Our physiological health is without a doubt one of the most important things to maintain. This includes making sure you consume an appropriate amount of food and water every day to keep your mind and body healthy. Dehydration occurs when the body has insufficient amounts of water and other fluids to function properly, which can lead to negative health consequences. Getting the recommended amount of water may seem like a hassle, but it is critical to your health and should never be ignored. Here are some common signs of dehydration to look out for.
Headache: Your body constantly loses fluid throughout the day, which means that you are also losing essential salts like sodium and potassium. That changes the chemical makeup in your blood, which your brain is sensitive to, and consequently, triggers a headache from. Basically, the more water you lose, the more your blood volume drops and the oxygen flow to the brain decreases, which means that your blood vessels dilate and your headache can feel even worse. No water equals headaches, so drink up! (via Women’s Health Magazine)
>> Read more: 10 Easy Ways to Drink More Water Every Day
Dark urine and less frequent bathroom trips: When your hypothalamus detects too little water in our blood, it signals the release of an anti-diuretic hormone that causes the kidneys to remove less water from the blood. As a result, we make less frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate. Also, you may notice that when you are dehydrated, your pee is a darker shade of yellow — this is because your urine is over-concentrated with waste. When you’re fully hydrated, the waste is easily flushed out and has more a more transparent and lighter color (via Greatist)
Constipation: Water helps move waste through your colon and out of your body. Much like what happens when your pee is extra yellow, when you’re dehydrated, your body won’t be able to move food waste outward as efficiently. Maintaining regular bowel movements is very important, so start drinking!
Muscle cramps: If you’re doing something that requires physical activity in a hot climate, your muscles are more likely to cramp up when you are dehydrated. Changes in the level of electrolytes, sodium and potassium can influence this cramping as well, but nevertheless, are a main result for a lack of hydration throughout the body. (via Everyday Health)
Here are some other common signs to look out for:
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth
- Cessation of tear production and of sweating
- Heart palpitations
If the symptoms continue to intensify and become more consistent, hydrate yourself immediately. Severe dehydration is dangerous for your body and can even require you to go to the hospital to receive emergency treatments.
>> Read more: Get the Skinny on Water and How Much You Really Need