To Your Health: Dehydration

Aug 15, 2018

Runners sometimes joke about the strangest places they have gotten a drink when putting in long, hot miles ---from a stranger’s garden hose, a spigot on a golf course---but dehydration is no laughing matter. It’s also not something to cry about...because people who are dehydrated can’t produce tears.

According to The Mayo Clinic, dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn't have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. In the winter, people can get dehydrated by illness; in the summer, they are more likely to become dehydrated by sweating. Changes in elevation and certain medications can also lead to dehydration.

Dehydration can be treated by consuming liquids, especially electrolyte solutions. Severe dehydration can lead to seizures, kidney problems and low blood volume shock and requires emergency medical treatment. Dehydration can be prevented by consuming an adequate amount of liquid, especially during exercise.

However, a quick google search of the word “dehydration” will bring up the statistic that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated because they don’t drink the recommended eight glasses of water  a day. Further research did not lead to a specific source for this statistic...various news organizations just reported it as coming from “a recent study.” So, listen to your body. There isn’t a magic number of ounces to consume every day. You just need to put back in a little more liquid than you use or lose.

Resources:
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dehydration-surprising-causes_us_5935b0e1e4b0099e7fae4c2c
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/symptoms-causes/syc-20354086
https://nutritionovereasy.com/2017/06/fact-check-three-quarters-of-americans-are-chronically-dehydrated/
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/water-works-2/