The Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

An infographic on the signs and symptoms of dehydration

It seems commonplace anymore for people to brush off dehydration like it’s really no big deal. In a variety of instances, that may be true – and easily remedied by drinking clean, safe water. However, for others – people with compromised immune systems, young children and older adults, knowing the signs and symptoms of dehydration can mean a major shift in overall health.

For young children, the biggest threat comes in the form of severe diarrhea and vomiting, which can often be attributed to dehydration and further worsen the issue simultaneously.  For older adults, it can be a matter of keeping enough water in their bodies naturally, as with age we have less water in us and may have conditions or take medications that increase the risk of dehydration. Even minor illnesses can cause dehydration – colds, flus and other common illness, which can cause further issues and exasperate the problem further if not taken into full consideration.

It is important to disseminate and discuss the difference between dehydration and severe dehydration, which is characterized by the loss of 10-15% of the body’s water. Common signs of dehydration include:

  • Increased thirstA hydrate or die-drate cartoon image.
  • Dry mouth
  • Tiredness
  • Decreased urine output
  • Low volume urine/more yellowish than typical
  • Headache
  • Dry skin
  • Dizziness
  • Few or no tears

Severe dehydration can be more intense versions of the symptoms seen above, but also include:

  • Deep yellow or amber colored urine
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness to the point the person cannot stand or walk normally
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fever
  • Poor skin elasticity (the skin will sink back to the normal position when pinched; it will lag with severe dehydration)
  • Lethargy, confusion or coma
  • Seizure
  • Shock

A urine color chart showing the signs and symptoms of dehydrationMany people struggle with finding the time, remembering or forcing themselves to take a moment and drink a glass of water or two, so I want to steal an excerpt from last weeks entry (just in case you missed it)…

“So, let’s do some simple math. If we’re having two glasses of water as we start our day, 1 glass before lunch and dinner, and one before bed – that’s 5 glasses of water a day without even thinking about it. From there, have no problem with those last 3 glasses. First thing when you get to work, last thing before you leave? Sip a glass of water with dinner instead of juice/milk/soda? You’re at 8 glasses. Congrats! You did it! Your body and brain will thank you immensely for your commitment and now you’re on your way to a happy, healthy and hydrated body that can work at peak levels consistently.”

This is how we stave off dehydration. By knowing the signs and symptoms of dehydration and by building habits into our daily lives to take a moment and drink clean, safe water will make all of us happier and healthier.

This is such an easy process to adopt and so beneficial! It very well could make a massive improvement in your daily life.

Wishing you happiness, health, and hydration throughout the summer and beyond!