Ever since we were little, our parents have kept on reminding us that we should drink lots and lots of water to keep our bodies from becoming dehydrated. Dehydration happens when we lose more water than we take in so our water balance is disturbed. Considering that we are about 70% water – it’s easy to figure out just how important it is to keep our water well and truly balanced.
Just because we’re made up of a lot of water, it doesn’t mean we can afford to get casual about losing the odd cupful here and there. All that water’s there for a reason so if we lose a bit of it from sweating or going for a pee, for instance, then we need to replace it.
A lot of us think that dehydration does not sound terrifying at all and as much as many of us hate drinking water, it is not only about eliminating our thirst. In reality, that dry feeling you feel in your mouth is not only dehydration. It is actually so much more. In fact, there are a lot of internal changes in our body that we are not aware of when we get dehydrated.
Here are the frightening things that happen to our bodies when we are dehydrated:
1. Dry Skin and Sunken Cheeks
A lot of people think that people who get dehydrated are really sweaty, but in fact, as you go through various stages of dehydration, you get a very dry skin. The skin may appear flushed as well. When pinched, the skin of a dehydrated person may remain “tented” and take some time to return to its normal, flat appearance. Sunken cheeks may also occur due to dehydration.
2. Heart Palpitations
Losing too much fluid, not drinking enough, or a combination of the two can quickly lead to heart palpitations. That’s because your blood contains water, so when you become dehydrated, your blood can become thicker, increasing your pulse rate and potentially leading to palpitations. Dehydration can also cause changes in your body’s electrolytes and also lowers blood pressure.
3. Bladder Problems
Becoming dehydrated can lead to bladder irritation and concentrated urine – not having enough fluid in your body will lead to concentrated urine, which can irritate the bladder and make you feel the urge to pass urine with urgency or more frequently or suffer from incontinence.
4. Kidney Issues
Dehydration has multiple effects on the kidney, leading to urinary concentration due to activation of vasopressin that occurs as a result of an increase in serum osmolarity due to the loss of body water. It can also contribute to the formation of kidney stones and urinary tract infections, both of which can lead to kidney damage if not treated quickly. If you have kidney failure or low kidney function, then you may need to restrict your water and fluid intake.
5. Not Enough Blood
Dehydration can sometimes cause blood pressure to drop brought on by vomiting, intense exercise, or the overuse of diuretics. In fact, even mild dehydration can trigger symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, or other symptoms of low blood pressure.