Being thirsty is one of the most common indicators of dehydration. It happens when the body does not have enough fluid and electrolytes (such as salt and potassium) to function correctly. Dehydration, when untreated, can cause an increase in heart rate, which can strain the organ. Extreme dehydration can also lead to severe complications such as seizures, cardiac arrhythmia, or hypovolemic shock. To avoid these, understanding the warning signs of dehydration is important.
Unusual signs of dehydration
The most common signs of dehydration include feeling thirsty, passing dark yellow and strong-smelling urine, peeing less often than usual, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, tired, and suffering from a dry mouth. However, many unusual warning signs could also indicate the condition, some of which are listed below.
Saliva has important antibacterial properties that keep bad breath at bay. Dehydration decreases the saliva in the mouth, making it an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive and cause bad breath. Drinking water can help avoid the sensation of dry mouth and prevent bad breath.
The skin may undergo various changes due to dehydration, including dry or flushed skin and sweaty skin. It may also remain “tented” when pinched and take longer to return to its usual appearance.
Lack of enough water content in the body prevents it from cooling off appropriately. It can cause muscle cramps as the muscles have to work harder. These sensations are most commonly experienced when exercising in hot weather. Drinking an electrolyte-based drink after a workout can help avoid cramps and promote muscle recovery.
Dehydration causes limited blood flow to the skin. Since water holds most body heat, dehydration also interferes with one’s temperature regulation and could cause chills, even in environments that are not cold.
Glucose is stored in organs such as the liver. Dehydration makes it difficult for these organs to release the stored glucose, and this can lead to food cravings, especially sugar. Exercising in a dehydrated state can also lead to the burning of stored carbohydrates and trigger a rise in cravings for replenishing the stores.
Those who suffer from migraines may experience headaches even when mildly dehydrated. Lack of water also affects the body’s serotonin levels, causing headaches. Sipping fluids throughout the day or eating water-rich foods can help avoid this condition.
Low blood pressure
Lack of water in the system could lead to low blood pressure, in turn leading to other symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and blurred vision. Low blood pressure indicates that blood is not circulating through the body properly, which can put vital organs at risk. Those experiencing low BP due to dehydration can easily resolve the problem by drinking more water.
Water plays a huge role in managing one’s mood as well. Studies suggest that an increased water intake is linked to improved mood, particularly during sleep and otherwise, along with a positive effect on calmness and satisfaction. Drinking less water can also cause blood vessels to constrict, causing a sensation similar to anxiety. Therefore, following healthy water drinking habits throughout the day is imperative to avoid this.