The human body needs water to maintain enough blood and other fluids to function properly. On dehydration, not only do the fluids leave the body, but also the electrolytes (mineral salt), which is necessary for proper cell function of the body.
One should drink at least 8 to 10 glasses a day to prevent dehydration.
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Symptoms of early or mild dehydration includes flushed face, extreme thirst, dry or warm skin, small amounts of dark, yellow urine, dizziness, weakness, cramping in the arms and legs and headache.
In case of moderate to severe dehydration, symptoms include low blood pressure, fainting, convulsions, a bloated stomach, sunken eyes, lack of skin elasticity and rapid and deep breathing.
Although anyone can become dehydrated, those who become dehydrated the most easily are babies less than 1 year old, old aged people, anyone who has a fever and people work in hot weather.
On hotter days, take plenty of breaks from your daily activities to get in the shade and drink plenty of fluids.
Try to avoid the sun in the middle of the day or at noon.
If there is mild dehydration, one needs to drink enough liquid to replace the fluids lost. Also, the electrolytes need to be replaced.
Drinking sips of water slowly, along with eating a balanced diet, high in salt, will replace fluids and salts lost. Fluids and electrolytes can be replaced by drinking oral rehydration solutions (ORS).
Do exercise in the morning or early evening when it is cooler.
Don’t use thirst as an indicator for staying hydrated. Drink water and fresh fruits juices, rich in Vitamin C, at regular intervals on hotter days.
Wear a hat to shade your head.
Apply sunscreen lotions to prevent burning – a sunburn prevents your body from cooling down.
One should wear thin, light clothing like cotton clothes that allows your body to stay cool and prevent you from dehydration.
Avoid taking alcohol and caffeinated beverages such as coffee and soft drinks as these aggravate the effects of dehydration.
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