Dehydration: Symptoms and Prevention You Should Know

In the simplest terms, dehydration occurs when you lose more water than you take in. This occurs through our daily lives, but when the water is not replaced, we run a serious risk. Staying hydrated is important to keep all your bodily functions working properly. Whenever you are working outdoors or in warm environments, you’ll want to take extra precautions, especially as summer weather heats up.

Water Loss

On average, adults lose almost 10 cups of water a day simply by sweating, breathing and going to the bathroom. Along with water, you also lose electrolytes, which are vital in maintaining the balance of fluids in the body. When you become dehydrated, your body cannot function, possibly resulting in heat stroke or even death.

Symptoms

How do you know if you’re dehydrated? You’ll begin to experience one or more of the following symptoms:

• Excessive thirst
• Sleepiness or tiredness
• Dry mouth
• Muscle weakness
• Headache
• Dizziness or lightheaded feeling

If you start to notice these warning signs, do not ignore them! Immediately take a break and give yourself time to recover.

Preventing Dehydration

The best defense against dehydration is prevention. That sounds easy enough—consume lots of fluids and foods high in water, such as fruits and vegetables—but determining how much fluid can be complicated.
Unfortunately, determining appropriate water intake isn’t an exact science, especially because so much depends on age, physical condition, activity level, location and body chemistry. The best overall approach is to make a conscious effort to stay hydrated, and continue drinking water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. In hot weather, skip coffee,  soda or alcohol and make water your beverage of choice when excreting energy.

Pace Yourself

During periods of heavy exertion, take frequent water breaks. Adjust your intake to match your activity level and working conditions to stay healthy and alert. This is especially important in intense weather conditions, such as high heat or humidity.

Don’t underestimate the danger of dehydration this summer. Whether you’re on the job, doing yard work or enjoying fun activities outside, be sure to take breaks and drink adequate amounts of water for your body type, age, excretion level and the weather. While children and the elderly are at the greatest risk, anyone can suffer dehydration symptoms if proper care is ignored. For more ways to protect your health this summer, just call us at 724-929-2300! We have policy options for everything from health insurance and medicare to auto and home and can tailor a policy to fit your needs, not one size fits most coverage. We are a local, family owned business serving the Mon Valley and Pittsburgh areas and we’re here to help you! Call or stop in today.

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