What is dehydration?

Dehydration is the loss of excessive body fluid through sweating, vomiting or diarrhea. Due to insufficient water intake the cells, tissues, organs in the body fail to function properly which leads to severe complications. It can be mild or severe and should be treated immediately. Mild dehydration can be treated at home by taking proper diet. In case of severe dehydration, the person has to be hospitalized and follow some medications.

Reasons for dehydration

What are the symptoms of dehydration?

The symptoms may vary for mild dehydration and severe dehydration. It might vary depending on the age. Some symptoms for moderate dehydration in adults are listed below.

  • Excess thirst
  • Dry or sticky mouth and skin
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Less frequent and dark-colored urination
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Lack of energy
  • Irritability
  • Sunken eyes
  • Rapid heartbeat and breathing
  • Not peeing very much
  • Fainting

The symptoms of dehydration vary in infants or children. They are listed below.

  • Dryness in mouth and tongue
  • Depressed soft spot on the top of the skull
  • Haggard eyes and cheeks
  • Irritability
  • No tears while crying
  • Less urination
  • Dry skin

It is better to consult a doctor if you have conditions like diarrhea for more than a day, bloody or black stool, being less active or much sleepier than usual. If dehydration is not treated it may lead to complications like heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heart stroke, low blood pressure, kidney failure.

What are the foods to be avoided?

Some foods we eat have a diuretic effect, that is they help our body to get rid of fluids. In order prepare ourselves to rehydrate it is better to avoid some foods that can cause dehydration. Here are some foods to avoid.

  • Soda
  • Coffee
  • Detox tea
  • Energy drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • High protein meals
  • Soy Sauce
  • Fried foods
  • Salty snacks
  • Frozen dinners

How to prevent dehydration?

Dehydration can be prevented by taking plenty of fluids. Consume large amount of fluids especially when the weather is hot, after playing or doing exercise, working under the sun. The below ways helps to prevent dehydration.

  • Drink minimum of 6 to 8 glasses of water per day.
  • Eat a balanced diet which includes fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat cucumber instead of salty snacks.
  • Watermelon is the perfect addition for summer salad.
  • Celery contains 95% of water content and is best to prevent dehydration.
  • Blackberries are the best hydrating snack and rich in fiber.
  • Soups and broths contain vegetables and legumes which helps in hydration.
  • Yogurt with berries helps to hydrate and increase energy levels.
  • Radishes contain 95% water and can be used in salad which helps in rehydration.
  • Adding spinach in fruit smoothies can be a better way to consume and is extremely healthy.

Rehydration not only occurs by drinking water but also includes excess intake of fiber and water rich fruits and vegetables. Schedule a proper and healthy diet to avoid dehydration. Take electrolytes incase if you find any fluid loss or symptoms related to dehydration.

Drink as much water as possible to stay hydrated!

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