Dehydration is a condition that is a result of more fluid leaving the body than it takes in. This can lead to anything from mild discomfort to, at its most extreme, death. We can suffer dehydration in many different ways as a result of fluid loss. These include:
- Excessive exercise – Any prolonged exertion can lead to excessive sweating. In warmer conditions this is made worse, which means you can lose a great deal of water from the body.
- Illness – Diarrhea and vomiting can lead to the loss of body fluids quickly. Other illnesses such as infections that effect urination as well as the flu can be detrimental to your body’s hydration.
- Unsafe drinking water – Not as uncommon in the Western World as you might believe. Poor sanitation and water that’s not designed for drinking affect inner city areas and outlying parts of the country.
- Skin injuries – Skin helps to manage the water in your body. Any burns, diseases or infections that damage the skin allows water to leave the body faster.
When suffering from dehydration, there are a number of different symptoms that you can look out for. These signs indicate the severity of your dehydration, and change as your body’s condition deteriorates.
The first indication that you’re experiencing bodily dehydration is perhaps the most obvious, although it’s the first to be ignored; thirst. If you feel the need to drink something, do. Drink water, but avoid coffee, hot chocolate or alcohol, even soft drinks. These drinks have diuretic properties, which means they elevate your need to urinate. Normal English, or breakfast tea can also cause this, although herbal teas can help you rehydrate.
If you find that you are experiencing a dry mouth, or dizziness, this is a clear sign that your body can be suffering further dehydration. Headaches are also a sign. If this continues without drinking any water, this can lead to dizziness and nausea.
Other danger signs include general confusion and difficulty with certain tasks. The heart rate can increase and you can even experience palpitations. Your ability to sweat is affected, as there is not enough available water to cool your skin, which also affects your ability to urinate. Your urine will also be darker in colour – a sure sign of prolonged dehydration.
These extreme cases are often due to long periods of dehydration, requiring medical attention. However when it comes to the earliest stages of dehydration for many of us it’s simply a matter of keeping an eye on how we’re feeling take in fluids when necessary. This is particularly true for all kinds of activities, whether you’re embarking on anything from a climbing expedition to a gym session, even an all day shopping trip.
Trekitt provides essentials for hiking and climbing, from outerwear, mountain footwear, climbing gear and hydration packs.
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