It's been a long, hot day. First a morning of yard work, then three hours helping coach the kids' baseball and soccer games, followed by the weekly shopping. Now you're finally heading home with a week's worth of groceries to unload and put away. You're tired and thirsty, cranky with your family, and wincing at the throbbing in your temples. You could also be experiencing the first symptoms of dehydration, which is far more common than most people realize. If left unchecked, this condition can lead to dizziness, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, fever, confusion and, in extreme cases, to delirium or unconsciousness. Especially vulnerable are infants, young children and the elderly.
If you feel thirsty, you're already experiencing the first sign of dehydration. Summer, with its elevated temperatures and higher level of outdoor activity, is the time to stay especially alert to these signals that you may need to rehydrate.
- Dry, sticky feeling in the mouth
- Decrease in urinary output
- Dry skin
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
If any of these symptoms become persistent or extreme, or you begin to experience rapid breathing or heartbeat, seek medical assistance immediately. Better yet, avoid potential dehydration to begin with by reminding yourself to drink plenty of plain, pure water throughout the day, every day!
One final note: Coffee, other caffeinated drinks and diet or regular sodas are not an efficient substitute for water. They may carry chemical or additive cargo of their own, requiring even more water to filter and flush from your body.
“Speaking of Healthcare” is the official blog of Assured Healthcare Staffing. Please LIKE us on Facebook to receive health and wellness tips and more! Article by Kim Washetas, contributing writer, enthusiastic whole health advocate and Reiki practitioner.