Drinking enough water: Dehydration can cause illness and death

2023-01-25 21:12:19
Drinking enough water: Dehydration can cause illness and death

Without water, an adult can only survive for about three days. This makes perfect sense given that an adult’s body is between 55 and 60 percent water.

Water is important for so many different body functions and organs, including the brain. When the brain is not hydrated, brain cells are not able to work properly.

Dehydration increases neural activity, meaning that the brain is working harder than usual to perform a task. Additionally, dehydration can lead to volume changes in the brain and brain ventricles.

Dehydration in older people is considered a common occurrence. It has been reported that between 17 and 28 percent of older adults are dehydrated; it is also frequently a reason for admission to the hospital. One study showed the issue is diagnosed in 8.9 percent of hospitalized patients over the age of 65.

Dehydration can cause illness and death on its own and can also worsen a variety of medical conditions.

Failure to drink enough water or losing water through fever, sweat, vomiting, and diarrhea can cause dehydration. Some medications, such as diuretics, can also cause dehydration by increasing urination—so can caffeine and alcohol consumption.

Getting dehydrated is easier than you’d think. Just a 1.5 percent decrease in body weight (e.g. 2.25 pounds for an adult weighing 150 pounds) due to inadequate water consumption or water loss can result in mild dehydration. A lack of adequate water in the body’s cells and blood vessels can cause an assortment of unpleasant symptoms including dizziness, headache, tiredness, dry mouth, and constipation.

Hydrating for a Healthy Brain

Although dehydration can cause a decline in cognitive performance, depression, and anxiety, proper hydration can help improve and may even reverse these conditions.

According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, men should consume about 3.7 liters (125 ounces) daily, and women should consume 2.7 liters (91 ounces). Keep in mind that about 80 percent of total water intake comes from drinking water and other beverages—the other 20 percent comes from the food we eat.

The total amount of fluid needed to stay hydrated may need to be modified based on exercise level, hot or humid weather, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, pregnancy, and breastfeeding.

Not feeling thirsty and producing colorless or light yellow urine are indicators of adequate hydration.

Source: The Epoch Times


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