minutes.
But you may need to drink more fluid if you are in a certain condition, such as:
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Hot and/or cold environment
- Intensive physical and/or outdoor activities
- Higher altitude
It can be tough to stay on top of your water intake, but it’s good to make it a habit right now so that you stay hydrated when SHTF. No matter how prepared you are or how rigorous you are in staying hydrated, learn the signs of dehydration and recognize them in yourself and those around you. It could save a life.