8 Early Signs & Symptoms of Dehydration


People often focus on healthy lifestyle. Spending thousands on healthy eating, gym supplements and what not. Yet, we all fail to focus on the most important nutrition in our life; water. It is free, contains zero calories and almost always readily available. It is essential for digestion, transportation, regulation of body temperature. However, we usually do not drink sufficient amount of water. And when your body does not get what it wants, it will start giving you signs. So here are 10 early signs and symptoms of dehydration you should know about

1. Dry mouth and thirst

As obvious as it sounds, the first symptom of dehydration is thirst. When your body starts lacking water, it triggers sense of thirst to remind you to drink water. The mouth gets dry, and your breath starts to smell bad due to reduced salivation.

Ever noticed how your mouth is dry and your breath is stinky with a sudden urge to drink water when you wake up in the morning? That is because your body is deprived of water for 6 – 8 hours of sleep and it tells you this as soon as you wake up.

2. Decreased and dark colored urination

If you pee multiple times a day, it means you drink sufficient water so your body can get rid of extra amount. The lighter the color, the more dilute it is. Perhaps one of the significant sign of dehydration is reduced urine output and dark colored urine. If that the case, you better start drinking more water.

3. Lethargy

Due to less water in the body, the blood pressure decreases, the oxygen transport is reduced and your body is unable to carry metabolism efficiently. This leads to reduced energy, fatigue and make you feel tired and sleepy. Try increasing your water intake and you will be surprised how more energetic you are going to feel.

4. Dry skin

When the body starts to lack water, it will show this in the largest organ of the body; the skin. A dry skin is a diagnosis of dehydration. There is a simple pinch test; pinch and pull the skin at the back of your hands. Upon release, if the ski goes back quickly, you are good to go. If the skin retracts slowly, this shows you are dehydrated.

5. Muscle and joint pain

Further lack of water will make muscles stiff and you will start getting cramps. Friction within joints increases, which leads to musculojoint pain.

6. Reduced sweating

If you feel hot and are unable to sweat, this is a huge indication of dehydration. Sweating helps reduce body temperature by latent heat of vaporization. This is a major system by which the body is enabled to prevent hyperthermia (increased body temperature). If you are dehydrated, the body will avoid sweating to conserve the essential water in the body. This can have devastating effect. It may even lead to heat stroke.

7. Increased heart rate

In severe dehydration, the blood plasma volume decreases, to maintain the proper blood flow throughout the body, the heart starts to beat faster (tachycardia). If you ever feel your heart rate is going up without any obvious reason, it might be due to dehydration.

8. Loss of focus

In extreme dehydration, the brain function deteriorates due to imbalance of ions (solute solvent balance). First, you start to notice decreased concentration followed by decreased focus and ultimately loss of consciousness.

Water is inarguably the most important nutrition in our life. So, make sure you consume sufficient amount of water throughout the day. If you fail to do so, listen to what your body is telling you and make it right.