For more detailed information on dehydration, please visit the NHS website.
It’s easy in the summer months to become dehydrated, either due to excessive perspiration, not taking in enough fluid or as a result of illness, such as a vomiting and diarrhoea bug.
Your body can be affected even if you only lose a small amount of fluid. If you are feeling thirsty, lightheaded, overtired, dry-mouthed, need to go to the toilet less often than usual or have dark or strong-smelling urine, these could be early warning signs that you are dehydrated.
Babies and infants, the elderly, people with long-term health conditions and those who exercise for long periods at a time are particularly at risk of becoming dehydrated.
If you’re dehydrated, you need to drink plenty of fluids; particularly water, diluted squash or fruit juice. Avoid large amounts of tea, coffee and fizzy drinks.
If you’re dehydrated due to illness, try to drink little and often.
Babies, infants and small children should not be given water alone, as this can dilute their mineral levels, which could lead to other problems. Instead, they should be given diluted squash or a rehydration solution, which you can get from a pharmacy.
Severe dehydration can be very serious; causing seizures, brain damage or even death. If your symptoms are severe, or persistent, always go to see your GP. Out-of-hours, seek emergency treatment.
Points to remember:
1. Drink enough fluid so that you’re not thirsty for long periods.
2. Increase your fluid intake when exercising and during hot weather.
3. Passing clear urine is a good sign that you’re well hydrated.
If you struggle with limited movement or grip and find it difficult to reach, or hold your drink, why not consider the Hydrant, an award-winning hydration system from Hydrate for Health.