The elderly often suffer from dehydration. Drinking water throughout the day sounds fairly easy to do, but if you have mobility issues or forgetfulness or don't think it's that important, you could wind up dehydrated.
Here are some warning signs of dehydration:
- Your urine is deep yellow. The longer urine stays in your body, the darker the color. Staying hydrated will eliminate toxins out of your body, and your urine will be slightly yellow in color.
- You're having difficulty concentrating. Our brains require sufficient water to function properly. If you find yourself confused or unfocused, you might be dehydrated and need to drink water immediately.
- You have bad breath. When you are dehydrated, your mouth does not generate enough saliva, which allows microbes to form on your tongue, leading to bad breath.
- You are constipated or have other digestive issues. If you are experiencing constipation or having hard stools, you might be dehydrated. It's important to drink lots of water so this process can be facilitated easier through the colon and with less discomfort.
- You have sudden food cravings. Your body often mistakes thirst for hunger. When you're dehydrated, the body can't properly absorb nutrients from the food you eat. Instead of wanting a drink of water, your body often craves a sweet food item. Fruits and vegetables have lots of water and can help with the dehydration.
- You suffer from fatigue or lethargy. Many people who feel fatigued might actually be dehydrated. Water helps to regulate blood sugar and oxygen levels in the body, helping you feel energized.
- You feel your heart racing. Some people who are dehydrated can experience heart palpitations. Being dehydrated slows down your body's electrolytes and lowers your blood pressure. If you feel your heart racing, you might need to drink water immediately.
- You have scaly, dry skin or lips. Water helps your skin look healthy. Extended levels of dehydration over time will make skin dry and scaly. Your blood volume drops, and your skin loses elasticity.
- You have joint or muscle pain. Our bodies need sufficient water to perform optimally. If you are dehydrated, your joints and muscles will not have enough fluid to operate properly, and certain movements could be painful.
- You have headaches or dizziness. Your brain is protected by a fluid sac, which requires plenty of water to create a comfortable barrier between the brain and the skull. When water in the sac is depleted, you will have a horrible headache.
Yes, I know if you drink a lot of water, you make numerous trips to the bathroom, but it certainly helps you live healthier, longer.
Let's all raise a glass of H2O and make it a marvelous, hydrated day!
Joe Agee is the marketing and sales director for The Seabrook of Hilton Head. www.TheSeabrook.com