Dehydration is a result of a serious decline in the level of water in your body, which doesn’t allow it to function to the best of its ability. Mild dehydration can cause discomfort, while severe dehydration can lead to a serious health condition, anything ranging from blood clots to seizures.
That doesn’t mean we can take the signs of dehydration, right at the onset, lightly. It’s important to catch any degree of dehydration early on.
Did you know the signs aren’t always as obvious as thirst and fatigue? Here are six surprising signs and symptoms of dehydration, which you should be aware of.
Dry Skin: It’s common belief that people who sweat profusely have higher chances of dehydration due to fluid loss. However, if you have severely dry skin, you may be dehydrated too. As you go through various stages of dehydration without realizing, your sky gets dry and parched. It may appear flushed as well.
Muscle Cramps: Loss of water from the body can lead to muscle cramps. The hotter you get, the more likely you will get aches and pains, as the muscles tend to seize up from the heat itself. Even in cooler weather, dehydration is possible if your water intake during physical activity or working out is not enough.
Bad breath: Dehydration can prevent your body from making enough saliva, which has antibacterial properties, thus leading to bad breath.
Fever and Chills: If you are severely dehydrated, you may experience fever and chills. Fever can then further worsen the dehydration.
Craving for sweets: When your water level goes down, it becomes difficult for your body to break down glycogen or stored glucose to release it into the bloodstream as fuel. The body can also confuse the feeling of thirst for hunger, when all you need is water.
Headache: Even a mild dehydration can trigger a headache or even a migrane. If you aren’t sure why you’re getting a headache, it’s best to drink a full glass of water, followed by fluids during the day.
To keep dehydration at bay, keep a water bottle handy, add in chunks of fruit, lemon or mint to spice things up if you aren’t a water baby, swap dry snacks like chips with refreshing munchies like frozen fruit and yoghurt. Remember that a few fruits and vegetables hold over 90 percent of water, such as strawberries, watermelon, cucumber, celery, lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes and bell peppers. Now you know your go-to essentials for snacking or even as salads.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that most women get about 2.7 liters of water a day and most men get 3.7 liters, which includes indirect water intake from beverages as tea, milk and fruit juice. Get drinking!