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self-nurture

How Dehydration Physically Affects the Body

Audrey Newton

This summer, Canada experienced a record-breaking heat wave, putting everyone at risk of dehydration. This state occurs when your body does not have access to enough fluids so that it can function properly. While people can be dehydrated due to medication or diarrhea, extreme heat is also a culprit in making people excrete more sweat than they normally would. Since our bodies are primarily made up of water, dehydration can lead to the following alarming effects.

The Effects of Dehydration

Your body needs water to carry out basic functions, so an extreme dip in your hydration levels will make you very weak. Even worse, your body may send out an SOS and exhibit any of these symptoms:

1. Extreme thirst

Feeling dryness and discomfort around your mouth area? This is your body’s way of signaling that it needs more water! You definitely need to give in to that sensation before the symptoms can get worse.

2. Dizziness or headaches

NBC states that your body will try to keep up with the extra heat by trying to cool itself down. Unfortunately, this process may cause dizziness and headaches, especially if you cannot balance things out with the weather. You may even look pale and feel clammy as your body struggles with its dehydrated state.

3. Dry and flaky skin

The skin contains 64% water so if you take out one of its major components, so Herald Mail Media points out that dry skin is one of the casualties of dehydration. Furthermore, you may experience skin problems and disorders, such as dryness and eczema, when your dehydrated body cannot eliminate toxins properly.

4. Irregular urine

Your urine can also show signs of dehydration! You will definitely have difficulties in excreting toxins from your body if you are dehydrated. However, dark yellow urine is also a signal that you have low hydration levels.

5. Fever

When push comes to shove, your body will increase its temperature and produce a fever. It’s hard to maintain a regular body temperature if you are struggling with extreme weather and low hydration levels. Unfortunately, as your fever rises up, your body will become even more dehydrated.

How to Counter Dehydration

Keep you and your loved ones safe from the alarming effects of dehydration by taking care of your body properly. As a preventive measure, it is important to drink at least seven to eight glasses of water each day. Furthermore, you can avoid lowering your hydration levels by staying indoors when the weather is extremely hot. If you’re taking medication that makes you feel dehydrated, then consider discussing other options with your doctor.

Dehydration can unexpectedly occur to everyone though, so it’s important to learn how you can reverse the effects. Nourish your body from the outside by properly moisturizing your skin. You can also lightly apply ice covered with cloth all over your body, so that you can cool yourself down and help in regulating your temperature.

Most importantly, you need to replenish what you have lost inside your body. If you’re extremely dehydrated, then you need to consume a lot of water before you can go back to normal. By restoring your Electrolyte levels, you can balance the fluids in your body so that it can function properly once again. To improve your electrolyte levels, you can drink coconut water, eat bananas, or take in electrolyte supplements.

Dehydration can cause detrimental effects on your body. Protect yourself from heatwaves and other causes of dehydration by regularly maintaining your body's water levels.

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