The human body is a pretty amazing machine with it’s own in built navigation system. If you learn to read the signs you can help to keep it in peak performance. The body is made up of approximately 70-percent water therefore, fluids are vital for our body to function. Fluids are responsible for protecting our joints, maintaining organ function, transporting oxygen to cells, and sustaining body temperature. It also makes sense that the body can fairly quickly become dehydrated due to excess perspiration, sun exposure, hot weather or lack of fluids throughout the day. Do you listen when your body is telling you something is wrong. Below you will find 10 signs that your body is dehydrated.
- Increased thirst – When your body is telling you that you are thirsty, it would be wise to listen. This is usually one of the first signs you are dehydrated and need to top up on fluids. You wouldn’t drive your car with an empty radiator so don’t expect your body to continue without a regular top up.
- Dry mouth and swollen tongue – A dry mouth is also one of the first signs you are dehydrated, the tongue feels sticky and you will find your lips sticking together. In severe cases the tongue may start to swell.
- Weakness – Feeling weaker than usual and having trouble lifting or opening things that normally would not be a problem, could be another one of the signs you are dehydrated. Blood flow and blood pressure drop due to a lack of water and oxygen in the blood, as the body becomes starved of fluids in the joints, cells and organs you will start to lack energy and therefore become weaker.
- Headaches – Headaches are caused again by the lack of oxygen in the blood. 90% of headaches are caused by dehydration or just the body saying that it needs fluids. So before you grab for the pain relief try drinking a couple of glasses of water first.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness – This is caused as the blood pressure drops due to the fluids being depleted and the body trying to store what fluids it has in the organs.
- Palpitations or increased heart rate (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
- Confusion – This is a follow on symptom from the dizziness, you may become confused and irritable as the blood pressure continues to plunge.
- Constipation – As fluid levels drop the intestine starts to extract fluids from the waste materials leaving them quite hard and dry which leads to constipation.
- Dark coloured Urine – Dehydration is the most common cause for darkened urine. The kidneys start to store the water instead of releasing it causing the urine to darken in colour. Certain foods can cause urine colour to change but if you have darkened urine as well as any other of the symptoms then build up your fluids and see if it makes a difference. You may also notice a decrease in the frequency of urination as you become dehydrated.
- Muscle cramps – Cramping in the muscles can be caused by dehydration and keeping up the fluids can usually alleviate the problem. While exercising, it is quite common to get an abdominal stitch but usually it is a sign that the fluids need topping up.
Dehydration results when the body loses more water than it takes in so it makes sense to listen to your body and keep it hydrated continually. There are many signs of dehydration but if you are uncertain then you should always seek medical advice where necessary.