Dehydration occurs when the body is lacking liquids which it needs to function correctly. If you are losing more fluids than you are taking in, you are at risk to become dehydrated. Although mild dehydration might cause slight discomfort, severe dehydration is very dangerous, especially when you are sick. Even minor illnesses or infections can cause dehydration if you are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting. It is important to realize when your body needs more liquid, and surprisingly thirst might not be the first sign. In fact, you might not feel thirsty at all.
Fortunately, there are signs which will alert you that your body is struggling with dehydration. However, the symptoms might differ with age. Here are some tips on how you can tell:
Mouth Smell. A less known sign of dehydration is bad breath. Most people chalk it up to poor hygiene, when in fact, it is a sign that the body lacks water. An associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Texas, John Higgins, explained: “If you’re not producing enough saliva, you can get bacteria overgrowth in the mouth, and one of the side effects of that is bad breath.”
Dry Skin. Many times, people are under the impression that a very sweaty person needs more water. Although, water intake is essential after exercise and when producing sweat, another sign of dehydration is dry skin. If you notice, that your lips are becoming chapped, or the skin around your mouth seems flaky, try drinking more water. It just might be that your water intake has been low.
Less Urination. This is a vital sign to pay attention to, especially for infants and young children. Counting number of wet diapers is an easy way to tell if a child is getting enough liquids. A good rule of thumb is that there must be at least one wet diaper every three hours. Similarly, it is essential for adults also to acknowledge their urination frequency.
Keep in mind that under certain circumstances, such as when you are running a fever on when It is abnormally hot or cold outside, you should increase your liquid intake. Having a water bottle on hand is always a good idea. Another healthy habit is having water right at your bed and drinking it every morning the first thing you wake up. The more you drink, the better. After all, up to 60% of your body is water.