The brain might be responsible for our physical and psychological health, but research states that certain factors in life influence certain parts of the brain. Sports improve information processing, concentration, and memory. Attentive reading and painting improve cognition. Excessive sugar consumption causes cognitive decline and depression. Falling in love improves social cognition. Pregnancy shrinks grey matter, which develops maternal instincts. Stress and dehydration impair memory.
Addison’s disease, where your adrenal glands don’t function properly, can cause low levels of the hormones aldosterone and cortisol. Early symptoms include fatigue, lethargy, muscle weakness, poor mood, dehydration, frequent urination, a hankering for salty foods, and loss of appetite and weight. Later, symptoms like dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, hyperpigmentation, low libido, missed periods, delayed puberty, and abdominal, joint, and back pain kick in.
People with dry mouth have insufficient saliva in their mouths. Dehydration, mouth breathing, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, certain medications, nerve damage, and obstructions in your salivary ducts can all cause this condition. So can hormonal changes experienced during menopause and pregnancy and medical conditions like diabetes, Sjögren's syndrome, HIV, and infections that affect your salivary glands. Drinking alcohol, smoking, and having caffeine can also be contributing factors.
Early signs of dehydration include sunken eyes, looking lethargic, moving around slowly, dry nose, and excessive panting. Any change in behavior is also a red flag. If not treated, dehydration becomes more severe, resulting in weak hind legs and unable to stand on their own feet.
When you’re water reserves are running low, your brain sends out thirst signals and increases urine concentration. You will urinate less frequently – a dark yellow to amber-colored urine. You may develop a rapid pulse due to an overworked heart dealing with low blood volumes. Drops in energy, mood, skin moisture, and blood pressure and signs of impaired cognition follow suit.
Cracked lips and dark colored urine are signs alarming enough to indicate your body is in need of water. While drinking water consistently throughout the day is the easiest solution, making other lifestyle changes also helps. Some of them are, avoiding diuretics, dressing up according to the weather, replenishing the lost electrolytes with sports drinks and snacking right.
Pinch your baby’s skin and observe how long it takes to spring back. Gently apply pressure to their sternum to see how quickly the color rushes back. Make them sit and look over their head to check if their fontanelle is sunken. Toddlers and infants are at a high risk of dehydration, so pay close attention to their behavior and appearance.
You can get dehydrated if you don’t drink enough water; sweat excessively because of humidity, hot weather, fever, or strenuous exercise; have diarrhea or vomiting; have kidney disease, diabetes, or a hormone deficiency which increases urination; have too much alcohol, or are recovering from burns. Infants and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. You can treat dehydration by replenishing lost fluids and minerals – drink water, eat fresh fruit, and use an oral rehydration solution.
You need an additional 750 to 1000 ml of water daily (normal requirement equals 2.1 liters ) during pregnancy. Feeling thirsty, dizzy, or tired, getting headaches, having dry lips, mouth, or eyes indicate dehydration. So do dark colored urine, infrequent urination, and overheating of your body. Dehydration during pregnancy can cause low amniotic fluid, premature labor, insufficient breast milk, and false contractions as well as birth defects in your baby.
The signs and symptoms of dehydration may differ by age. While infants or young children are more prone to dehydration than adults, you need to watch out for early warning signs like - few or no tears when crying, sunken soft spot on top of skull, no wet diapers for 3 hrs. In older adults, hallmark symptoms include thirst, less frequent urination, dark-colored urine.
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