Ask any doctor in Manhattan, or anywhere else for that matter, and they will tell you most people don’t drink enough water. The consequences of dehydration are much more serious than being thirsty, because the body needs water to function properly.
Ways Your Body Uses Water
The body is a moist place — over half of it is made up of water. The exact amount depends on your age and condition, but water is necessary for many of the things your body does:
- digestion & elimination
- brain function
- body temperature regulation
Your body fluids like saliva, sweat, lymph, blood plasma and the rest use water to be a fluid and do their job. Water is the one thing we cannot go without, because it is necessary for life itself. You do get some water from the food you eat and other drinks, but it’s a good idea to drink water itself.
How Much Water Does The Body Need?
If you are thirsty or hungry, try drinking water first. If your urine is dark, or your skin and mouth are dry, start drinking water more often and see if it changes things. Headaches are often the result of dehydration so simply drinking a glass of water will often make you feel better.
The classic recommendation to drink “eight – 8 oz. glasses of water a day” is what most people are probably familiar with. But in reality that is just an approximation because the daily intake of water each individual needs depends on many factors like body size and activity. Your body needs enough water to function properly so if you experience any signs of dehydration – that’s a warning to drink more water.
When To Call A Doctor About Dehydration
If someone is not keeping fluids down or has severe diarrhea, they will become dehydrated quickly. This is when the sports drinks, oral rehydration solutions like Pedialyte or popsicles are beneficial but the fluid intake should be monitored carefully to answer your doctor’s questions when you call. Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to dangerous dehydration when ill.
Contact a health care provider if these symptoms appear:
- severe diarrhea – with or without vomiting or fever
- bloody or black stool
- moderate diarrhea for 24 hours or more
- inability to keep down fluids
- irritability, disorientation or less activity than usual
- decreased urine output
- sunken eyes or fontanel (the soft spot on an infant’s head)
If you or a loved one are experiencing severe dehydration – call Sickday immediately. Their physicians will save you time and money by providing you with the necessary medication before you get too dehydrated and have to go to the Emergency Room.