Don’t risk it, grab some water and drink up

Don’t risk it, grab some water and drink up

The risk of dehydration increases during hot summer days. A lack of body fluids occurs the day before the warning signs. When the symptoms of dehydration begin to be recognized the process is already in full swing. Fluids consumed yesterday determine the level of dehydration today.

As people age their ability to realize that more fluid is needed is stunted. The elderly need to be reminded to drink enough to stay healthy.

There are many reasons why people do not drink enough fluid. Whatever the reason, dehydration is dangerous, especially for older people. The signs cannot be ignored.

A trip to the restroom reveals the state of hydration for most people. The color of urine of a well hydrated person is light yellow, the color of straw. Darker urine indicates that more fluids are necessary.

Blood mainly consists of water. People who do not drink enough fluid can feel more tired and lifeless throughout the day. A lack of adequate liquid decreases the amount of oxygen available to the cells of the body. This can increase the risk of falls in the elderly.

If bending over quickly to pick something up causes a headache to get worse, this is an indication that dehydration is the source of the headache. Drinking at least 8 ounces of fluid can make the headache disappear.

For some people the ability to travel to the restroom is a big issue, so less fluid is consumed. And denial to wear protective undergarments is a matter of pride, so some people choose to drink fewer liquids. Puffy, swollen legs, feet, arms and fingers make people afraid of drinking more water. In many cases, stored fluid is an indication of dehydration.

The health of your kidneys can be determined by the number of trips to the restroom you make. Six or seven visits to the toilet daily is a relatively healthy number. Going long hours without emptying your bladder interferes with your body’s ability to flush out harmful substances.

Your skin is the largest organ on your body. It requires adequate hydration, or it can become dry and cracked. Cracked, dry skin leaves your body open to harmful bacteria. Skin creams make skin supple but healthy skin begins from the inside with adequate fluids. This should be posted on every lotion bottle or jar and discussed during all the skin cream commercials.

Thirst can disguise itself by feelings of hunger. Always being hungry may stem from a lack of fluid in the body. Even after a meal, continued hunger may be your body’s way of telling you to drink more water.

When the body is lacking necessary fluid, irritability and grumpiness can set in. Your brain needs water too. Just adding water can brighten someone’s day.

The digestive tract requires liquid to function properly. Nutrients cannot travel through the intestines without fluid to move it. If enough liquid is not swallowed, movement through the intestines slows down, water is extracted from the body’s waste, and this could cause constipation.

I often hear that many people just do not like the taste of water. Water is odorless and should be tasteless. A person cannot live without water. Dehydration is a big first step to declining health. Just drink it.

Bobbie Randall is a Registered, Licensed Dietitian. Contact her at

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