Dehydration Dangers in the Heat of Summer

Dehydration in Hot Weather

Dehydration in Hot Weather

With the heat seeming to reach higher averages each year, the possibility of dehydration and the resulting symptoms is a growing concern, especially in summer time.

Human body weight approaches 75% water which is crucial to the proper functioning of all body systems.  Dehydration can affect blood pressure causing organs and tissues to not receive the proper amounts of oxygen and nutrients required.

Dehydration occurs when your body is losing more water than it is taking in.  This is easy to do in the summer heat when you’re busy and not noticing how long it has been since you last drank something.  Exercise and excessive sweating can surely accelerate the process, as can illness with fever, diarrhea and vomiting.

We’re all at risk, but the elderly, young children and those with chronic illnesses are especially susceptible and should be monitored for fluid intake – keep an eye on your pets, too.  Mild to moderate dehydration can usually be dealt with by simply drinking more water, while severe dehydration will require immediate emergency care.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration include:

  • Thirst (duh!) with accompanying dry or sticky mouth.
  • Feeling tired and sleepy – a decrease in the amount of activity in children.
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
  • Dark yellow urine and/or not urinating as usual – over 3 hours for infants, 8 hours in children and teens.
  • Few or no tears when crying.
  • Headaches, often accompanied by constipation.
  • Dry skin.

What To Do To Avoid Dehydration

Start drinking extra water at the first sign of any of the above symptoms of dehydration, but if any of these symptoms become severe, and especially if they are accompanied by rapid heartbeat and/or breathing, delirium or unconsciousness, call for emergency treatment at once.

If you are more the type that likes to think preventively, drinking several glasses of water a day is always a good idea, and you can use the taking of your daily herbs as a reminder to drink a little extra.  Eating foods with a high water content is another way of increasing your daily fluid intake.  Here’s a list to start you off:

High Water Content Foods

High Water Content Foods

  • Watermelon:            92%
  • Grapefruit:                90%
  • Coconut Water:       95%
  • Avocado:                   81%
  • Cucumber:                96%
  • Cantaloupe:              89%
  • Strawberries:           92%
  • Broccoli:                    90%

Have a happy and healthy summer!

Doc Eve

From So. Calif., call 310-855-1111 / Otherwise, call 541-482-2112
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