Problem of Dehydration
know that if you're thirsty, you're already partially
is a worldwide problem: It's our belief that most
people in this world don't get nearly enough water to drink
throughout the day. People most at risk:
- People in countries with
insufficient clean water to drink.
- Children who are old enough
to talk but not old enough to understand about thirst.
- People who are relying on
coffee, tea, soft drinks, juice, and alcohol (all
dehydrators) for their liquid.
- New mothers -- especially
- Athletes (athletes can
easily burn through more water in their bodies than they
for whom physical labor is a large part of their daily
whose work keeps them on the move and/or on their feet.
whose daily routine (or company policy) prevents them from
keeping liquid nearby.
- People who are ill,
feverish, vomiting, or who have diarrhea (especially people
with weakened immune systems from illnesses such as cancer
- Babies and children who
aren't given enough liquid.
- People who are overheated
and sweating profusely.
- Mentally or physically
disabled children and adults.
- Seniors -- especially
seniors in nursing homes and seniors who don't move around
- People with an eating
disorder -- especially those using diuretics or laxatives.
- People who are abusing drugs
or prescription medications.
- People eating an excessive
amount of salt.
- People traveling,
working or living in an arid, humid, hot, cold or
- Airplane travelers (airplane
air dehydrates more quickly than outside air).
How Dehydration Affects You and Your Child
affects you: Being well-hydrated is
important to your physical and mental health. Dehydration makes
a person tired, cranky, and stiff-jointed. Being dehydrated can
bring on headaches, aches and cramps -- and other, more serious
physical ailments. Dehydration can make it
more difficult for parents to be patient with children
and with each other. Severe dehydration can cause
seizures, coma, or even death.
How it affects your
child: The little ones, especially, forget to
drink or to tell you that they need to drink. If you find the
children getting peaked and cranky toward the afternoon, it
might be because they're dehydrated. Common symptoms of
dehydration are crankiness, headaches, aches in the joints and
weariness. If your child says he/she is thirsty, don't make the
child wait for liquid. Dehydration has already begun. Remember:
severe dehydration can quickly kill a baby or child.
Should Know About YOU and Water
- 75% of
Americans are chronically dehydrated.
- The #1
trigger of daytime fatigue is lack of
- In 37%
of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so
weak it is often mistaken for hunger.
- A mere
2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy
short term memory.
glass of water shuts down midnight
hunger pangs for almost 100% of dieters
studied in a University of Washington
- Unintentional chronic dehydration is at
the root of many serious diseases,
including asthma, renal dysfunction,
endocrine system and adrenal fatigue,
high blood pressure and other
cardiovascular problems, arthritis,
ulcers, pancreatis, digestive
difficulties, and lower back pain.
mucous that lines the stomach to protect
it from hydrochloric acid is 98% water.
- Drinking 5 glasses of water daily may
decrease the risk of colon cancer by
- The risk
of breast cancer may also be decreased
by as high as 79%.
- Non-infectious "recurring" or chronic
pains should be viewed as an indication
of body thirst.
- The "dry
mouth" is the very last sign of
regulates the volume of a cell from the
inside and salt regulates the amount of
water outside the cell.
- Dehydration causes stress and stress
causes further dehydration.
- The most
prudent way to prevent migraines is the
regular intake of water.
indicates that 8-10 glasses of water
daily could significantly ease back and
joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
function of the body is monitored and
regulated by the efficient flow of
remain healthy, an adult must consume
approximately on 8-ounce glass of pure
water (not chlorinated tap water) for
every other waking hour per day. Thus
an average 16 hour day requires a
minimum of 8 8oz. glasses of water.
people believe that drinking lots of
fluids (coffee, tea, sodas, etc.) is the
same as drinking water. However, water
is processed by your body differently
than any other liquid. Only 45 seconds
after drinking water, the water leaves
your stomach and begins a path through
your brain, central nervous system,
vital organs, and finally into the blood
where it helps to lower blood pressure.
Have you heard the
saying that 8 glasses of water a day helps keep your skin
healthy? It's true, but there are other benefits to getting
those 8 glasses or more:
- Boosts physical and mental
- Helps maintain a pleasant
demeanor. Dehydrated adults and children tend to be
irritable and/or lethargic.
- Helps prevent muscle cramps
in your legs, hands, and feet -- and achy stiffness in your
- Can prevent headaches. Are
you prone to migraines, cluster headaches? Ask yourself how
much water you drink in a day. If it isn't
48 ounces (preferably more), you
might be dehydrated.
- Some studies show hydration
can decrease the risk of kidney stones and lower the risk of
certain cancers by helping the body to flush out toxins.
- Helps keep your digestive
system working. Fluids soften the stools, making them easier
- Helps prevent urinary tract
infections by helping to flush away bacteria.
- Helps keep pregnant women
from being constipated -- and it can also help the body
flush away excess fluid that can lead to bloating and edema
- Helps nursing women with
milk production. If you are having a problem with milk
supply, ask yourself how much water you're drinking.
- Helps keep your eyes and
skin moist and healthy. When the
body is dehydrated, it looks for moisture from wherever it
can find it -- including the eyes and skin.
- Can help asthmatics breathe
more efficiently, according to experts. Apparently,
dehydration interferes with how well the lungs function
(thereby increasing the likelihood of an asthma attack).
Signs of Dehydration
The simplest way to
check for dehydration is to check urine color. It should be
clear or very pale yellow. If it begins to darken in color,
fluid intake should increase.
If you've increased water intake -- but thirst, headache or
other symptoms persist -- check with
your doctor. It might simply be that a fluid containing
electrolytes is needed to restore a normal balance.
It could also be that some other
underlying cause requires medical attention.)
Dehydration: (increase fluid intake -- and for
babies, call a medical professional): Thirst, dry lips, dry
mouth, flushed skin, fatigue,
irritability, headache, urine begins to darken in color,
urine output decreases
Moderate Dehydration: (call a medical
professional): All of the signs of mild
dehydration, plus: skin doesn't bounce back quickly
when pressed, very dry mouth, sunken eyes, (in infant -
sunken fontanel, the soft spot on the head), output of urine
will be limited and color of urine will be dark yellow,
cramps, stiff and/or painful joints, severe irritability,
fatigue, severe headache
Severe Dehydration: (call emergency number):
All of the signs of mild and
moderate dehydration, plus: blue lips, blotchy skin,
confusion, lethargy, cold hands and feet, rapid breathing,
rapid and weak pulse, low blood pressure, dizziness,
fainting, high fever, inability to pee or cry tears,
disinterest in drinking fluid
dehydration, call for emergency help:
you, your child, or someone you know has symptoms of severe
dehydration (dry mouth, sunken eyes, reluctance to drink,
inability to pass urine or cry tears, high fever, lethargy,
confusion, cold hands and feet, rapid and weak pulse, rapid
breathing, (in infants, a sunken fontanel) -- call for emergency
help and have the person sip a electrolyte-replacement fluid
(for babies or children, one that's made especially for them
such as Pedialyte).
Heat Cramps, Heat Exhaustion
Experts say that adults with heat exhaustion should stop the
activity, move into a cool environment, remove excess clothing
and drink hydrating liquids (NOT coffee, tea, sodas or juice!).
They say that adults with heatstroke, however, are suffering an
emergency. Their body needs to be cooled with ice packs or
immersion in cold water, and immediate and professional
medical attention must be called.
We say: Don't take chances. We believe that any
sign of moderate to severe dehydration should be promptly
attended to and medical professionals called -- especially in
particularly vulnerable populations like babies, children,
anyone with an illness, and seniors. If you're in doubt, please
call for help. No competent medical professional will mind being
called for help with a possible case of moderate to severe
dehydration, heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
painful involuntary muscle spasms. They usually occur
in the muscles being used during the
exercise, and are a result of insufficient liquid intake
difficulty breathing, headache, feeling
hot on head and neck, dizziness, heat cramps, chills,
nausea, irritability, vomiting, extreme weakness or fatigue
rapid and shallow breathing, rapid
heartbeat, unusually high or low blood pressure, lack of
sweating, mental confusion and disorientation,
unconsciousness, physical collapse
Remember: if you try to drink a large amount of water all at
once, your kidneys will simply flush the excess fluid by sending
you to the bathroom. It's better to drink regular
small amounts of
water throughout the day.
pour the liquid you need to drink and make sure that by the end
of the day, it's gone. That way, you won't forget how much
you've already had. Do the same for your children (because they
won't understand to keep track themselves. Remember: If they're
thirsty, they're already dehydrated).
Make sure you
are well hydrated before exercising, especially in hot or humid
weather. Drink liquids to replace liquids lost during exercise,
and drink more fluids following the activity.
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Did You Know?
Each year 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, storm
water, and industrial waste are dumped into US water.
- "How Infastructure Makes Water
Work for Us." In Urban Green: Architecture for the
Approximately 40% of the lakes in America are too polluted
for fishing, aquatic life, or swimming. -
"Nonpoint Source Pollution: The Nation's
Largest Water Quality Problem." Environmental Protection
Agency. Accessed February 18, 2014
14 billion pounds of garbage are dumped into the ocean every
year. "Marine Debris."
- California Coastal Commission. 2014
According to Environment
America, 226 million lbs. of toxic chemicals were
dumped into 1,400 waterways of the United States in 2010