No matter the temperature outside, it is always important to stay hydrated. Drinking water does not only cool you down, but it also has many other health benefits, such as regulating bowel movements, boosting athletic performance and protecting your body’s vital tissues and organs.
During our day-to-day, it’s easy to get lost in all the tasks and work we have to accomplish. Throughout our busy schedules, we sometimes forget to perform basic tasks, such as drinking enough water. But if you are not hydrating properly, you could become dehydrated.
Dehydration can cause a list of symptoms, so it’s key to stay vigilant to each. Here’s what to know:
What causes dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when your body does not have the sufficient amount of fluids (primarily water) it needs to function. When you are dehydrated, you are losing or using more fluids than you are taking in.
The human body loses fluids in many ways, such as sweating, breathing, urination and defecation, as well as through tears and saliva. You become dehydrated when you are not actively and adequately replacing the lost fluids.
Other than not drinking enough liquids, dehydration can be caused by other health conditions, such as diarrhea, vomiting or excessive sweating.
Anyone can become dehydrated but those at higher risk are infants, children and older people. Infants cannot and children often do not communicate when they are thirsty, making them more prone to dehydration. The same goes for older people, especially those who have cognitive issues.
Dehydration can also be worsened by pre-existing conditions that lead to loss of fluids, such as diabetes causing frequent urination.
Can dehydration cause dizziness?
Yes, dehydration can cause dizziness. According to the Mayo Clinic, when you are dizzy, you may experience:
- Vertigo (a false sense of spinning, motion)
- Loss of balance
- Wooziness or heavy-headedness
These symptoms can worsen if you move or stand. Dizziness can also lead to nausea. When you are dizzy, you may feel the need to sit or lie down based on the severity symptoms.
People who are dehydrated often experience lower blood pressure or blood volume, which leads to dizziness. In these cases, your blood is not flowing properly and may not be reaching your brain the way it should.
Dehydration symptoms vary depending on someone’s age, according to the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic.
In adults, dehydration symptoms can include:
- Extreme thirst
- Less frequent urination
- Dark-colored urine
- Red (flushed) skin
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle cramps
- Confusion, headache
In infants or children, dehydration symptoms can include:
- Dry tongue, mouth and lips
- No tears when crying
- Sunken eyes, cheeks
- Sunken soft spot on top of infant’s head
- Less frequent urination
- Dry skin
If you or someone experiences any of the symptoms for a prolonged period, seek medical attention.
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