See What Happens To Your Body When You Are Dehydrated

See What Happens To Your Body When You Are Dehydrated
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If you have a houseplant and forget to give it water for extended periods of time what happens? The physical appearance of the plant begins to wither. It shrivels and drys up, loses its color and liveliness, and it eventually dies. Humans aren’t any different than plants in this aspect. Without water, which comprises approximately 75% of our bodies, we would die.

Well, humans are different than plants in that we have a much more complicated set of consequences to face if we don’t receive adequate water consumption. Our bodies are like a factory that is constantly maintaining itself and producing things with the help of water as its labor force. If we run low on that fuel it’s imperative that it gets refilled as soon as possible. Without it, we could face minor and major problems such as weight gain, tiredness, asthma, premature aging, seizures, and death.

What is Dehydration?

When your body is dehydrated it means that your loss of water has exceeded the intake of water over time [1]. The excessive loss of water within your body isn’t compensated with enough refueling during dehydration and as a result your body pays some hefty consequences. The level of dehydration can range in severity from minor cases to serious health concern, but each instance should be taken seriously and avoided at all cost.

Thinking of the factory analogy mentioned above will help make a bit more sense of dehydration. You’ve got a factory that needs a staff to work properly, but what about when certain workers start to skip work? You’ve got a heavy load of work that needs to be done and little to no fuel to do so. As a result the factory falls behind in production and fails.

11 Dehydration Downsides

We’ll discuss the causes and prevention of dehydration below, but for now let’s look a bit more into the health implications that make avoiding it so important. We’ll start with some of the minor problems and move toward the worse.

1. Fatigue – Most people look at athletes that are completely tired out and think that muscle exertion is the only cause of their tiredness. In fact, there have been studies that link athlete exhaustion to dehydration [2]. A person that isn’t drinking enough water is much more susceptible to drained muscular activity because the heart has to work overtime to pump oxygen and nutrients throughout the blood.

Further reading: also read my article about the best 8 secrets for endless energy.

2. Irritability – Recent studies at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Lab have suggested links between negative mood swings and a lack of hydration [3]. The results showed that the level of dehydration didn’t even have to be severe to cause a noticeable swing in mood. Needless to say, your body typically won’t let you feel happy if you’re neglecting to give it the fuel it needs.

Further reading: read my previous article about the best foods to boost your mood.

3. Spiked Blood Pressure – When someone has a low level of water in their system, the blood will most likely begin to thicken. As a result of this, it becomes more difficult for the blood to flow healthily throughout the body. With an increase in resistance comes an increase in blood pressure, a condition frequently linked to heart disease and stroke.

Further reading: if you suffer from high blood pressure, read my article how to reduce high blood pressure naturally.

4. Aging – If we continue with the analogy above, water also serves as a maintenance crew for your body in the factory workforce. The water hydrates tissue to keep you looking young on the outside and feeling young on the inside. It’s worth noting that dehydration is a larger risk factor for older individuals, and without the proper water balance a person is more susceptible to chronic diseases associated with aging [4].

Further reading: read my article about 6 best anti aging treatments.

5. Skin Conditions – Drinking water gives your body fuel to flush the toxins to keep your skin healthy. Without water, your skin is much more susceptible to unsightly skin disorders such as psoriasis and dermatitis.

Further reading: read my previous articles about ways to relieve psoriasis, and useful treatments for eczema.

6. Joint Pain – Your joints are a complex system that take a constant beating throughout the day. This is especially true for joints that bear near-constant loads of weight such as the knees. Water actually forms a cushion of cartilage that relieves tension in the joints and keeps soreness and stiffness at bay.

Further reading: read my article about the best spices and herbs to relieve joint pain and how to use them.

7. Allergies and Asthma – Your body has certain defense mechanisms that work against you when there isn’t enough water. Your nose and throat are restricted to keep as much water in as possible. As a result of this, people with allergies and asthma find it difficult to breath when they are dehydrated.

Further reading: find here top 10 natural treatments for asthma, and the top essential oils for allergy relief.

8. High Cholesterol – Here we see yet another counter-intuitive defense mechanism of dehydration, in which cholesterol levels are raised to keep the cells from losing water. This leads to a spike in cholesterol levels.

Further reading: if you suffer from high cholesterol, read my articles about 10 simple and effective ways to lower cholesterol naturally or get to know this natural substance for lowering cholesterol.

9. Weight Gain – Dehydration is commonly mistaken for as hunger. People don’t realize that their body is asking them for water and they turn to food instead. With a combination of low energy and a low metabolic rate as a result of water deficit, weight gain is a likely consequence of dehydration.

Further reading: find here 12 simple tweaks for weight loss and great health.

10. Digestion Problems – The colon needs water to avoid constipation and maintain healthy bowel movements [5]. Other digestive problems such as ulcers and gastritis have been linked to a lack of water and mineral consumption.

Further reading: read my previous article about the best natural remedies for constipation, and 8 best natural methods to treat digestive problems.

11. Kidney and Bladder Disorders – The lack of water can let toxin and bacteria buildup become an issue. Your kidney and bladder are two organs that are particularly susceptible to infection. It also can cause acute kidney injury, which means your kidneys stop working altogether [6].

Further reading: read my article about 15 common habits that can damage your kidneys.

12. Crystals in Urine – If you have kidney problems or your urine is too concentrated, urinalysis may show up that there are too many crystal substances in your pee. A study on the effects of dehydration on marathon runners found a higher concentration of urinary salts in urinalysis. Urine tests of marathon runners 11 days after racing showed elevated levels of oxalate dihydrate crystals in urine.

Of course one of the most serious consequences of untreated dehydration is death. Blood will begin to stop flowing in sufficient amounts to the organs and a severely dehydrated person will often slip into a coma, experience organ failure and die [7].

How Much Water You Should Drink

Everyone knows the advice of drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water (or fluids) a day which is nearly 2 liters, but your needs really depend on several factors, such as how active you are, your health, your overall mass and the climate you live in, so you will need to modify your water intake depending on these factors.

The importance of water is featured in my e-book about superfoods and how they can improve your health, which is part of my Natural Health Revolution Program. This program will help you to achieve your health, nutrition and weight loss goals. You may also want to use water to flush fat – as simple as it may sound, water could be the answer to your fat storage problems. Get more information in: Fat Flush Water Recipes To Melt Your Fat.

Related articles:

Resources:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dehydration
[2] http://www.truelemon.com/article/670-how-hydration-fights-fatigue
[3] http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-02/uoc-cte021712.php
[4] http://www.acsm.org/docs/current-comments/dehydrationandaging.pdf
[5] http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/water-a-fluid-way-to-manage-constipation
[6] http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/acute-renal-failure-topic-overview
[7] http://www.medicinenet.com/dehydration/page3.htm
[8] NLM. Understanding urine tests.
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3 Responses to See What Happens To Your Body When You Are Dehydrated

  1. Jim says:

    Don’t drink commercial bottled water, it is acidic and the bottles leach BPA into the water. Drink clean alkaline water.

  2. becca says:

    Can you drink sparkling flavored ice water instead of plain water?

    • Jenny says:

      It depends what “flavored” mean. You need to read the product label and see that it’s not loaded with artificial flavorings, sugar or other additives.

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