Dehydration WARNING: Unexpected signs and consequences exposed
(NaturalHealth365) About 60 percent of you is made of water. Since your body needs water to perform hundreds of basic physiological functions, it’s imperative to continually replenish yourself through adequate fluid intake. Indeed, dehydration is a major health risk – particularly for older adults.
Of course, as reasonable as it is to drink more water, many of us struggle to do so – anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of Americans aren’t drinking enough. By becoming more aware of the unexpected signs and consequences of dehydration – ranging from sleep problems to migraines – hopefully you’ll remember to pour yourself a glass or two.
Dehydration can cause sleepless nights … plus, other surprising dangers of insufficient fluid intake
Most of us know that dehydration can lead to decreased urine output, or cause a person’s urine to become dark and foul-smelling. It’s also generally well-known that dehydration can lead to dizziness and lightheadedness, muscle cramps, and of course thirst.
But that’s not all a dehydrated body is at risk for.
According to many integrative healthcare experts: dehydration can actually make it harder to sleep soundly due to issues like dry airways, increased snoring, and leg cramps. Keep in mind: you already lose water as you sleep through sweat and breath.
Dehydration has also been implicated in other disabling or serious issues, including painful migraine headaches, delayed wound healing, organ damage, and impaired memory and cognition.
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Now, there’s no single answer to the question, “How much water should I drink?” But a good starting point is aroud 2.7 liters per day for women and 3.7 liters per day for men, according to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. To optimize your health and avoid dehydration, you might need more or less than this.
Want to build a better hydration habit? Research indicates that having a reusable water bottle with you promotes increased water intake. To minimize your risk of exposure to environmental toxins found in plastic water bottles, just be sure to choose steel or glass water containers whenever possible.
Not drinking enough water tends to hit the older population MORE, here are 3 often-ignored warning signs to look out for
Most of us could probably do better about drinking enough water. But older adults are at a particularly increased risk of dehydration, for several reasons.
For example, some older adults don’t feel thirsty as readily as younger adults do. If an older adult struggles with mobility or incontinence, they may also purposefully avoid drinking water to avoid accidents or extra trips to the bathroom.
Unfortunately, older adults tend to have more fat and less muscle. Since a large percentage of water is stored in the muscles, older adults simply aren’t able to store as much. Compound this with issues like impaired kidney function and other chronic diseases, then you have a potential recipe for dehydration disaster.
If you have an older loved one in your life, be sure to educate them about the importance of dehydration and make sure it’s easy for them to drink up. In the meantime, be aware of these 3 often overlooked signs of dehydration in older adults:
- Increased skin turgor, also known as “tenting” (this is what happens when you pinch up a person’s skin and the skin doesn’t immediately return back to its original position)
- Altered mental status: They may become lethargic, confused, or delirious
- Diarrhea that lasts longer than 24 hours
Sources for this article include: