What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Dehydration
Chronic dehydration can occur when the body is deprived of the recommended water intake for a long period of time. Since the body is naturally 70% water, it needs water to function properly. All organs depend on water consumption and water is responsible for keeping a body running smoothly. Chronic dehydration is a common medical condition and when a person is suffering with this, they may not even know it. Dehydration can cause many symptoms that you would never think has anything to do with a lack of water. But they can be a clear indication that dehydration is happening.
Most people need 6 to 8 glasses of water every day to maintain good health. That number increases if the person exercises on a regular basis and if they are outdoors in hot weather. But the problem lies in what a person is drinking. Most people assume that if they drink coffee in the morning, juice or soft drinks during the day and alcoholic drinks, they are never going to get dehydrated. But all of these drinks contain high amounts of sugar and caffeine. The caffeine has a diuretic effect on the body. This means that the substance will encourage your body to remove the excess water by urinating quickly. It will not retain any fluid and this causes the body not to function properly.
Most people believe that dry mouth and thirst indicate a chronic dehydration problem. But there are many other things that can happen when you are dehydrated. Without enough water, the body starts a rationing program. A substance called histamine works to distribute the remaining water throughout the body. Histamine makes sure that a percentage of water is distributed among the vital organs that include the brain, kidneys, lungs, glands and the liver. The rest of the remaining water is delivered to the skin, bones and muscle. Due to the chronic dehydration, the overactive histamine can cause pain, allergies and asthma. Most people would never know that these things are symptoms of dehydration. There are other unusual illnesses that can be a result of this condition.
GERD or acid reflux disease can happen from a lack of water. When food is digested it needs a significant amount of water to produce bicarbonate solution. This solution is needed to neutralize stomach acid. Without the sufficient amount of water, the stomach might hold the food for a longer period of time. Because of this, the stomach acid will travel back into the esophagus causing painful heartburn. To avoid this condition, it helps to consume a full glass of water before eating a meal.
Constipation can happen because of chronic dehydration. But the thing that is really disturbing is that the colon will retract to squeeze excess water from the stools and redistribute it throughout the body. This can cause hard stools that will eventually damage the wall of the colon but the unfiltered water that is distributed, will have to be filtered by the kidneys and liver a second time. This can cause damage to these organs overtime because they are excessively over worked.
Joint pain is another sign of dehydration. The cartilage that protects the bones is mostly made up of water. When cartilage is over worked, water is needed to carry nutrients for repair and maintenance. Without water the cartilage will become dry and start to peel away. The result is painful joints and bones.
A good way to know if you are getting enough water is to examine your urine. It should always be clear or very light colored. Urine that is darker in color can mean that the kidney is being over worked.