Dehydration & Ways to Treat it
September 24, 2019 | Abigail Mckay

Dehydration & Ways to Treat it

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Dehydration can be deadly if not addressed, and it is an incredibly common ailment in the summer months when the weather is warm. Other conditions that can cause dehydration include excessive heat exposure, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, excessive urination, and finally lack of fluid consumption. The majority of the population experiences some level of dehydration nearly every day unless you are an intentional water drinker. Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, little to no urine production, bright yellow urine, increased heart rate, low blood pressure, dizziness, and sunken eyes.  


Unfortunately, the general population does not drink enough water and instead replaces water with caffeinated beverages, alcohol, teas, and other sugary drinks. While these drinks taste delicious, they actually dehydrate the body faster due to the excessive salt found in many of these drinks. While the amount of water needed daily varies from person to person, it is easy to remember the 8x8 rule. It is recommended to consume eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Once again, it is essential to remember that some medical conditions require fluid restriction, so speak with your physician about how much water is right for you.  


When trying to prevent dehydration, it is best to be proactive. For example, staying out of the sun in the middle of the day will help prevent dehydration. Also, during the warmer months, drink more water to avoid symptoms of dehydration. Exercise is another time to be incredibly vigilant because sweating is releasing water, which can dehydrate you quickly. Try to increase water intake before, during, and after exercise to achieve best results. Electrolyte drinks can also be utilized during times of excessive sweating to replenish what is lost. Also, while a cold alcoholic or caffeinated beverage sounds appealing while at the beach or pool, it is best to pass on those drinks out in the sun. This is because these drinks quickly dehydrate the body, and they are not a suitable substitute for rehydration.  


While these preventative techniques are useful when the body is operating optimally, they will not apply to dehydration that is caused by an illness. If you are experiencing an illness, such as a strep throat or a stomach ailment, dehydration can progress quickly due to lack of appetite or fluid loss due to vomiting or diarrhea. It is best to continue to drink water and electrolyte beverages throughout the sickness despite the lack of appetite. Since the body is sick, it is already under stress. So, to help it along, it is vitally important to continue to fuel your body with appropriate nutrients.  


Start practicing proper hydration techniques today by implementing the suggestions listed above. There are many smartphone apps to assist you in keeping track of how much water you are drinking each day and how much you should be drinking. Speak with a physician at Shifa4U if you are experiencing excessive thirst despite increasing your fluid intake as this could indicate an underlying medical condition

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Abigail Mckay

Abigail has been a nurse for five years, and throughout her time as a nurse, she has worked in multiple medical-surgical units as well as spent time in the infusion therapy clinic and endoscopy lab. She is passionate about preventative medicine through patient education regarding nutrition and exercise. Due to her passion, Abigail has gone on to earn two certifications including a certification in medical-surgical nursing (CMSRN) and a certification in holistic nursing (HNB-BC), in hopes of being able to better serve her patients. Abigail earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA and now bettering patient education in the healthcare system through partnering with American TelePhysicians.