Water is extremely important to your health. You’ve probably heard all sorts of claims about how it can do everything from help you lose weight to flush out deadly toxins from your system. Maybe you’ve even joined the ranks of people resolved to chug a gallon a day.
While many of these allegations are rooted in truth, the fact of the matter is that your body relies on water to function properly. Though the amount of water you should drink per day has been highly debated over the past few years, healthcare professionals suggest half an ounce to an ounce per pound of body weight. A good rule of thumb is to rely on your body to tell you when you’re thirsty. But how do you know if that’s enough?
Dehydration is easily overlooked because the symptoms often overlap with other illnesses. If you’re experiencing two or more of these symptoms, chances are you need to increase your water intake. If that doesn’t help, be sure to contact your doctor immediately.
Abnormally dry skin is an early tell-tale symptom of dehydration. As your body’s largest organ, it needs adequate hydration in order to sweat and keep itself clean. Beauty experts also link drinking water with maintaining a good complexion, though these claims tend to be exaggerated; however, studies shown dehydration can cause skin to lose its elasticity and durability.
Instead of grabbing a coffee when you’re feeling tired, try reaching for water instead—it’s better than caffeine for keeping your body alert and awake. According to the Mayo Clinic, dehydration causes fatigue, tiredness and low energy in part because your body pulls water from your blood, leading to decreased oxygen flow, tiredness and other symptoms.
If you’re constantly suffering from mild headaches that worsen with physical activity or movement, chances are you’re experiencing the side effects of dehydration. A lack of fluid in the bloodstream causes blood vessels to swell and leads to a headache. Since our brains are 80 percent water, severe dehydration results in intense head pain as it shrinks from the water loss, triggering pain receptors to fire.
Treating this type of headache can be tricky, as it requires more hydration than your body can process at one time. Try sipping a sports drink to replace lost electrolytes and taking an over-the-counter painkiller. Reduce physical activity until symptoms subside.
Our bodies are predominantly made up of water, and your joints are no exception. Cartilage uses water to keep joints lubricated and prevent bones from rubbing on each other. Sudden and unnatural joint pain could be the result of dehydration. It also should be noted that while drinking water won’t cure arthritis and similar conditions, it can help mitigate the severity of symptoms.
Poor hydration affects mucus production, which is a major component of your digestive system. Without fluids, the lining in your stomach thins, leading to heartburn and indigestion. Your colon also struggles to function, causing constipation and irregularities in bowel movements.
Thirsty All the Time? Contact the Wellness Center in Plano, Texas
Sometimes dehydration can be symptomatic of more serious health issues, including kidney stones, diabetes, and cancer. Our wellness specialist, Dr. Rodriguez, is always here to help. Contact The Wellness Center today for more information or to schedule an appointment with our wellness doctor.