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Dehydration 

Dehydration is simply lack of water in the body. Dehydration can occur in all people if they don’t get enough water, especially at the warm period of the year, when the body falls out from the homeostatic equilibrium regime and then the whole organism suffers.

Causes

The causes may be numerous, and some of them are:
  • long-term physical activity (running) without reimbursing the water, particularly in warm and moist environment.
  • longer staying and sports activities on the dry and hot air
  • blood loss or hypotension due to injury
  • diarrhea
  • sunstroke
  • vomiting
  • burns
  • the use of drugs - methamphetamine and other stimulants
  • consumption of alcohol instead of water
  • disorder of electrolyte / water relation
  • hyperglycemia - especially in diabetes.

Symptoms

Symptoms of dehydration include:
  • headache similar as in a hangover,
  • muscle cramps, particularly in the legs,
  • constriction of visual field,
  • drop in blood pressure,
  • dizziness and unconsciousness.
More severe dehydration conditions leads to raving, unconscious, swollen tongue, coma, and death.

The first symptoms of dehydration begin when the water level in the body is fallen below 2% of normal values. Then dehydrated person feels thirst, reduced appetite and dry skin. In the case of dehydration, runners are losing up to 30% of their strength, speed and endurance, their body temperature is elevated and they feel dizzy.

Mild dehydration has the following symptoms: thirst, reduced and dark amount of urine, unexplained fatigue, nervousness, headache, dry mouth and dizziness.

Medium strong dehydration is manifested in a complete lack of urine, lethargy, drowsiness, unconsciousness and convulsions. As the water loss is higher, the symptoms are more severe. The heart and lungs work faster to compensate lost plasma volume and decreased blood pressure and body is heating because there is no sweat to cool it down.

The loss of 5-6% of water causes drowsiness, headache, nerve disorder and tingling in limbs.

The loss of 10-15% of water leads to muscle cramping, skin peeling and shooting, stop urinating and starting of delirium.

Loss of over 15% of water is fatal.

Prevention

The best way to prevent dehydration is drinking enough water. Water returns volume to the blood plasma and thus stops the feeling of thirst. If dehydration occurs, then you should drink water slowly. If you have dehydrated, avoid the sun and unnecessary sweating, because it consumes more water. Also, avoid food until fluid is compensated.

It is normal to drink about 2-3 liters of water per day. You should drink even more water during the summer or if you are involved in sport. It is recommended to drink half a liter of water per hour while running.

Thirst and color of urine are hydration indicators. Urine color should be light yellow, which means that you didn’t dehydrate. If it is dark, increase water intake and prevent dehydration.

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