You may have heard that more than half of the human body is made up of water. That is right, up to two-thirds of the entire human body is made up of water. And in fact, even though statistics say we can survive for a month without food, we can barely go a week without water. The importance of water and other body fluids in the body is so critical that loss of it can lead to malfunctioning of the body and can be life-threatening.
When the body loses body fluids, mostly water at a rate than exceeds the rate at which it is taken in, the we can say dehydration has occurred. Dehydration is a medical condition that although can be easily treated, it may be life-threatening in very severe cases. This is because body fluids, especially water play a very key role in the way the body functions, hence when there is an imbalance, say you use up more fluid than you consume, the functioning of the body is adversely affected and it gets worse as time goes by if not duly arrested.
There are several ways the body loses fluids, such as through passing of urine, stool, sweating, while breathing in the form of water vapor. It is evident that there is the need for constant replenishing of body fluids as we engage in these activities daily.
The symptoms of dehydration include sleepiness, dizziness, dry skin, constipation, little or no sweating, increased thirst, minimal urine, weakness, confusion, irritability and in serious cases: fever, sunken eyes, extreme thirst and fainting or unconsciousness in extreme conditions.
Apart from the daily normal activities of the body that involves loss of body fluids, other causes of dehydration include:
- Vomiting: Depending on the severity and the cause of the vomiting, the body loses a considerable amount of fluids when vomiting and this can lead to hydration if not properly handled.
- Unusual vigorous sweating which may be due to an ailment, fever or intense physical activity.
- Diarrhea: Diarrhea and stooling also causes the body to excessively loose fluids.
If any of these symptoms accompany the stated ones above, then the person should be immediately referred to a hospital:
- Headaches and seizures.
- Chest pains, difficulty in breathing.
- Extremely high body temperature, (higher than 103 degree Fahrenheit).
- Fainting, delirium or unconsciousness.
As earlier stated, dehydration can turn out to be life-threatening, hence it is essential that you restock the body with water right after you have lost so much. It should be noted that sports drinks, soda and others can not play the role of water and should not be substituted for water when replenishing body fluids. This is because apart from the fact that the ingredients in these drinks in fact do not hydrate your body, they are unhealthy for the body and may be detrimental to your health.
If you want something else other than water to hydrate your body, then you can opt for organic green juice, and juice made from green veggies. Fruit juice are also very good forms of hydration only that because of their sugar and calories content, too much of them is not so healthy.
One sure way to prevent hydration, is paying attention to your body. Do not wait until you start experiencing life threatening symptoms before you act. Once you feel thirsty or dehydrated, grab a glass of water, and ensure that daily you take in 6 to 8 glasses of water to ensure constant hydration of the body.