A Few Facts About Chronic Dehydration
Chronic dehydration does not have the serious symptoms of acute dehydration, but it is a condition that can affect anyone who doesn’t drink enough. Hydrating the body is a vital part of living a healthy lifestyle. Not getting enough fluids every day can cause subtle symptoms in the same way poor nutrition leads to an unbalanced diet.
We rarely hear a diagnosis of chronic dehydration, because the symptoms are so common and could be associated with any number of illnesses. If you regularly experience a few of these indicators, though, you may be chronically dehydrated:
- constant fatigue
- lack of energy
- digestive problems, most commonly constipation
- blood pressure is either too high or too low
- stomach ulcers or gastritis
- respiratory trouble, including asthma
- overweight (this may occur because thirst is mistaken for hunger)
- high cholesterol
- urinary problems, including repeated infections
- premature aging
Since chronic dehydration does not appear serious in the same way acute dehydration can, it is usually only noticed when someone begins to pay attention to their daily liquid diet. This sometimes happens for weight loss purposes, but can also be the result of trying to eat healthier, sleep better or generally improve overall lifestyle behavior. Hydration problems can also be discovered because of another chronic illness. When there is no clear cause of sickness or ill health, diet and nutrition can often be the culprit when we just don’t feel right.
We hear all the time how important water is to our healthy existence, and it really is true. Drinking water is one of the most vital parts of living a healthy lifestyle. Take another glance at the list of symptoms above, and you will get a general idea of the body systems that can be affected by the amount of water we consume (or don’t consume, as the case may be). We can easily see that pretty much every body function needs water.
There are other ways to hydrate the body besides drinking water, but not many of them work as well as good old H2O. Water is far and above the best way to keep our bodies afloat. Other drinks that are good hydrators include herbal teas, fruit juice and vegetable juice. Fruits and veggies are excellent sources of hydration, and they exist in nature to provide healthful nutrients to our bodies.
All beverages are not created equal, however. Drinks like coffee and tea contain toxins that use up water when they are removed from the body. Most sodas contain caffeine, a natural diuretic that boosts the body’s desire to urinate, thus depleting much of the water it provides. Alcoholic beverages are also diuretics and excess consumption can quickly lead to alcohol dehydration, also known as a hangover.