Dehydration a less known but highly serious malady
by Zeynep Esra İstanbullu
ISTANBULAug 06, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Zeynep Esra İstanbullu
Aug 06, 2015 12:00 am
One of the important issues that need to be taken into account in hot summer days is water intake. Up to 65 % of the human adult body is water. If there is even an one percent change in the total fluid amount, you may feel thirsty. However, serious diseases emerge if the body loses higher amount of water.
Most adults lose approximately 2.5 liters water ever day through sweating, breathing, urine and faeces. And with the water, you also lose electrolytes like calcium, potassium and sodium, which maintain the body's water balance. Food intake allows us to re-gain water and electrolytes, and thereby protect us from certain health problems.
The two main reasons of dehydration are water loss through excessive sweating, high fever, vomiting, diarrhea and frequent urination, and insufficient water intake due to lack of thirst among the elderly and babies, lack of appetite and nausea.
Nephrology specialist Halim Yılmaz said that doing heavy exercise and sports at open-air venues can cause dehydration unless sufficient amount of water is taken. He also said that babies, the elderly and patients with chronic diseases are much vulnerable to dehydration. He said especially babies and the elderly can heavily suffer from dehydration as they cannot express their water need as easily as adults do. Further, dehydration is risky for patients with heart and kidney diseases as well as diabetes. Water loss can cause sudden renal failure among patients with kidney diseases.
Urethritis and gravels can easily emerge in the case of dehydration as it slows down urinary flow. Physician Nesriye Demirel recommends drinking water to protect kidney health. "Thirst and fatigue are the two most frequent indications of dehydration. These might also cause psychological problems. The more you lose water, the more you have tendency to experience dizziness and hypotension," she said. Demirel also said that loss of conscious, renal failure and muscle cramps can emerge in the severe stages of dehydration. Pulse rate can also increase. Health, brain, renal and liver diseases can be seen, too. Demirel said patients with heart, renal and liver diseases should drink sufficient water and be under physician control. It is recommended to take 2 to 3 liters water every day if the person does not experience excessive water loss.
Dehydration symptoms and harmful effects:
- Dry mouth, lips, less and sticky saliva
- Sunken fontanelle in babies
- Decrease in urine amount and changes in urine color
- Lack of sweating and dry skin
- Feeling thirsty
- Weariness, fatigue, lack of appetite, somnolence
- Headache, dizziness, tachycardia, stomachache
- Change in level of consciousness, even coma (in accordance with the level of dehydration)
Suggestions against dehydration:
If possible, do not go out between 11 a.m. to 04:00 to avoid water loss. It is recommended to wear cotton loose clothes with bright colors. Avoid heavy exercise under the sun. Drink water, ayran (traditional Turkish drink made of yoghurt), sparkling water or sports drinks. Do not take alcohol or drink excessive tea and coffee. Eat fruits, vegetables and salads. It is highly recommended to drink between 2.5 to 3 liters water.