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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

HOW TO STAY HYDRATED: PREVENT HYDRATION RELATED CONDITIONS

by FuntSamuelMastery (writer), , July 15, 2016

Credit: anonymous
Stay Hydrated

Smart ways to hydrate and to avoid dehydration

Now, I regard myself as an individual of average intelligence, with the ability to understand some pretty basic concepts; and can follow logical processes of, cause and effect, for the most part. So when asked the question, how to stay hydrated, my immediate response was; well that’s easy, just ensure that you match the amount of liquid leaving your body with the amount that goes in, simple.

It would appear that I have been unable to put into practice this basic, logical concept, and that perhaps I needed a slightly more technical understanding of how to stay hydrated. And equally important, how to recognize the symptoms of dehydration, and over hydration which is as dangerous. In fact, the signs and symptoms of both extremes, are often quite similar: headaches, nausea, and vomiting.

In brief, dehydration can be defined as a condition which affects people who have not adequately hydrated themselves; straight forward enough. There are many causes, and almost as many signs and symptoms. Over-hydration is clearly the opposite, but it can be more sinister in its detectability, since it has the effect of diluting the amount of sodium in the body. One could therefore be forgiven for thinking that by simply eliminating the excess liquid, we would be able to reverse the effects of over hydration, this may not always be the case.

Let’s take a look at the most common condition – dehydration.

Dehydration & Over hydration - Signs and Symptoms

MILD TO MODERATE

SEVERE

Thirst

Irritability

Dry skin

Extreme Thirst

Headache

Sunken Eyes

Dizziness or lightheadedness

Rapid Heartbeat & Breathing

Constipation

Very Dry Mouth And Skin

Fatigue Or Sleepiness

Skin Loses Its Elasticity

Decreased Urine Output/Dark Colored Urine

Fever

Low Blood Pressure

Now let’s take a look at some typical signs and symptoms associated with over hydration.

MILD TO MODERATE

SEVERE

Nausea & Vomiting

Muscle Weakness

Headaches

Muscle Cramps Or Spasms

Confusion

Unconsciousness

Seizures

Coma

Whilst the signs and symptoms we typically associate with either under or over hydration may be easy to identify, it is the context within which we identify these signs and symptoms, which needs to be carefully examined. In other words, all of the signs and symptoms mentioned above could just as easily be associated with other conditions. Equally important may be the combination of these signs. Then consider all of these against the environment in which the sufferer finds themselves.

Confused yet? I though you might be, so we’ll discuss a couple of examples where one could quite easily be forgiven for diagnosing dehydration, where, in fact, it is not.

Example 1: We have a cyclist who is participating in a grueling event, in pretty hot conditions. Half-way through the event, his muscles begin to cramp. He has decreased urine output, and is feeling the effects of fatigue while he is also thirsty. In short this would make a conclusive case of dehydration. But in fact, it is not at all, it is a sign of over exertion.

Example 2: We have a patient with dark colored urine, fever, and a headache. Without considering any other environmental or circumstantial factors, it could quite easily be concluded that this patient was also dehydrated, where in fact it has more to do with a kidney infection.

Learn how to stay hydrated

There is one simple word which will go a long way in preventing some, if not all, of the signs and symptoms associated with hydration problems – Anticipate. Naturally we are referring to the non-medicinal related hydration problems, and these are typically environmental and circumstantial changes. Anticipating changes in your normal, day-to-day, routine is far simpler than you may think. And include changes in your own physical well-being as well.

Anticipate the changes when you get ill

One condition, by way of example, springs immediately to mind: diarrhea. This is a very quick way to drain the body of its liquid reserves. And not only is your body eliminating liquids, but it is also draining you of a bunch of important minerals (including sodium). When we experience a bout of diarrhea, we need to anticipate that the result is likely to be dehydration. In this case, staying hydrated may require more than just simply drinking water. You should consider replacing the lost minerals through one of the over-the-counter powder formulas. These typically include the necessary minerals we have lost.

Anticipate the changes when your environment changes

Thankfully, and for the most part, our body reacts quickly to changes in temperature. However, we need to be aware that, as we sweat, we need to take in a little more liquid than we would ordinarily.

Anticipate the changes when your circumstances change

A very common example, is when we know we are about to do exercises. In this situation it is very important that we take in liquid before we head out and start the workout routine.

Management is very important

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned how staying hydrated seemed simple enough. As you could see throughout the article, there are no certain signs and the symptoms can be easily confused. And this can happen even to the most experienced of us. My experience, relates to cycling; and it took several episodes of dehydration before a simple instruction from one of my fellow cyclists, finally dawned on me. He taught me to drink even when I wasn’t thirsty.

This is possibly the most important piece of advice on how to stay hydrated, since thirst is an indication that you are dehydrating already. That’s why drinking when you’re thirsty can be too late.

Also, another important piece of advice is to never consume large amounts of liquid quickly. Give your body a chance to digest liquids by taking small amounts, frequently. Consensus would seem to support that one should be consuming approximately 8 glasses of water during your typical day. If you’ve ever experienced such an episode, it’s important to share so others can learn from your experience. So, we’re waiting for your comments and opinions.



About the Writer

FuntSamuelMastery is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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