Dangers Of Dehydration

5 Health Dangers Of Dehydration

Dehydration is said to be one of the most common health threats faced by millions of people across the globe. It occurs when the body loses more fluid than it receives. There are so many ways the body loses water every day, including heat exposure, urination, exercise, excreting, and sweating. If this water lost by the body isn’t replaced, a person becomes dehydrated. In some cases, dehydration could also be a result of certain medical conditions that cause the body to lose fluids.

Dehydration may be mild or severe, and its symptoms could include dry mouth, muscle cramps, numbness, chills, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, and personality changes like decreased ability to concentrate and mood change. If this condition is left untreated for too long, it could lead to serious health complications. When you lose too much water, the organs, cells, and tissues could start shutting down, which could be dangerous. Below are five health dangers of dehydration you should know today.

Dehydrated tired hiking woman thirsty feeling exhausted heat stroke. Girl with headache from hot temperature on outdoor activity hiker lifestyle.

  1. Kidney And Urinary Problems

Most kidney problems like kidney stones, kidney damage, and kidney failure are usually traced to diabetes and high blood pressure. However, a lot of kidney problems have also been associated with dehydration. The kidney works with other urinary organs to filter waste from the blood to produce urine, which would carry the waste out of the body. When there’s not enough water for the kidney to flush out toxins in the body, these toxins could build up in the bloodstream, creating opportunities for severe health damages.

Without proper hydration, the kidney strains itself to function. With the kidney working overtime, it would start to negatively impact the organ, leading to kidney and urinary problems. This places people who don’t take enough water at a higher risk of developing kidney problems.

Hydration may not cure kidney problems, but it could help the kidney to stay healthy and function properly. The color of your urine may be one of the means to determine if your kidney is healthy. If your urine color is dark brown, dark orange, or amber, it could be a serious sign of dehydration. You may have to look for ways on how to achieve hydration balance immediately. A recommended site to visit is one that gives advice on an effective and fast relief from dehydration.

  1. Cognitive Malfunctions

The human brain is composed of approximately 73% water. When dehydration happens, it slows down circulation. This could lead to less oxygen flowing through the body, which includes the brain. This, in turn, could impair one’s cognitive function.

The brain uses more water than any other organ of the body. Thus, low water level could affect the proper functioning of the brain cells. This could impact every cognitive performance, including mood changes, depression, impaired energy level, and decreased level of concentration.

Disruptions of cognitive function could happen due to physical alterations caused by fluid loss. For instance, dehydration could cause the brain to temporarily contract or shrink in size, known as cerebral atrophy. This is said to mostly happen in older adults, making them more vulnerable to cognitive impairment.

It’s important to stay hydrated regularly to avoid any risks as the consequences could be extreme. In some instances, the brain would try to pull in excessive water back into the cells after the body experiences dehydration. Some cells could swell and rupture, potentially damaging the brain permanently. This brain swelling is also known as cerebral edema.

  1. Hypovolemic Shock 

Hypovolemic shock, or low blood volume shock, is a critical health complication and, in some cases, life-threatening. It’s a health condition that occurs when the body severely loses blood and fluid. When this happens, the blood volume, or the amount of blood circulating in the body, drops. Just like the brain, the heart is largely made up of water. The heart needs water to pump the required consistent volume of blood per heartbeat so every other organ could function well.

Dehydration may affect the heart rate and blood pressure. When the body doesn’t have sufficient water, the blood vessels couldn’t expand as needed because the blood volume has reduced. The pressure on the heart would increase in an attempt to pump more blood, which in reality is pumping lesser blood.

A dehydrated bloodstream causes the body’s organs to stop functioning properly. There’s also a risk of orthostatic hypotension symptoms, such as dizziness, fainting, fatigue, and nausea, leading to more complicated health dangers.

  1. Heat Injuries

Heat injuries come in the form of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke, which are all considered serious health dangers and life-threatening. People have heat injuries after sweating excessively as a result of high temperatures, rigorous exercises, staying in an unventilated environment, or any activity that causes the body to sweat profusely.

Failure to drink enough water could also cause head injuries. Dehydration occurs when a person sweats heavily and the body temperature increases, calling for water to restore the fluids lost. It’s essential to stay hydrated to reduce the risk of having heat injuries.

Heat injuries could lead to fatal health conditions. Heatstroke is the most severe form of heat injury and is considered a health emergency. It could also lead to death or cause the body organs to break down, especially the brain.

You could hydrate your body by drinking water. You may also apply a wet cloth on various parts of the body as a form of emergency treatment for head injuries.

  1. Seizures

Dehydration is known to be one of the common causes of seizures. Seizures occur when there’s an interruption in the normal connections between nerve cells in the brain. Low levels of electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and calcium could affect the electrical activity of the brain’s cells. This could lead to seizure activities such as involuntary muscle contractions, dizziness, unconsciousness, drooling, and other abnormal movements throughout the body.

The fluids you drink are one of the means of supplementing your body with electrolytes. When there’s a decrease in the amount of water in your body, your electrolyte level could become too low, which could result in seizures.

Conclusion

It’s important not to ignore dehydration because its adverse effects on a person’s health could be life-threatening. Anyone could become dehydrated, though the side effects and symptoms may differ.

Now that you know the health dangers of dehydration, it’s easy to understand how important it is to stay hydrated. Water is a vital fluid the body needs to survive and thrive. It’s life itself, and without it, life could cease to exist. This is why it’s important to stay hydrated and replace bodily fluids every time you participate in any demanding activities or highly active tasks.

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