Dehydration occurs when the body removes or uses more fluids than it consumes. Obviously, you can easily get dehydrated if you don’t consume sufficient water or if you sweat excessively. However, dehydration may be caused by other things as well.
There are several misconceptions when it comes to the causes of dehydration. Some even claim that smoking weed may dehydrate you. This is because the use of marijuana may trigger dry mouth, which is also a symptom of dehydration. However, this does not imply that dehydration happens immediately after smoking weed. To know more about the relation between weed and dehydration, you can read full article here.
Misconceptions aside, the following is a list of things that may induce dehydration for real.
Aside from giving you hangovers, alcohol consumption may dehydrate you. Alcohol suppresses the development of the antidiuretic hormone, prompting you to visit the bathroom more often. When you consume alcohol, the brain doesn’t give the normal commands to your kidneys.
Essentially, the brain would command to carry some of the liquids you drink to the body. But with alcohol, the brain transfers it to the bladder instead. Hence, the greater amount of alcohol you consume, the more it interferes with brain activity.
For each shot of alcohol consumed, the kidneys will generate approximately 120 milliliters of pee on top of the usual 60 to 80 milliliters per hour. No wonder people have hangovers the following day.
- Salty Food
It is common knowledge that salt induces dehydration caused by the effects of sodium on the body. The kidneys will recognize this influx of salt and attempt to compensate by drawing water from other parts of the body. This will leave the other organs and cells to lack fluid.
Hence, eating food items that contain a lot of sodium may dehydrate you. It’s better to consume water following a serving of salty food. Also, avoid processed food items like canned goods and frozen meals because they contain a lot of sodium as their preservatives. Remember that hydration is important for health.
- Sweets And Sugary Food
Dehydration can be caused by a variety of factors, not just salt. Sugar may also have the same impact as salt. When there’s an increase in blood sugar, the body attempts to eliminate the extra glucose by increasing urine production. And these frequent bathroom visits may dehydrate you.
That’s why individuals who have diabetes, particularly those who are unaware they have it, are at a heightened risk of dehydration. If you have diabetes or if you experience excessive thirst and urination, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your physician. Ask your doctor about the ways you can manage your blood sugar levels.
Certain drugs may result in dehydration. For example, diuretics, most often referred to as water pills, are used for flushing excess water and salt from the body. They are typically prescribed to individuals who have cardiac or blood pressure issues.
Laxatives may also trigger dehydration if used too often. Chemotherapy medications may also induce dehydration as a result of vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive sweating. Furthermore, any medication that mentions diarrhea or vomiting as a possible side effect may cause dehydration if they manifest.
Therefore, it’s important to review the possible side effects of your medication. Many drugs have a diuretic effect, meaning they raise your urinary flow and increase your chance of dehydration. Boost your fluid consumption when your drug includes any of the said medications.
Stress has far-reaching consequences that go beyond your imagination, and this includes depleting your body’s fluid reserves. When you are in a stressful situation, the adrenal glands produce a stress response.
Thus, if you are frequently under tension, the adrenals may gradually become tired, resulting in adrenal insufficiency. This impairs the adrenal glands’ capacity to generate aldosterone, a hormone that aids in the regulation of electrolytes and fluids. As a result, dehydration happens.
- High Altitudes
Dehydration may occur as a result of being subjected to high altitudes. There’s lower pressure at high altitudes, rendering it harder for oxygen to reach the body. And because higher altitudes have lower humidity, sweat evaporates easily, allowing more fluid to be lost. As a result, the body adapts by accelerating your breathing and escalating your urine production.
Although these are important for a proper transition to altitude and oxygen levels, excessive urination and panting may lead to dehydration. When you’re at a high altitude, it’s a good idea to consume an additional one to two liters of water per day.
Is your pregnancy causing you to feel bloated? Your body is likely storing more water in an effort to compensate for dehydration. Pregnancy increases blood flow and heart activity, which can result in a rise in your fluid demands.
Additionally, the vomiting correlated with morning sickness may also cause dehydration. If you are experiencing morning sickness, don’t take it for granted. Consult your physician for advice on how to manage the symptoms.
If you’re a breastfeeding mother, you must take note of this. Breastfeeding is the process of transferring water along with electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from the mother to the baby.
Electrolyte depletion may result in dehydration in a nursing mother. Along with dehydration, it has been seen to decrease breast milk output. If you notice that you’re having difficulty in generating milk, raise your fluid intake and see your doctor as that may also be a symptom of severe dehydration.
When people age, the body’s capacity to retain water and detect thirst diminishes. This makes it easy to get dehydrated and more challenging to identify when one’s fluid levels are down.
Therefore, it is essential to hydrate more frequently as you hit old age, even though you’re not thirsty. If you’re having difficulty remembering having water during the day, make it a challenge. Have a handy container of water on hand at all times and have a cumulative list of the amount of water you’ve taken per day.
Dehydration could be prevented by paying close attention to the salt and sugar levels of your food. There are also certain life stages where people are more prone to dehydration, so best improve water intake when you or a loved one has reached seniority. Careful preparation, combined with consistent water consumption, is the most efficient way to combat dehydration.
Jacob Hatch is the author and founder of Hydration Anywhere. He has been actively writing about drinking water since 2013. These days Jacob spends most of his time investigating water related news, studying environmental issues, reading health studies, and reviewing products like water bottles and water filters.