How do you know if you're dehydrated?

are you dehydrated

Your body is 70% water – which means you can quickly become dehydrated from a lack of fluids on any given day. Whenever you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Dr. Christopher Vasey, a Swiss naturopath, says that most people regularly suffer from low-grade dehydration because of poor eating and drinking habits. Chronic dehydration can cause digestive dysfunction, as your body needs water to produce fluids which aid in the digestive process.

Symptoms of dehydration include:
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Fatigue or irritability
  • Increased heart rate
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor digestion or constipation
Another way you can tell if you are dehydrated is the “pinch test” for skin elasticity and turgor (hydration). Pinch the skin of your forearm to see how quickly it bounces back. If you are dehydrated, your skin stays pinched and takes longer to return back to normal.

There are three types of dehydration:
  • Hypotonic - the loss of electrolytes (sodium in particular)
  • Hypertonic - the loss of water with an increased concentration of sodium
  • Isotonic – the loss of both electrolytes and water (most common), which affects the body's pH balance. pH balance is important so your blood will carry oxygen and it helps with the metabolic function of our cells.
Everyone is prone to dehydration, but extremely active people can be at higher risk, including hikers, cyclists, athletes and construction workers. Elderly or sick people, as well as those who live in a hot climate or a high altitude are also quicker to become dehydrated.

children at risk of dehydration

Children are also at greater risk. A recent CDC study found that more than half of U.S. kids and teens, especially boys, are dehydrated. "Dehydration accounts for hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations each year, due to illnesses that can lead to depletion of fluids and electrolytes from the body,” says Dr. Daniel Rauch, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Experiment with drinking more water throughout the day and you’ll probably notice an immediate difference in how you feel. If you’re not drinking enough water, you’re accelerating the aging process and putting extra strain on your body. Good hydration will do many things for your cellular health - there is nothing more important to our health then water, so drink up!