How Can I Tell If I’m Dehydrated?

You’ll be more prepared for the summer heat and exercise when you can identify that you’re dehydrated. The best way to fight dehydration is to avoid it in the first place. Drink water before you exercise. Sip on it during exercise and finish your session with a bottle of water if you’re perspiring heavily. Dehydration can have many signs which may vary by age. Seniors, who dehydrate faster, often show signs that resemble dementia, while infants may become lethargic.

Dry cracked lips and lack of skin turgor are signs.

One of the first signs of dehydration is thirst and a dry mouth. If you ignore those signs, your lips will become dry and cracked. That suggests you need to take action quickly. You can also test for dehydration the way doctors and veterinarians do, by skin turgor. For humans, it’s a simple pinch of skin on the forearm or abdomen. After the skin is released, if it returns to normal quickly, there’s not a problem, but if it remains tented, it’s a sign of dehydration. With animals, the vet pinches the back of the neck.

A simple test is the color of your urine.

Urine should be a light yellow. If it’s clear, you’re overhydrated. However, if it’s a dark yellow to almost brown, it’s not diluted with enough fluid, an easy sign that dehydration has occurred. Scant urine is also a sign of dehydration, particularly in babies. If your child doesn’t require normal changing frequency, they may be dehydrated. Headaches and exhaustion are also signs. Your brain and heart are mostly fluid. If you don’t have adequate fluid in your body due to dehydration, you can get headaches, brain fog, and cardio functioning problems causing exhaustion.

Your blood pressure is an indicator of dehydration.

Changes in blood pressure vary. Some people experience an increase in blood pressure when they’re dehydrated, while others experience a decrease in it. Dehydration causes low blood volume. Low blood volume can cause blood pressure to drop. It can also cause the body to produce more vasopressin to cause blood vessels to constrict to increase adequate blood flow. The vessels and thicker blood cause an increase in blood pressure. If your blood pressure is abnormally low or high, it’s a sign of dehydration.

  • Dehydration can lead to an interruption of your normal sleep-wake cycle. Scientists discovered that dehydration caused a shorter sleep cycle, which leaves you tired the following day.
  • Your heart won’t function as well if you’re dehydrated. It reduces the functioning of the left ventricle. That change can leave you exhausted and diminish the effectiveness of your workout.
  • Besides a headache from dehydration, it can cause mood changes, lack of focus, poor memory, and interrupted concentration.
  • Dizziness is another indicator of dehydration. Blood thickens from dehydration, causing blood channels in the brain to expand, creating a headache.

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