How To Tell If You Are Dehydrated: Common Signs and How ORS Can Help

Firefighter sitting and holding his head by a firetruck

While many people think water loss is the main actor behind dehydration, it’s more complicated. While water intake is important, your body needs more than a few glasses of water to stay hydrated. To avoid dehydration and function properly, your body needs a precise ratio of electrolytes.

In this guide, you’ll find tips on how to tell if you are dehydrated based on mild to severe symptoms. Plus, you’ll learn about the role of electrolytes in dehydration, what to do when you become dehydrated and how DripDropORS can help to address dehydration.

How Does Dehydration Occur?

How to tell if you are dehydrated: Elderly person lying on ground having pulse checked

Your body is more than 60 percent water content. These fluids help to keep your eyes moist, eliminate toxins and wastes, and lubricate your joints. Water also helps to keep your skin healthy, streamline digestion, and transport oxygen-rich blood to your cells. However, water doesn’t do these vital tasks on its own. In fact, your body’s fluid volume is a mixture of water, electrolytes, proteins, lipids, and glucose that work together to power your movements.

Electrolytes help to regulate fluid balance within individual cells and throughout your body’s system. Dehydration occurs when your body’s fluid and electrolyte levels are not in balance.

The main causes of dehydration include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Illnesses that cause vomiting and diarrhea
  • Risk factors including certain medical conditions, medications, and age

Sweating

When you sweat, your body tries to adjust its core body temperature by sending electrolyte-rich water to the surface of your skin. This liquid evaporates, creating a cooling effect. However, if you don’t replace the lost fluids and electrolytes, you can experience mild to moderate dehydration

The risk of dehydration dramatically increases in hot weather. That’s because your body produces more sweat in an effort to cool down. In addition, people who suffer from sweating disorders such as hyperhidrosis tend to have a higher risk of dehydration. Exercising or working in high temperatures — typically above 90 degrees Fahrenheit — can lead to heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke and heat exhaustion. That’s because dehydration makes it harder for your body to produce sweat.

Illnesses

When you have diarrhea or are vomiting due to an illness, your body loses electrolytes including calcium, potassium, and magnesium. While these processes are a natural immune response to an infection, they also cause dehydration by expelling fluids. A fever also results in loss of fluid and electrolytes through sweat on the surface of your skin.

Risk Factors

Like infants and young children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with chronic illnesses also have an increased risk of becoming dehydrated. As we age, our bodies become less able to regulate normal processes. Many senior citizens also develop health conditions that require medications which may include dehydration as a side effect.

Some medical conditions that increase the risk of dehydration include diabetes, kidney diseases, dysautonomia, and Addison’s disease. In addition, dehydration may make some medical conditions worse — it can increase the likelihood of kidney stones and urinary tract infections.

How To Tell If You Are Dehydrated

How to tell if you are dehydrated: Athlete wipes brow on running track

Dehydration is not only due to not getting enough water. Dehydration occurs when your body doesn’t get enough fluids and electrolytes, including potassium, zinc, and magnesium. That’s because electrolytes play a key role in health. Electrolytes help fluid absorption, help your muscles contract, and support your brain when it sends signals to nerves.

When your body loses electrolytes and fluids faster than you can replace them, dehydration sets in. So, the best way to prevent and address dehydration is to use an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. The solution helps to replenish electrolyte and fluid losses that can lead to dehydration.

Even with a mild case of dehydration, you may experience symptoms that affect your nervous system, heart, and muscles. That’s because when you’re dehydrated, your blood volume — the amount of blood that is circulating through your body — can decrease dramatically. In response, your heart works harder to pump oxygenated blood. This causes your heart to beat faster, which increases your heart rate and causes feelings of nervousness and other symptoms of dehydration.

Here are the most common signs of dehydration.

  • Dry mouth
  • Thirst
  • Decreased or urination or constipation
  • Dark urine
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Dry skin
  • Bad breath
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps

Dehydration in Infants and Young Children

Infants and young children are at a higher risk of dehydration. Dehydration symptoms include a sunken soft spot on the top of the head, sunken eyes, crying that doesn't produce tears, and irritability. Additionally, symptoms of mild dehydration for infants include unusual sleepiness or a diaper that stays dry for more than three hours.

Severe Dehydration Symptoms

Left untreated, dehydration can become a severe health hazard. If you don’t replenish lost electrolytes and fluids quickly using an ORS like DripDrop, you may experience additional symptoms and require medical attention.

Severe dehydration symptoms include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Confusion and delirium 
  • Fainting

Now that you know the causes of dehydration and you’re able to recognize if you are dehydrated, it’s important to understand what you can do to prevent and address the condition.

How To Address Dehydration

How to tell if you are dehydrated: Woman running in desert landscape

Now, we’ll focus on what you can do when you notice the warning signs of dehydration. Since your body needs more than just H2O, drinking water isn’t enough to address dehydration. 

You need to take a medically formulated approach to replenish lost electrolytes. The best way to do this is to drink DripDrop ORS. Not only will DripDrop help to support fluid intake. It’s also medically balanced with a precise ratio of electrolytes, offering dehydration relief fast. Plus it contains vitamins that may help support your immune system.

In terms of prevention, it’s important to make smart lifestyle decisions. Take regular cooling breaks if you have to work in high heat. Wear sunglasses and a hat to keep the sun off your head. Pack a cooling towel and a water bottle in your work bag so you can cool down and hydrate.

If you have to exercise or work outdoors, try to do so in the morning or early evening when the heat isn’t as intense. If you need to be outside during high temperatures, make sure to stay hydrated and use an ORS solution like DripDrop ORS.

Drink plenty of fluids, and make sure to choose the right ones. Fruit juices, sports drinks, and plain old water don’t contain enough electrolytes or a medically balanced ratio of electrolytes. That means they’re less effective than an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS.

How DripDrop Can Help

Man carrying water bottle on remote biking trail

Now that you’re an expert on how to tell if you are dehydrated, you can put together a dehydration protocol to keep on hand.

When you're in a state of dehydration, no amount of water is enough. Your body needs the perfect balance of sodium and glucose to help absorption. 

DripDrop ORS was developed by a doctor on a mission to defeat life-threatening dehydration. The patented formula provides medically relevant electrolyte levels, improving on the World Health Organization’s Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) standards — and what's more, it tastes great. With the precisely balanced ratio, you can replenish vital electrolytes and fluids to relieve dehydration quickly. Plus, our ORS supplies vitamins like zinc, potassium, and magnesium which are essential to support your overall health.

For cases of mild to moderate dehydration, DripDrop ORS is a fast, effective, and great tasting remedy. With convenient packaging that allows you to have DripDrop ORS when you need it, where you need it. Get started with a trial or our most popular multi-flavor pouch for dehydration relief fast.

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