Dangers of Dehydration
THE DANGERS OF DEHYDRATION
Having had 2 parishioners hospitalized for dehydration this week, we are running a series on dehydration on our Facebook page. Did you know that the elderly are more susceptible to dehydration because as you age you don't feel thirst as much as you do in your younger years? That's why it's important to track how much water you consume daily.
The following articles contain information on how much water you need, the benefits of drinking water, and symptoms of dehydration. Links to the websites from which these articles are taken have been included for further reading.
Dehydration is dangerous for seniors
Dehydration is a common and very serious condition in older adults – it can even result in death.
For seniors, dehydration can cause many major health problems, including:
§ Kidney stones
§ Blood clot complications
§ Passing out
§ Rapid but weak pulse
§ Lowered blood pressure
Being hydrated is also very important for certain medications to work properly.
Dehydration is a common problem among seniors
In one study, 31% of residents in a long-term care facility were dehydrated. In a related study, 48% of older adults who were admitted to the hospital after being treated in the emergency room had signs of dehydration in their lab tests.
Why do seniors get dehydrated?
There are many factors that make seniors more likely to become dehydrated.
Common reasons include:
§ Being less sensitive to the feeling of being thirsty
§ Decreased ability to keep fluid levels in balance
§ Less efficient kidneys, which causes urine to contain more water
§ Common medications (like those for blood pressure) flushing water from the body
§ Medications causing side effects like diarrhea or excessive sweating
How much water do seniors need?
A general rule of thumb for how much water to drink each day is to take one-third of the person’s body weight in pounds and drink that number of ounces of water.
For example, a 150 pound person would need 50 ounces of water daily, which is about six 8 ounce glasses of water. Of course, if the weather is very hot or dry, compensate by having them drink more water than usual.
It’s helpful to get an idea of how much water intake is healthy for the average person. But, because each older adult takes different medications and has different health issues, it’s important to talk with their doctor to find out how much water is best.
Benefits of drinking enough water
Aside from avoiding the scary health consequences, staying well hydrated has its benefits too.
Here are a few:
§ Less constipation / less need for laxatives
§ Fewer falls
§ Reduced risk of urinary tract infection (UTI)
§ Men may have reduced risk of bladder cancer
§ Reduced risk of colorectal cancer
By DailyCaring Editorial Team http://dailycaring.com/dehydration-in-elderly-is-dangerous/
Elderly Dehydration: 18 Signs and Symptoms to Look For
The signs and symptoms of dehydration in an elderly person can be virtually identical to those for dementia, which is why if not treated immediately it can lead to death.
The most common signs and symptoms of dehydration include persistent fatigue, lethargy, muscle weakness or cramps, headaches, dizziness, nausea, forgetfulness, confusion, deep rapid breathing, or an increased heart rate. Since seniors often have a reduced sense of thirst, dehydration is one of the most frequent causes of hospitalization after age 65.
Other less common signs and symptoms of dehydration can include:
· Excessive loss of fluid through vomiting, urinating, stools or sweating
· Poor intake of fluids, a feeling that they “can’t keep anything down”
· Sunken eyes
· Dry or sticky mucous membranes in the mouth
· Skin that lacks its normal elasticity
· Decreased or absent urine output
· Decreased tears
Almost everyone gets about half their daily water requirement from solid foods and fruit and vegetable juices. However, seniors often have a reduced sense of thirst and a reduced appetite. Those fruits and vegetables seniors should be able to easily consume to lessen the chances of suffering from dehydration include applesauce, apricots, asparagus (cooked), bananas, blackberries, blueberries, broccoli (cooked), cauliflower (cooked), cherries, grapes, raspberries and strawberries.
Posted by: Frank Esposito, Vice President of Expert Home Care.
14 Surprising Causes of Dehydration
Healthy hydration is about more than drinking eight glasses of water a day. Here are 14 factors that may dry you up unexpectedly.
K. ALEISHA FETTERS
February 05, 2018
1 of 15 Getty Images
Are you running on empty?
Your body is about 60% water. Lose even 1.5% of that H2O—the tipping point for mild dehydration—and your mood, energy levels, and cognitive function all drop, according to research from the University of Connecticut. And while there are obvious reasons you can end up dehydrated—a sunny day, exercise, or not drinking enough in general—other triggers are less obvious. Check out these 14 surprising causes of dehydration and how to prevent them.
People with diabetes—especially people who don't yet realize they have it—are at increased risk for dehydration. When levels of sugar in the blood are too high, the body tries to get rid off the excess glucose through increased urine output, says Robert Kominiarek, DO, a board-certified family physician in Ohio. All of those extra trips to the bathroom can be dehydrating. If you're diabetic and suffer from frequent thirst or urination, talk to your doctor about how you can work together to improve your blood sugar control. And if you're experiencing excessive thirst along with these other type 2 diabetes symptoms, it's time to pay a visit to your doctor.
Is it that time of the month? Drink an extra glass of water. Estrogen and progesterone influence your body's hydration levels, and when the two are roller-coastering, like when you're in the throes of PMS, you may need to increase your fluid intake to stay hydrated, Dr. Kominiarek says. What's more, for some women who have excessively heavy periods, the amount of blood lost is enough to deplete fluid levels, says OB-GYN Marielena Guerra, MD, of Elite OB/GYN in Florida. If you think the latter might be you, start counting your tampons. If you have to change them more than once every two hours, talk to your gyno.
Check your prescription's list of side effects. Many medications act as diuretics, upping your urine output and your risk for dehydration, Dr. Kominiarek says. Blood pressure medications are a common example. Plus, any drug that lists diarrhea or vomiting as a potential side effect could end up causing dehydration if you experience those side effects. If your prescription hits any of the above, increase your fluid intake.
Carbohydrates are stored in your body right along with fluids. That's why you drop a couple pounds of water weight when you eliminate carbs. That might look good on your scale, sure, but it's bad news for your hydration levels, says dietitian Jaime Mass, RD. Plus, since whole carbs such as oatmeal, whole grain pasta, and brown rice all soak up water during the cooking process, eating them can actually increase your hydration levels. Cut them from your diet and you could be unwittingly reducing your fluid intake, too.
When you're under stress, your adrenal glands pump out stress hormones. And if you're constantly under pressure, eventually your adrenals become exhausted, causing an adrenal insufficiency, Dr. Kominiarek says. Problem is, the adrenals also produce the hormone aldosterone, which helps regulate your body's levels of fluid and electrolytes. So as adrenal fatigue progresses, your body's production of aldosterone drops, triggering dehydration and low electrolyte levels, he says. While increasing fluid intake can help in the short term, mediating your stressors is the only real long-term solution.
Irritable bowel syndrome
As if irritable bowel syndrome wasn't terrible enough on its own, its symptoms (such as nausea and chronic diarrhea) can cause dehydration, Kominiarek says. What's more, many people who suffer from this conditions place themselves on elimination diets to avoid what they believe may be trigger foods, Mass adds. If those diets nix any fluids or fluid-rich foods, they could end up further contributing to dehydration.
We typically think of post-workout dehydration as a problem reserved for endurance athletes, but any time you break a sweat, be it an hour-long spin class or quick jog around the block, you're losing water, Mass says. And, week after week, if you are sweating out more than you're sipping, you could become dehydrated. Try this: Weigh yourself immediately before and after your workout. For every pound you've lost (the goal is not to!), drink 16 to 20 ounces of water, she suggests.
Has your baby got you feeling bloated? Chances are your body is retaining water in an attempt to offset dehydration, Guerra says. During pregnancy, your overall blood volume and cardiac output increase, which can thereby increase your fluid requirements. What's more, nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness can also take their toll on hydration levels, she says. If you are suffering from morning sickness, don't just accept it as a given. Talk to your doc about how to ease your symptoms.
As you age, your body's ability to conserve water as well as its sensation for thirst declines, meaning it's easier to become dehydrated and more difficult to tell when you're fluids are low, says Mass. If you have trouble remembering to drink water throughout the day, try making a game of it. Keep a bottle of water near you at all times and, each day, keep a running total of how much you've consumed.
Just because it's "natural" doesn't mean it can't send your bladder into overdrive. For example, parsley, celery seed, dandelion, and watercress have all been shown to increase urine output, which could potentially lead to dehydration, Mass says. If you are thinking about taking a dietary supplement—or are already taking one—it's best to speak with a nutritionist, primary care doctor, or naturopathic physician about any potential side effects.
When you travel to high altitudes, your body acclimates by speeding up your breathing as well as increasing your urine output. While both are necessary to a healthy adjustment to the altitude and its oxygen levels, constantly peeing and panting—which causes you to exhale more water vapor than usual—can cause dehydration.
Forget hangovers. Even a well-behaved happy hour could deplete your fluid levels. Why? Because drinking makes you go to the bathroom. Alcohol inhibits an antidiuretic hormone that would normally send some of the fluid you're consuming back into the body, and instead sends it to your bladder. Meanwhile, thanks to the diuretic effect of alcohol, your cells shrink, pushing more water out to your bladder. All this lowers your body's hydration levels, Mass explains. What's more, since alcohol impairs your ability to sense the early signs of dehydration—such as thirst and fatigue—it's easy to drink well past your dehydration point.
Eating too few fruits and vegetables
Filling half of your plate at each meal with produce can score you up to to two extra cups of water a day. So, put another way, if you don't eat your five-a-day, and don't compensate (at least from a fluid perspective) by drinking extra water, you could easily wind up dehydrated.
Breastfeeding is all about moving water—not to mention electrolytes, proteins, minerals, and other ingredients—from mom's body to baby's. So of course it can lower your hydration levels, Dr. Guerra says. If you start to have trouble producing, increase your fluids and talk to your doc. It may be a sign of serious dehydration.
What Should I Do If I'm Dehydrated?
You can become dehydrated for many different reasons. It could be from sweating too much. Vomiting or diarrhea can quickly remove fluids from your body, too. So can medicines than make you pee a lot.
All of these things can cause you to lose more water and electrolytes (essential minerals in your blood and body fluids) than are good for you. If you don’t have enough, your body has trouble doing the things it’s supposed to do.
There’s really only one way to treat dehydration -- replace the fluids and electrolytes your body has lost.
Is Drinking Water Enough?
For a mild case, it should be enough just to drink plenty of fluids. Water is your first choice, but there are lots of special drinks on the market that will help you replace your body’s lost water and electrolytes.
If you can’t get a pre-mixed rehydration solution, don’t try to make one yourself. Instead, replace lost fluids naturally with sips of water, fruit juice, crushed fruit mixed with water, or salty soups or broths.
Fruit juices may upset your stomach, so it’s best to dilute them with water. Avoid coffee, tea, soda, and alcoholic drinks. They’re diuretics, which means they can dehydrate you more because they all pull water from your body.
If your dehydration is serious, you may need to see a doctor to get treated with intravenous (IV) fluids. Severe dehydration may require you to go to the hospital. You should get medical attention immediately if you:
- Haven’t peed in 8 hours
- Have had a seizure
- Are disoriented or confused
- Have a weak or rapid pulse
- Feel very tired
- Feel dizzy when you stand
- Are too sick (nauseated or vomiting) to take in fluids
The rest of the article may be read at: https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/dehydration-in-adults-treatment#1
Water: How much should you drink every day?
Water is essential to good health, yet needs vary by individual. These guidelines can help ensure you drink enough fluids.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
How much water should you drink each day? It's a simple question with no easy answer.
Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years. But your individual water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.
No single formula fits everyone. But knowing more about your body's need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.
Health benefits of water
Water is your body's principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Your body depends on water to survive.
Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly. For example, water:
· Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements
· Keeps your temperature normal
· Lubricates and cushions joints
· Protects sensitive tissues
Lack of water can lead to dehydration — a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.
How much water do you need?
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
· About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
· About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.
What about the advice to drink 8 glasses a day?
You've probably heard the advice, "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day." That's easy to remember, and it's a reasonable goal.
Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than eight glasses a day might be enough. But other people might need more.
Factors that influence water needs
You might need to modify your total fluid intake based on several factors:
· Exercise. If you do any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. It's important to drink water before, during and after a workout. If exercise is intense and lasts more than an hour, a sports drink can replace minerals in your blood (electrolytes) lost through sweat.
· Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional fluid intake. Dehydration also can occur at high altitudes.
· Overall health. Your body loses fluids when you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Drink more water or follow a doctor's recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions. Other conditions that might require increased fluid intake include bladder infections and urinary tract stones.
· Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. The Office on Women's Health recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.4 liters) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 liters) of fluids a day.
Beyond the tap: Other sources of water
You don't need to rely only on what you drink to meet your fluid needs. What you eat also provides a significant portion. For example, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are almost 100 percent water by weight.
In addition, beverages such as milk, juice and herbal teas are composed mostly of water. Even caffeinated drinks — such as coffee and soda — can contribute to your daily water intake. But water is your best bet because it's calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available.
Sports drinks should be used only when you're exercising intensely for more than an hour. These drinks help replace electrolytes lost through perspiration and sugar needed for energy during longer bouts of exercise.
Energy drinks are different from sports drinks. Energy drinks generally aren't formulated to replace electrolytes. Energy drinks also usually contain large amounts of caffeine or other stimulants, sugar, and other additives.
Staying safely hydrated
Your fluid intake is probably adequate if:
· You rarely feel thirsty
· Your urine is colorless or light yellow
A doctor or registered dietitian can help you determine the amount of water that's right for you every day.
To prevent dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. It's also a good idea to:
· Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal.
· Drink water before, during and after exercise.
· Drink water if you're feeling hungry. Thirst is often confused with hunger.
Although uncommon, it's possible to drink too much water. When your kidneys can't excrete the excess water, the sodium content of your blood is diluted (hyponatremia) — which can be life-threatening.
Athletes — especially if they participate in long or intense workouts or endurance events — are at higher risk of hyponatremia. In general, though, drinking too much water is rare in healthy adults who eat an average American diet.
It’s no secret that up to 60% of the human body is comprised of water. But did you know that on any given day you lose 64 ounces of water through perspiration (16 ounces from your feet alone)?
Unless you're working out, most of this perspiration goes unnoticed. But our body is constantly regulating its temperature through sweat. Even when you're sitting in a chair, typing on your computer, your body is still maintaining a healthy core temperature.
We both know that water consumption is imperative for maintaining hydration. But keeping up with that kind of diminishing supply can seem difficult.
In the battle to stay hydrated, it sometimes feels like the only option is countless trips to the bathroom. But before you move your office into the second stall, let’s figure out just how much water you should be consuming each day.
How much water should we drink each day?
The recommended water consumption can vary based on age, weight, sex, activity level, and the climate you live in. But generally speaking, women should drink 90 ounces (11 cups) of fluids per day and men should drink 125 ounces (16 cups) per day.
But if you want to get specific, there’s a pretty simple way to figure out the exact amount of water you should be drinking each day. Multiply your weight by ⅔ then consider your activity level. You should add 12 ounces of water to your daily intake for every 30 minutes of exercise.
But, other than maintaining 60% of your body mass and a few extra trips to the restroom, what do you get from drinking water all day? If you’re anything like us, you like to know the why behind anything you do.
What are the benefits of drinking water?
You’ll be happy to know that water provides plenty of benefits. And we want to give you 14 of the often overlooked benefits of drinking water.
1. Increases Brain Power and Provides Energy
Need a mental boost? Next time you feel your mental performance diminish, skip the cup of coffee and drink some water.
One of water’s many benefits is an increase in brain power. Since your brain is made of 73% water, drinking it helps you think, focus, concentrate, and stay alert. As a result, your energy levels also improve.
According to research, it doesn't take much to feel the impact of dehydration. "Being dehydrated by just 2% impairs performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor, and immediate memory skills, as well as assessment of the subjective state."
BSX Technologies lists four ways dehydration affects your brain:
1. Dehydration affects your mood.
2. Dehydration reduces your cognitive and motor skills.
3. Dehydration makes you more sensitive to pain.
4. Dehydration affects your memory.
If you begin to feel these dehydration symptoms, grab a glass of water.
2. Promotes Healthy Weight Management and Weight Loss
Your brain isn't the only part of your body to feel the positive impact of staying hydrated.
Water aides in the removal of fat by-products and also helps you feel more full. Not only does this act as a natural appetite suppressant, but it can also improve your metabolism.
Research on water's impact on your metabolic function is ongoing. But one thing is certain – you're less likely to gain weight when you drink a couple glasses of water before a meal rather than eating the basket of bread.
3. Flush Out Toxins
You’ve probably heard the expression, “sweat it out.” Water consumption helps your body flush out waste through sweat and urination. This also prevents kidney stones and protects you from urinary tract infections.
Your body is able to naturally detoxify through the use of its lungs, liver, and kidneys. But sometimes we give it more than it can handle (i.e. holiday eating marathons or a few too many drinks over the weekend).
Consider toxins the boats floating through your body. Water is the river that floats those toxins out. Don't let the water level drop or the toxins make get stuck and cause harm.
4. Improves Your Complexion
It's understandable that if your body is composed of 60% water, dehydration will harm your skin.
As UW Health points out, your skin is an organ. And water is important for organ function. "If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling."
Drinking water is great for your skin. It helps to moisturize it, keep it soft, and removes wrinkles.
5. Maintains Regularity
Being regular is the result of a healthy digestive system. And drinking water helps your body digest everything you eat.
According to Mayo Clinic, water helps break down food (so that your body can absorb the nutrients) and prevents constipation.
6. Boosts Immune System
Want to know the easiest way to stay healthy during the cold and flu season? Drink more water!
One of the most common overlooked benefits of drinking water is a healthy immune system. And drinking water has been directly related to a stronger immune system.
According to Fit Day, water strengthens your immune system in two ways: First, it carries oxygen to your body's cells, which results in properly functioning systems. And secondly (see the third point mentioned), it flushes harmful toxins from your body.
Water has also been shown to reduce the risk of bladder cancer by rapidly flushing toxins from your bladder.
7. Prevents Headaches
One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is headaches. Water is important for brain function. In addition to increasing brain power, drinking water also helps prevent and relieve headaches often caused by dehydration.
Medical News Today explains that a dehydration headache occurs when your body loses essential fluids to function properly. Dehydration can cause the brain to temporarily shrink from fluid loss. This mechanism causes the brain to pull away from the skull, causing pain and resulting in a dehydration headache.
8. Prevents Cramps and Sprains
It’s no secret that dehydration leads to cramping. But did you know that hydrated muscles are also less prone to sprains?
Water acts as a natural lubricant for your muscles and joints. Develop healthy hydration and you’ll be more flexible, less likely to experience sprained ankles, and less likely to be sore after that next killer workout.
9. Helps Regulate Your Body Temperature
One of the more well-known benefits of water is the way it replenishes your body's cooling system source – sweat.
Sweat is the natural cooling system of your body. And since water is a key ingredient of your sweat, your body needs enough water to properly regulate your body’s temperature through perspiration.
10. Prevents Backaches
Dehydration is often an overlooked cause of back pain.
The bones of your vertebrae are supported by discs. And the central nucleus of each disc is made of water. A lack of water can compromise these discs leading to back pain.
11. Improves Your Heart Health
Research has shown a link between coronary heart disease and water consumption. Water maintains the proper viscosity of blood and plasma and fibrinogen distribution.
12. Prevents Bad Breath
Have you ever hung out in a crowd of runners after a marathon? You'd be wise to remain at a comfortable distance when speaking.
Bad breath is often a clear sign of dehydration. In addition to the food you eat, dehydration can also cause bad breath.
Drinking a sufficient amount of water washes away leftover food particles and oral bacteria that lead to bad breath.
13. Takes the Edge off of Hangovers
Instead of being reactive the next morning, take a proactive approach next time you drink alcohol. Alcohol consumption causes dehydration, which can lead to a hangover.
The unforgiving consequences of alcohol can be prevented by simply drinking a glass of water with each alcoholic beverage.
14. Puts You in a Better Mood
Just as a well-oiled engine runs at top performance, so your body will also work better when properly hydrated. And when your internal systems and organs are running better, you’re more likely to feel better about yourself. In turn, you’re more likely to be in a good mood!
Want to enjoy more benefits of drinking water?
Start your day off right by drinking a glass of water each morning before breakfast. This will jumpstart your mind and body. And carry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day to ensure you remain hydrated.
So maybe your new drinking habits will lead to a couple more trips to the bathroom. But you'll be happier, healthier, and more efficient with a properly hydrated brain.
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