Dehydration is one health issue that we all had suffered from at some point of time or the other. Come summers and it is one of the commonest complaints that we hear from people all around us.
Dehydration is the excessive loss of fluids and salts from the body. In other words, dehydration occurs when the loss of water from the body is higher than the intake. The body loses water through a variety of ways including sweat, excretion, breath, etc. The body’s daily requirement for water depends upon the individual’s body weight. For instance, a person who weighs 100 pounds requires an average of 50 ounces of water on a day. In between 2014-2017, over 4,620 deaths were recorded in India due to the heat wave. With over 4,620 recorded deaths caused by the severe weather condition in the last four years.
Some causes of this condition are-
Diarrhea is a condition that makes the body lose excessive amounts of fluids and salts due to frequent bowel movements. Across the globe, more than 4 million children die every year owing to this disease. Babies and young children are often the softest targets of this disease.
Puking also strips our body of water content and salts that are essential for the optimal functioning of the body.
In elevated blood sugar levels cause the sugar to mix with the urine which causes excessive thirst and frequent urination.
4. Excessive sweat
Sweating excessively is a leading cause of dehydration. This is why dehydration cases shoot up during summers when the heat is scorching.
During the debilitating summers, dehydration takes a toll on the wellbeing of most, if not all. Hence, not only doctors but also the government take measures to create awareness regarding the prevention measures for heat strokes and dehydration issues.
1. Drink a lot of water but make sure it’s purified.
It’s evident that the primary step to prevent dehydration is to keep yourself hydrated. Drink a lot of water and try to carry a handy bottle with you at all times. Keeping a bottle by your side is one of the easiest ways to induce a habit of drinking more water.
However, keep an eye that the water is only from a purified source. Drinking impure water laced with contaminants is the main culprit behind the common epidemics that spread during summers like typhoid, jaundice, diarrhea, etc. Diarrhea single-handedly killed 321 children daily in 2015, according to a WHO report.
Carefully do your research and then choose the best RO water purifier in India. You can either buy water purifier from the store itself or purchase from e-commerce sites. Make sure it is a water purifier which doesn’t strip the water of its essential minerals, naturally present in it. Always prefer RO purified water collected at your home instead of going for packaged bottled mineral water.
2. Eat a lot of fruits with high water content or opt for homemade fruit juices.
Satiate your thirst with fruits that have a high water content like cucumber, melons, watermelons, pomegranates, strawberries, pineapple and peaches. These not only help to hydrate but also give you essential vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients. If consuming whole fruits is not your thing, then you can opt for fruit juices. Toss your choicest fruits in a blender on enjoying the refreshing homemade coolers. Coconut water is another all-time favourite remedy for dehydration, recommended both by doctors and our grandmothers.
3. Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.
Cotton is the fabric to go for in summers. Cotton is a breathable fabric and allows for the absorption of sweat. Prefer lighter hues to dark colours as dark shades like black tend to absorb heat and warm up the body.
4. Sip on electrolytes.
Drink homemade lemonade made with plain water with a squeeze of lemon and a teaspoon of salt and sugar respectively. This would help to replenish your body and compensate for the lost salts. One can also buy ORS solutions or electoral powder, which are easily available in the market.
5. Cut down on smoking and alcohol consumption.
Alcohol aggravates dehydration as it tends to dry up the throat and the stomach. Cigarette also is another diuretic as it dehydrates the body cells and the mouth.
6. Avoid excessive exposure to the sun.
Arm yourself with scarves, hats, shrugs, dupattas or full-sleeved shirts to prevent overexposure to the sun, whenever you step out in the sun for too long. Covering yourself up well can also prevent skin problems like tanning and sunburns.
7. Eat cooling foods.
Include a lot of cooling foods in your regular diet like curd, buttermilk, raita, rasam etc. Also including foods like shikanji, mint, green leafy vegetables, radishes etc. Soaking fennel seeds in water overnight and drinking the strained water the next morning is a wonderful cure for those who tend to get dehydrated easily.
8. Use an app to track your water consumption.
Most of us tend to lag behind the daily required water intake. There are apps that can help us to track on your water intake. Some popular apps that help you reach your goal are Daily water, Hydro coach,Healthify Me, iHydrate to name a few.
Lastly, remember to enjoy the summers to the fullest but do care for your health.