Symptoms of dehydration and how to stay hydrated this summer


June 13, 2017
 
Dehydration occurs when your body doesn't have enough fluids to carry out its normal functions. It is especially dangerous for young children and older adults, but anyone can become dehydrated if they don’t consume enough water.

Sometimes dehydration occurs for simple reasons: You don't drink enough because you're sick or busy, or because you lack access to safe drinking water when you're traveling, hiking or camping.

Everyone’s water needs are different, and some people will be more at risk of dehydration than others, particularly those who:

  • Live in hot climates
  • Exercise vigorously
  • Work or exercise outdoors in hot climates
  • Have a fever - the higher the fever, the greater the risk of dehydration
  • Are experiencing diarrhoea
  • Are suffering from vomiting
  • Are pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Are trying to lose weight

Mild to moderate dehydration can usually be reversed by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration requires immediate medical treatment.

It's generally best to wash your hands with soap and water. Follow these simple steps:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water, either warm or cold
  • Apply soap
  • Lather well by rubbing hands together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers, and under your nails
  • Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds
  • Rinse your hands well with clean water
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel or air dryer

There are many benefits to drinking enough water. To ensure you consume enough to meet your daily requirements to stay hydrated, try some of the following:

  • Increase water intake during hot weather or when you're ill
  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day
  • If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink
  • Make an effort to hydrate before exercise, during exercise and after exercise
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger
  • If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. For example, drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour
  • When socialising drink a glass of water between alcoholic drinks

If you are at risk of dehydration, don’t wait until you notice symptoms before you take remedial action. Actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water.

If you are concerned that you are not drinking enough water, speak with your doctor or a registered dietitian, who will help you determine the amount of water that's right for you.

If you are living or working overseas and require international health insurance, contact Allianz Care for a quote.