Being dehydrated can cause a slew of problems for everyone. If you are concerned about your level of hydration, here are 10 signs of dehydration in the average person that you should look for. You cannot rely solely on your sense of thirst to know if you are dehydrated.
10 Signs of Dehydration
By the time your brain receives that information, chances are that you are already dehydrated. If you find yourself with any of these symptoms you should hydrate as soon as you can with water or a sports drink that is packed with electrolytes.
- Confusion: If you are dehydrated you may find yourself having trouble concentrating or even completing simple tasks. You may be disoriented and confused by your surroundings. This can lead to memory loss and even a sharp decrease in alertness.
- Dark Colored Urine: The color of urine is a tell-tale sign of dehydration. A well-hydrated adult will have clear or light colored urine. Whereas a dehydrated adult will have dark yellow or amber colored urine, which is a sign of dehydration.
- Fatigue: Are you incredibly tired despite having sufficient sleep last night? Chances are you may be dehydrated. Fatigue can come in many forms, things like muscle aches or just a general feeling of sleepiness usually point to being fatigued.
- Muscle or Abdominal Cramps: Our muscles need water (and sodium) to function correctly. When we are low on either of the two you can experience some pretty serious muscle cramps all over your body. If you are experiencing muscle cramps drink a warm glass of water mixed with a tablespoon or two of salt for relief.
- Headache: The most common sign of dehydration is a headache. When you aren’t drinking enough water your brain tissue actually shrinks and pulls away from your skill. Being dehydrated also decreases the volume of blood in your body which cuts the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain dramatically.
- No Sweat Production: If you are sweating profusely and seemingly stop sweating out of nowhere but you are still hot, chances are you are severely dehydrated and close to heat exhaustion – the most severe form of dehydration that can lead to heat stroke. If you notice a decrease in the output of sweat get to a cool spot and re-hydrate immediately!
- Pale Skin: Just like the cause of headaches, being dehydrated drops the volume of blood being moved around your body. This pulls blood from the capillaries around places like your face to be used in more vital areas like organs. This can make your face or even your whole body a ghostly white.
- Rapid Heartbeat: When the volume of blood decreases the viscosity also changes. When there is less water in the body than is needed, your blood will become thicker and cause the heart to work harder. This is dangerous as it can lead to fainting or even heart attacks in extreme cases.
- Fainting: When the amount of oxygen the blood is carrying to the brain drops dramatically you may lose consciousness and faint. The oxygen that is carried to the brain will have a tough time getting to its destination if your blood is thicker from a lack of hydration.
- Dizziness: Dizziness and fainting go hand in hand. Dizziness is usually a precursor to fainting. If you notice that you are dizzy for no apparent reason (like standing up too fast) chances are you are nearly dehydrated enough to the point where you may pass out or be led toward the more serious symptoms on this list.
Being dehydrated is not something to take lightly. Our bodies need a constant intake of fluids to replace what is lost through waste, sweat, and blood production.
When the statistics say that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated it truly is a serious problem that we should take care of. That means three out of 4 people are not getting the amount of fluids that they need to survive.
These 10 signs of dehydration in the average person will help you know what to look for. If you are experiencing these symptoms there is a good chance you are among the 75% of others that are dehydrated. Drink up!