Needless to say, our body needs water more than anything else. 75% of our body weight contains water, and most of the internal and external bodily functions are carried out by water. Our body doesn’t want any deficit, especially in water. It could cause dehydration, sickness, and could lead to death in severe cases.
Dehydration is a condition that occurs when an individual has lost so much fluid that the body can no longer function normally and develops signs and symptoms due to the loss of fluid. Whenever our body is dehydrated, it starts to feel thirsty. Some scientists believe that our body is already dehydrated before we even feel thirsty. Because of thirst, we feel fatigued and lead to mind headache. Eventually, because of dehydration, we get sick. It could cause diarrhoea, diabetes, kidney failure, coma, shock, heart stroke, electrolyte abnormalities, and many more.
What Water Does To Our Body
As repeatedly being said, a multitude of bodily functions needs water.
- Regulates body temperature
- Lubricates the joints of our body
- Protect Organs
- Flush out the wastes from our body
- It carries all the nutrients and oxygen
- It dissolves minerals and nutrients.
Dehydration Effects On Body
Even if we don’t start talking about what happens internally, we observe that it could cause mood swings, fatigue, and headache. As little as one per cent of dehydration could cause a negative effect on your overall bodily function.
Effect On Brain
Along with most of the functions of the body, dehydration is also related to our cognitive health, which includes our memory and attention. Dehydration changes the level of sodium and electrolyte level that affects many of the cognitive changes.
Though there are not many write-ups or literature available on how dehydration could affect the brain, it could cause short-term memory and attention as per Dr Laura DeFina, MD, President.
Effect On Kidney
Water is responsible for removing waste from our blood as Urine. It ensures that the blood vessels are wide enough to carry out essential nutrients throughout the body. When our body gets dehydrated, the transportation system doesn’t work correctly, and it would make you feel tired.
Dehydration is severe enough to cause damage kidney permanently. Our kidney could clog muscle protein (myoglobin) and that hurts the kidney. If the body is dehydrated regularly, it could lead to the formation of urinary tract infections and kidney stones.
Water prevents the crystals from sticking together inside the kidney and flushes it out, but it -needs enough water.
Water helps to make more Urine that usually flush out germs and dissolve antibiotics. This prevents urinary tract infections in the kidney.
Dark pale and strong odor urine indicates that your body needs more water. If you still see it very dark after having enough water, you must see a physician to take care of it.
Note: You might be restricted to intake a lot of water if you are going through kidney-related treatment or kidney failure. It is strongly recommended that the doctor’s suggestion should be taken seriously in that case.
Effect On Cardiac System
Dehydration negatively affects our entire cardiac system, including heart rate, blood pressure, and hypertension. The risk of dehydration is more in aged people and those who are suffering from chronic disease.
- Heart Rate Increases when your body get dehydrated because the blood volume in the vessels decreases, which results in less stretch in the blood vessels. To compensate for the reduced amount of blood volume, the heart rate increases.
- Blood Pressure Increases may happen because of dehydration. Since it reduces the blood volume, the body retains more sodium in the blood. A high level of sodium could cause the contract or close of small blood vessels in capillaries. When this happens, the blood becomes heavier and harder to circulate throughout the body, which increases blood pressure.
- Cardiac Output Decreases are due to an effect on the heart rate and the blood volume in the vessels.
- Orthostatic Hypotension could occur due to dehydration because of the blood pressure increment. You might feel dizzy, light-headed, or even faint in some cases.
Effect Respiratory System
To digest and dissolve all the nutrients in the body, an adequate amount of water is mandatory. Drinking water thinks the mucus lining and makes more space to air move properly. Dehydration causes to thicken and get sticky, and this stickiness results in the overall respiration system.
How Much Should I Drink?
Almost 90% of our body functions are dependent on water because of many factors. Especially our metabolism, diet, and body composition. Surprisingly, the amount of water could vary based on these factors too.
The first official document released in 2004 stating that an adult man should drink about 3.7 litres of water while women should drink about 2.7 litres of water per day. Furthermore, this document states that liquid items do 80% of water intake.
How to Test for Dehydration?
- Always track the weight of your body and do not exceed the range of more than 1 per cent of baseline.
- You should be urinating about 3-4 times a day, and the colour of your Urine shouldn’t be too pale or strong smell.
- Keep track of the fluids items in your daily diet. Consumption of fluid should be good enough, and it will prevent you from being thirsty.
- Whenever going outdoors, plan, and take extra water. People who work outside, the athlete must do this.
- Never forget to check the forecast, especially when the temperature is high. Avoid outdoor exposure, an exercise in the summer season.
- Young and older people, infants and children, are at the most risk. Be encouraged to intake enough amount of water.
- Alcohol consumption should be avoided, especially in the summer season as it causes loss of water.
- Avoid wearing dark clothes while it is hot outside. Wear light-coloured and loose-fitting clothes when planning to go outdoors or exposed to direct sunlight.
It is crucial to take enough water intake, as we discussed. However, at any point in time, if you feel thirsty, you must drink water or fluid. Even after that, if you feel dizzy, fatigue, or headache, remember to reach out to the physician as quickly as possible. Stay hydrated, stay healthy. But before drinking water ensure that your drinking water is healthy and properly treated by a water purifier or water purification system.