Water is refreshing. Water moistens your eyes. Water keeps your skin healthy by clearing toxins. Water is required for optimum digestion. The frequent occurrences of these W’s suggest how important role water plays in keeping you healthy.
Often during vigorous physical activities, or conditions such as diarrhea, vomiting, excessive sweating, diabetes, frequent urination you lose a lot of water and dehydrate your body. It causes an imbalance between salt and sugar in your body that can affect your normal functioning.
Though you can treat mild dehydration by increasing water and fluid intake, the severe shortage of fluids in the body is life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.
Here are 10 signs that indicate your body lacks water:
If you feel thirsty, it is one very obvious and early sign your body lacks water.
Replenish your body with water immediately as severe symptoms can cause unconsciousness and other serious problems.
Prefer drinking structured or filtered water over tap water to replace the fluid you’ve lost. Avoid artificially sweetened beverages.
- Dark Yellow or Amber Colored Urine, Not Urinating Frequently
Your body releases toxins through urination.
According to BelMarraHealth, clear or light-colored urine indicates that you have enough water in your body. But dark yellow or amber colored urine usually hints you lack water.
A healthy person normally urinates 7 to 8 times in a day. If you are not urinating frequently, it means you are not drinking enough water.
You may also decrease urination because of some conditions causing a chemical imbalance in your body. Replace the lost fluid by drinking more water in that case.
- Dry Skin:
If your body lacks water, you may see dryness, small lines or scales on your skin surface. A well-hydrated skin is smooth, supple and shows good elasticity.
Severe dermal dehydration may deplete dermis resulting in deeper wrinkles that can be seen on the surface of your skin.
So when you experience your skin doesn’t bounce back on pinching into a fold, get alarmed and start taking enough fluids and water.
- Dry Mouth, Cracked Lips and Sunken Eyes
According to Webmd, when your body lacks water the saliva becomes thick leading to dryness in the mouth. You may also experience dry and cracked lips due to the shortage of water in your body.
Water also lubricates your eyes. When you don’t have enough fluids it can cause itchiness, dryness, sunken eyes and you get no tears on crying.
A headache is one common sign your body doesn’t have enough water.
According to Fabhow, shortage of water in your body affects the serotonin levels in your body which may cause a headache and worsen a migraine.
When your body doesn’t have enough water, it makes blood more concentrated. Due to this inflammatory protein circulating in the blood start irritating the nerves surrounding your brain.
So next time you have a headache, the first thing you should do is to drink water.
- Muscle Cramps
Sports and other vigorous physical activities can cause depletion of fluids from your body through perspiration.
When water surrounding the nerves that connect to the muscles reduces they become hypersensitive. It causes muscles to contract or spasm involuntarily leading to cramps.
Shortage of water triggers changes in the adequate level of electrolytes, sodium and potassium which can cause muscle cramping.
- Low Blood Pressure, Rapid Heartbeat
If you experience a rapid heartbeat than usual, it may be a sign your body is asking for more water. Lack of water causes changes in electrolytes present in your body and lowers blood pressure. It puts extra stress on your body leading to an abnormal heartbeat.
You may feel dizzy if you’re doing a physical activity in hot weather without having enough fluids.
Since your body is directing a lot of blood to muscles, your brain is not getting enough blood flow. Also, vigorous activities increase your body’s temperature and breathing rate which causes blood vessels in your brain to expand leading to dizziness.
Fatigue, low mood and inability to focus also indicate your body lacks water.
A 2012 study published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests that mild dehydration affects the mood in healthy women as they experienced fatigue, lower concentration and headache symptoms.
So if you’re feeling a bit exhausted (especially after a workout) drink a glass of water or another type of refreshing drink to fight dehydration.
- Bad Breath
The anaerobic bacteria feeding on the food particles stuck in between your teeth or crevices cause bad breath. Saliva of your mouth contains antibacterial properties that eliminate bacteria causing bad breath.
A 2012 study published in The International Journal of Oral Science suggests that on dehydration your body is not able to produce enough saliva. In this way, you may see an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth leading to bad breath.
So when you experience a dry mouth, increase your water intake to stimulate saliva and reduce bad breath.
How to prevent dehydration:
- Drink plenty of water (at least 2 liters) and other fluids every day.
- If you have fever, vomiting, or diarrhea increase the intake of fluids to prevent severe dehydration.
- Consult your doctor immediately if you see severe signs of dehydration such as extreme thirst, shriveled skin, dizziness, and tiredness, not passed urine for 8 hours, rapid or weak pulse, fits or a low level of unconsciousness.