Dehydration isn’t just something that happens to you when you’re lost in a hot, dry desert. It can happen anywhere and in any scenario where safe drinking water is limited, or you simply don’t drink enough to match your body’s demand. Cold, wet winter weather is a prime example of a condition where dehydration can sneak up on you. Nobody wants to drink a cold bottle of water when they’re freezing, but it’s just as important to stay hydrated in the cold as it is in the heat. Illness can also dehydrate the body through vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.
The best ways to deal with dehydration are to keep track of your water intake and urine output. You should be taking in more than 2 quarts a day, and urinating at least a quart and a half each day. Of course, exertion levels, stress, health, weather, caffeine consumption, and other factors that affect hydration levels can come into play. But whatever the situation, keep an eye out for these dehydration symptoms in yourself and your team.
Symptoms of Dehydration
1. Dizziness and headache
These are typically the first symptoms you might feel.
2. Tiredness and weakness
Motor skills and strength begin to decrease as dehydration sets in.
3. Thirst and dry mouth
Obvious symptoms of lack of water.
4. Decreased urination
If it’s not coming in, then it can’t go out. Not needing to urinate for many hours, and producing only a small amount of dark yellow urine are bad signs that you’re not getting enough water to drink.
This symptom takes a little longer to figure out, but it’s definitely uncomfortable and a sign that your body is starting to dry up.
6. Delirium or confusion
A lack of water in the brain (which is mostly water) can lead to a deteriorating mental state.
7. Sunken eyes and dry skin
When your skin starts to shrivel and your eye sockets get a hollow look, you’re in serious trouble.
8. Low blood pressure
Low BP can be very dangerous, especially of you have other health conditions that can be aggravated by this vulnerable state.
9. Rapid heartbeat and breathing
Both of these (coupled with the low blood pressure) mean that you are at risk of going into shock from dehydration. Immediate and skilled medical attention is required.
Have you ever been severely dehydrated? Would you be able to spot it in others? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments.