Young and older people are most susceptible to dehydration. When dehydrated, the body is at risk for potentially life threatening diseases as the body as not functioning as it should. When the loss of fluids exceeds the fluid intake, it results in the condition known as dehydration. Common causes of dehydration include; diarrhea, immense sweating and fevers. Any symptoms of the condition are a sign to drink plenty of water or to seek medical help.
When dealing with the elderly generation it’s important to check the air temperature in the person’s home. They may avoid turning on air conditioning due to health or financial situations, not realizing the danger and risk of becoming overheated. If they do not have access to air conditioning or a fan, ensure there is a place they can go when the temperature gets high.
Symptoms of dehydration;
- Bad Breath – Bacteria overgrowth in the mouth happens when your body isn’t producing enough saliva. Bad breath is an indicator that you are dehydrated.
- Dark Urine Color – Clear urine with a tinge of yellow is normal. But if your urine is dark, concentrated or an orange color it is a sign that you are dehydrated.
- Headache – When the chemical makeup of the blood is altered by loss of water, potassium and salt are lessened. This causes the brain to shrink and move away from the skull. This can trigger pain receptors. A severe headache can occur when the blood volume drops.
- Constipation – Healthy bowel movements require water. When a person is dehydrated, the colon loses flexibility and stools may become hard and cause a painful bowel movement.
- Body Overheating – When a body overheats after physical exertion and profuse sweating occurs this can cause dehydration. Heat stroke is common for people who are not hydrated adequately as when they go into hot temperatures their body sweats profusely.
- Fatigue – Without the correct amount of water your body can feel muscle soreness which can in turn make you feel tired and less motivated. Staying hydrated can optimize performance.
If you believe you are dehydrated, get out of direct sunlight and rest. Prop up your feet, remove excess clothing and drink plenty of water. If you are not feeling better after consuming water and resting, seek medical assistance.