Did you know that the human body is made of 65 percent water? This liquid is needed for countless biochemical and physiological processes, from waste removal and detoxification to regulation of blood temperature.
Interestingly, thirst comes when you lose a percent or two of the overall water content, but at this point, the body has already entered the early stage of dehydration.
The most common signs of dehydration include muscle cramps, bad breath, constipation, mood swings, headaches, sugar cravings, dull and dry skin, back or joint ache, infrequent urination, dark concentrated urine, fatigue or dizziness, chills, and foggy thinking or poor concentration.
The effects of mild dehydration range from headaches to impaired cognition, but the ones of severe dehydration can be life-threatening. Chronic dehydration causes damage to the organs and creates the perfect condition for sickness to thrive. Here are some of its effects:
Joint Pain or Stiffness: All joints have cartilage padding composed mainly of water, so dehydration weakens he cartilages, leading to pain and discomfort in the joints.
Asthma and Allergies: To preserve water, body restricts the airways, increasing histamine levels.
High Blood Pressure: When properly hydrated, the blood is normally about 92 percent water. When dehydrated, it becomes thicker, leading to high blood pressure.
High Cholesterol: The body creates more cholesterol in order to prevent water loss from the cells.
Weight Gain, Constant Hunger: When dehydrated, the body cells are stripped of energy to burn fuel, causing fatigue. And, we tend to eat more.
Constipation: In the case of insufficient water intake, the body draws water from the colon. Consequently, waste starts to move slowly through the large intestines, leading to constipation.
Digestive Disorders: Lack of water and alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium in body can lead to various digestive disorders, such as gastritis, acid reflux, and ulcers.
Bladder or Kidney Problems: Accumulation of acids and toxins creates a thriving environment for bacteria, leading to inflammation, infections, pain, and formation of stones.
Skin Disorders: Dehydration impairs the removal of toxins through the skin, leading to skin disorders like discoloration, dermatitis, wrinkles, and psoriasis.
Headaches and Migraines: Dehydration deprives fluid sacks around the brain cells to undergo pressure, causing headaches and migraines.
Generally, adults should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, but these numbers can vary, depending on factors like weight, age, weather conditions, physical activity, and more.