May 29, 2014

Dehydration, 14 Forgotten Causes

I cannot call causes of dehydration surprising, probably because I learned a hard lesson early as a teenager and had several doctors give me a list of dehydration causes and how to avoid them. I have long since lost the list, but it helped me survive while in the military and especially basic training.

Because three of the listed causes of dehydration are common to women only, there are only eleven that are common to both sexes. The three for women are serious and I am not trying to minimize them. The first is a woman's monthly period. The second is pregnancy. The third is breastfeeding. During these times, a women's body often requires more fluids. Read thediscussion here and please take heed or talk to your doctor. The following are those common to both sexes.

#1. Diabetes People with diabetes, especially people who don't yet realize they have diabetes, are at increased risk of dehydration. It is important even for those with diabetes to know when blood glucose levels become too high, the body tries to eliminate the excess through increased urine output.

#2. Prescription medications Check the side effects of your prescription and don't forget the check with your pharmacist. Many medications have a diuretic effect on your body. They increase your urine output and your risk of dehydration. Blood pressure medications are known to cause this. Any drug that lists diarrhea or vomiting can also cause dehydration. Always think of increasing your water intake with these medications.

#3. Low-carb diets Many people are on low-carb meal plans, but forget that in the beginning to increase their water intake as when they decrease their carb intake, they lose water weight first causing dehydration.

#4. Stress That stressor, stress causes your adrenal glands to pump out stress hormones which causes the adrenals to become exhausted. The adrenals also produce the hormone aldosterone which helps regulate the body's levels of fluid and electrolytes. Finding ways to reduce stress is important because lower output of aldosterone causes dehydration and low electrolyte levels. Read my blog on diabetes and stress for suggestions to reduce stress.

#5. Irritable bowel syndrome Those that have had irritable bowel syndrome know that it is bad and if not managed causes nausea and chronic diarrhea which leads to dehydration. Talking to your doctor is advised and increasing water intake is needed to prevent dehydration.

#6. Your workout Most people attempt to stay hydrated when they exercise, but some people think this is for endurance athletes. Don't make this mistake if you are just walking or even swimming. Yes, swimming can lead to dehydration.

#7. Aging Unfortunately, as we age, our body's ability to conserve water declines. This is also true that the sensation of needing water declines. This is the reason the elderly are at higher risk for dehydration. In this, remember that not everyone needs the same amount of water, and often the elderly need more than the recommended eight glasses of water of they are active and exercising regularly.

#8. Dietary supplements Don't laugh this off. Just because it may be natural, does not mean that it can't send your bladder into overdrive. Parsley, celery seed dandelion, and watercress have all been known to increase urine output, which can cause dehydration. If you are consuming these or any dietary supplement, talk to your doctor about dehydration.

#9. High altitudes Traveling to high altitudes or living at high altitudes, your body adjusts by speeding up your breathing and increasing your urine output. Both are necessary to a healthy adjustment to the altitude and its oxygen levels; however, the constant urinating and panting causes you to exhale more water vapor than usual. Until you have adjusted to the altitude change, you are at increased risk of dehydration.

#10. Drinking alcohol Do you like to consume alcoholic beverages and do so past the point of becoming dehydrated. Many people do and people with diabetes should limit the amount of alcohol. Alcohol prevents or inhibits an antidiuretic hormone that would normally send some of the fluid you are consuming back into your body and instead sends it to your bladder for elimination.

#11. Eating too few fruits and vegetables The author is really pushing five servings of vegetables and fruit each day to help you stay hydrated. If you do not, then you are supposed to drink extra water. Dehydration may be the result if you don't eat five servings.

With all the above, make sure that you stay hydrated. Drink water until you feel satisfied, not just the recommended eight glasses per day. Some need more and others may need less. As you age, be careful and adjust accordingly. Contrary to what you may have been advised by doctors, when you are in periods of dehydration, consuming salt may be the boost you need. Salt helps hold water in your body and prevent severe dehydration.

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