During the summer, it is important to stay hydrated. Especially if you are working outside in hot weather conditions. If you experience dehydration, several things happen. According to the Mayo Clinic, dehydration in adults can lead to fatigue, dizziness, confusion, extreme thirst, less frequent urination, and dark-colored urine. There are other symptoms as dehydration becomes more sever.
Southeast Texas is known for its hot and humid climate and temperatures become extreme during July and August, typically the hottest part of the summer. Being aware of symptoms of dehydration helps employees stay safe on the job site and is beneficial for those fun filled, family weekends with outdoor activities. Keep plenty of water on hand for staying hydrated.
There are some other causes of dehydration of which to be aware. If you are effected by any of these conditions, be aware that it is easier to become dehydrated. According to Health.com, here are fourteen causes of dehydration we can forget about:
- Diabetes – people with diabetes may be at a higher risk for being dehydrated. It is important to talk to your doctor about increased thirst or frequent urination that could be a sign of dehydration.
- Menstrual cycle – women may need to increase their fluid intake to stay hydrated during their period. Certain hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, have an impact on your hydration level and these hormones fluctuate through the month.
- Medications – double check your prescription medication’s side effects. Some can act as diuretics or cause other issues. If a medicine lists vomiting or diarrhea as a side effect, those conditions can cause dehydration.
- Low-carbohydrate diets – summertime is when people try to lose weight and low-carb diets are a popular way to try to achieve that summer body. But carbohydrates are stored with fluids in the body. If you are cutting carbs from your diet, be sure to increase your fluid intake. Or if you want to include carbohydrates in your diet, look for whole grains, brown rice, and items like oatmeal.
- Stress – we hear a lot about how stress is not healthy and it can even increase your chances of becoming dehydrated. Stress effects your adrenal glands and helps regulate your body’s fluid levels. If your adrenal become exhausted from constant stress, it can cause "dehydration and low electrolyte levels.”
- Irritable bowel syndrome – this condition causes several symptoms to develop which can lead to dehydration. If someone is restricting their diet in hopes of helping with this condition, be sure to include enough liquids to stay hydrated.
- Workouts – high intensity workouts can be good but can also be dehydrating as you sweat out fluid. Be careful to stay hydrated during a workout and afterward.
- Pregnancy – many changes happen during pregnancy. Often, your body will retain water trying to offset dehydration. However, morning sickness with vomiting can increase your chances of dehydration.
- Breastfeeding – if you notice a decrease in production of breastmilk, increase your liquids and talk to your doctor. Breastfeeding is moving water (and other ingredients) from the mother to baby which can lead to dehydration if the mother is not getting enough fluids.
- Aging – the body’s ability to conserve water declines as you age. In addition, the sensation for thirst decreases with age, making it hard to identify symptoms of dehydration. Keep water near you throughout the day to make it easier to remember to drink throughout the day.
- Dietary supplements – similar as medication, certain dietary supplements can increase frequency of urination and lead to dehydration.
- High altitudes – if you are traveling outside of Southeast Texas this summer and head to a vacation spot with higher elevation, your bodily functions may change as you acclimate. You may notice yourself drinking more water throughout the day, which is important for keeping your bodily fluids regulated.
- Alcohol – any amount of alcohol can lower your fluid levels by increasing your visits to the bathroom. Moreover, alcohol makes you less likely to recognize early signs of dehydration. If you do enjoy happy hour, try to alternate alcoholic beverages with water to stay hydrated.
- Too few fruits and vegetables – these foods naturally have higher levels of fluids that can help you stay hydrated. Add fruits and vegetables to each meal to increase your bodily fluids and help with a balanced diet.
No matter what you are participating in this summer, whether you are working or playing outside, know the symptoms of dehydration. Stay safe and enjoy!
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