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Dealing with dehydration

WT24 Desk

One of the most important things, of course, is to make sure that you keep yourself adequately hydrated.

This doesn’t just mean guzzling water when you feel thirsty. This is a common mistake that many people make. Instead of reaching out for that glass of water when you feel thirsty, make it a habit to keep sipping on water throughout the day. Dehydration is often a cause for fatigue, hence it is essential that you drink enough water. Put simply, dehydration takes place when your body loses fluids more than it takes fluids inside.

When the body loses more water than it should, dehydration sets in. According to Dr Parul R Sheth, a health consultant specializing in reproductive biology, staying outdoors for long periods of time without drinking enough water is a recipe for disaster. “People should drink plenty of water and apply cold compresses if they suffer from sunburn. Even diarrhoea and food poisoning cause dehydration because of excessive loss of electrolytes. Keep sipping on oral rehydration solution (ORS) to supplement the loss of electrolytes.”

Symptoms of dehydration

– Feeling dizzy or weak

– An urgent need to drink water

– Dry mouth and palpitations

– Lethargy

– Fainting spells

Treatment

Unless extremely severe, in which case it is imperative to visit your doctor, most dehydration cases can be treated at home. The first thing to do is to ensure that the person gets enough fluids.

– Keep sipping on water or drinks that contain electrolytes. Sometimes, even sucking on ice cubes helps.

– Stay indoors as much as possible and wear loose cotton clothes that allow your skin to breathe.

– Use a wet towel on the face, arms and torso to keep the body cool. Alternatively, you could also keep spraying water on the body.

– Eat citrus fruits since their fluid content is higher than other fruits.

Preventing dehydration

Nutritionist Karishma Chawla says, “Thirst is the last indicator of dehydration. Hence, consume water or fluids throughout the day and include cold beverages like lime water, coconut water, iced tea, cold coffee, buttermilk, whey protein shakes, cold soups, cold salads and low fat curd. Eat a good amount of fruits like melons and citrus fruits to maintain hydration.” If you’re going to spend the day outdoors, ensure that you carry water with you. Avoid excessive alcohol intake since alcohol hikes water loss and lowers your ability to realize that your body is getting dehydrated, according to The Times Of India.

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