8 Signs of Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when the body does not have enough water and electrolytes. The average adult needs approximately 3 quarts of water per day. Some people require more fluids especially when they are taking certain medications, ill (vomiting/diarrhea), vigorously exercising, or sweating excessively. Older people and children are often the most susceptible because the signs or symptoms of dehydration are dismissed as something else, for example, age-related “senior” moments. Most people do not think to ask a sleepy senior how much water they drank when they are feeling faint or like a nap.

Dehydration that goes unchecked can have very severe consequences including death. Every year during a heat wave there are news reports about people who died, usually elderly folks, children, and those with comprised immune systems and pre-existing health conditions. Dehydration is avoidable, but it takes vigilance to recognize its signs and symptoms in infancy or intervene when the signs are clear.

1. Increased Thirst

People are supposed to consume food, water and other liquids as part of a healthy, balanced diet. A balanced diet keeps the body from going to the extremes of feeling hungry and thirsty. Hunger and increased thirst are primal survival urges. The human body can go longer without food than water. If a person actually feels “thirsty” this is a sign they are dehydrated. Increased thirst is an urge caused by losing just 2 to 3 percent body fluid. Thirst and dry mouth, lips, and throat are a few of the first things fighters show as they cut weight. A dehydrated person with increased thirst should take small sips and gently re-hydrate the body instead of consuming water rapidly because it can overwhelm the body.