The Importance of Hydration

I’m sure we have all heard the old adage “Water, water everywhere. But not a drop to drink”. Luckily, most of us have access to good old fashioned H2O whenever we please however, we don’t always remember to take the time to stay completely hydrated.

With summer in full swing, the temperatures are on the rise. With the increase in temperature, the risk of dehydration is also a real problem. Did you know water makes up more than half of your body weight? Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. Our bodies depend on water for survival tasks such as maintaining temperature and lubricating joints.  Over time the water is lost, and if we don’t replace the lost volume, it can result in a great deal of illnesses and issues, especially for the senior community. There are many reasons it is important for seniors to stay atop the hydration list. Here are just a short few:

-Older people are more likely to have certain medical problems that can cause dehydration such as influenza, digestive problems and high blood sugar.

-Many seniors take medications with diuretic effects for high blood pressure, heart disease, or kidney and liver problems.

-As we get older, our kidneys start to decline and become less sensitive to the anti-diuretic hormone in our bodies  This hormone helps conserve the water in our bodies by reducing the loss of water in our urine.

-The thirst response mechanism in our brains decline as we age.  Due to this, seniors aren’t able to accurately determine their level of dehydration because of this decline.

How do I know if I’m dehydrated?

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Little or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • No tears when crying

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