According to research, approximately 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. With record-breaking spikes in temperatures, to the lack of education around water-intake, many Americans who think they are sick are actually suffering from dehydration.
Dehydration can cause kidney failure, kidney stones, chronic urinary infections, seizures, and other serious health problems. You must pay attention to the signs you’re not drinking enough water so that you stay hydrated, healthy, and safe.
The problem is, most people don’t know that they are dehydrated before it’s too late. So what are the most accurate signs that you’re not drinking enough water? How can you know in time so that you can take better care of your health?
Thankfully, we’ve created this article to answer those questions. Keep on reading to learn everything you need to know about staying hydrated so you can avoid the health problems of dehydration.
Your skin is the largest organ on your body, and it needs a lot of water to stay smooth and nourished. Thankfully, your skin provides one of the quickest signs that you’re dehydrated, you just need to know what to look for.
To test this, pinch the skin on the front of your hand or your chest for three full seconds. If the turgor pressure stays the same for a bit afterward, you are dehydrated. If the skin snaps back to the same as it was before the pinch, you are dehydrated.
Other signs of dehydration on the skin are dry, flakey, dull skin, and the change of skin tone.
When you are hydrated, the water helps your body to flush toxins out of your digestive system and eliminate them as waste through your bowels.
Water also makes the stool softer which eases your bowel movements through the intestine and out of your bowels. If you are dehydrated, your body will pull the water from the stools to move it to areas that need it the most, such as your kidneys.
If you are frequently constipated and have irregular bowel movements, chances are that you are dehydrated.
Being constantly fatigued is a common symptom of many health conditions. However, it is also a major sign of dehydration. When you are dehydrated, your body will extract the water from your blood to give it to your essential organs.
This means that your red blood cells will take longer to move around your body, causing a lack of oxygen to your cells. This eventually leads to lethargy and fatigue.
If you are thinking of going for that cup of joe at this time, it is the last thing you should do. Caffeine dehydrates you even more, which could lead to more health concerns if you’re already dehydrated.
If you are noticing that you are taking fewer trips to the bathroom, chances are that you are dehydrated. The average person goes to the bathroom between 6-7 times per day, so if you’re nowhere near this number, you need to drink more water.
When you urinate, pay attention to the color of your urine. If it is dark and cloudy, you are dehydrated and this could eventually lead to a urinary tract infection. If your urine is clear, you should be fine.
Many people commonly mistake thirst for hunger as it activates similar parts of your brain. If you feel sudden hunger pains when you have recently eaten, pay attention to when the last time you drank water.
Next time you have a hunger craving, drink a glass of water instead. Food draws in more water from your body to digest it, so drinking water will help to flush out more toxins within the body.
Water helps all the functions of your body to work smoothly and efficiently, and it all starts with digestion. The first step of digestion is the secretion of digestive enzymes in your mouth, so if your mouth is dry, your digestion will be affected.
Water helps the lining of mucous membranes to protect your stomach from the acid it produces. This is why dehydration can lead to acid reflux and other digestive issues.
Sweating is an essential function of the body and is the way that your body releases toxins through your sweat glands. If you notice that you’re not sweating like you usually do, this is a sign that you could be dehydrated.
If you are in an environment that is hotter than usual, this can dehydrate you much faster than you may realize, so watch out for heat stress by drinking more water in hotter climates. Check out some heat stress prevention tips to stay safe while you’re on vacation.
If you notice that you’re frequently sick with a cold or the flu, you may want to check your water intake. Water is essential for flushing out bacteria, toxins, and excess wastes from the body, so if there is not enough water, your body becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
Drink more water to stay hydrated enough so that your body can eliminate the bacteria that do not optimally serve your health.
Muscle cramps are one of the most dangerous signs you’re not drinking enough water. Once your fluid level becomes low, your muscles become dehydrated and begin to cramp from the imbalance of sodium and potassium.
Headaches are also a sign that you are dehydrated. If you feel a major headache coming on, slam a few glasses of water and you will be surprised at how quickly it works!
There you have it! These are important signs you’re not drinking enough water, and by ignoring these signs, you are ignoring your health.
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