Dehydration is, simply put, the loss of more quantities of fluid from the body that the amount consumed – thus leading to a significant shortage in the fluid reserves of the body. What most people are unaware of is the fact that with the loss of water, the body is simultaneously losing some very important blood salts such as potassium and sodium. These are very important for the proper functioning of certain vital organs such as the heart, lungs and brain. While dehydration could be a condition on its own, it could also be caused as a result of suffering from some other medical condition such as cholera or dysentery. Since these conditions are very prevalent in some under developed countries, the mortality rates as a result of dehydration happen to be significantly higher in these regions. With the onset of dehydration, the affected individual will experience a prominent drying of the lips, excessive thirst as well as a drying of the membranes in the mouth. When the condition progresses to a more severe level, the patient will also experience sunken eyes.
Causes of Dehydration
One common cause of dehydration in teens is gastrointestinal illness. When you're flattened by a stomach bug, you lose fluid through vomiting and diarrhea.
Excessive loss of fluid through the intestinal tract can happen when the intestine is "inflamed" or damaged, or when bacteria or viruses cause the lining of the intestine to produce more fluid than can be absorbed.
Water is essential to human life: It forms the basis for all body fluids, including blood and digestive juices; it aids in the transportation and absorption of nutrients; and it helps eliminate waste.
Symptoms for mild dehydration:
1. Flushed face
2. Dry and warm skin
4. High level of thirst
5. Reduced urination
6. Easily irritable
8. Dry tongue
Prevention of dehydration:
You should follow the tips given below to prevent dehydration:
1. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of fluids. During summer you should drink more fluids as your body needs are more.
2. Drink extra water before, during and after exercise.
3. Try to drink at least every 15 to 20 minutes when you are doing exercise.
4. Consume some amount of sports drink if you want to exercise for longer than 1 hour.
5. Do not drink coffee, colas, or other drinks that contain caffeine. They increase urine output and make you dehydrate faster.
6. Avoid high-protein diets. If you are on a high-protein diet, make sure that you drink at least 8 to 12 glasses of water each day.
7. Drinking too much alcohol may also increase urine output and make you feel dehydrated.
8. Reduce the salt intake as much as you can. Most people get plenty of salt in their diets; rather consume mineral added sports drinks.
9. Avoid working outdoors or exercising, if you feel dizzy, lightheaded or very tired.
10. Try to wear light weighted, light colored or one layered clothes. Change into dry clothing as soon as you can if your clothes get soaked with sweat.
11. Never exercise in a rubber suit.
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