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Dehydration: Three “Who Knew?” Causes You May Not Have Considered

Feeling parched?

It may not have to do with the summer heat or your vigorous workout, although those are definite dehydrators if you don’t replenish your fluids sufficiently. Sweating is a simple sign. And thirst is how your brain tells you it’s time for a fill up.

We all know how important it is to get plenty of water to allow our bodies to function at their full capacity, but there are other less obvious causes of dehydration you may not have considered.  In fact, you may not even realize you’re dehydrated until your body starts to break down (we’ll get to these signs later). Your best bet is to drink steadily throughout the day, more so if you fall into one of these categories below. Read on and drink up.  

Medications Are Messing With You

There are countless meds found on drugstore shelves and doled out by doctors, filling American’s medicine cabinets with more pills than we can swallow (so to speak). Many of these medications have a long list of potential side effects; so many you wonder if the benefit of solving one health issue is outweighed by the many side effects you’ll also need to cure.  One side effect that seems far less serious and is often overlooked is dehydration, but it is important and should never be neglected.

Why would medication cause dehydration? Should you be worried?

Worry? No, but be aware. When taking a new medication for any reason, it’s always important to talk with your doctor and/or pharmacist about side effects, carefully read the label, and follow the instructions. Many medications have a diuretic effect. Some interact with other meds causing excessive thirst, diarrhea, and other dehydrating outcomes. Even if you don’t notice anything off, err on the side of caution and add more water to your daily consumption. Unless instructed otherwise, it will keep your body healthy and hydrated.

“Aunt Flo”

Men can sit this one out, but it can be useful to know the following to share with a family member, friend, partner, or anyone else who gets her monthly visit from “Aunt Flo.” Just be sure the relationship is one where such suggestions would be appreciated.

When women are menstruating, more than just blood leaves the body. This monthly cycle also sheds water, and due to the changes in the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the system, the balance can be off, causing dehydration. As if cramps and mood swings weren’t bad enough. Get a head start and up water intake a few days prior to your period so you’re already ahead of the game.

Blame It On The Alcohol

Do you like piña coladas? Sipping those or other fruity concoctions poolside seems refreshing, but all that liquor is actually dehydrating the body rather than replenishing it. Seems hard to believe when your drink goes down so deliciously, but it’s easy to forget how many trips to the “loo” one takes while “day drinking.” Of course, any sort of alcohol at any time of day or night has similar effects, leaving the body begging for something with 0% ABV.

Can you still have fun with friends without risking dehydration?

Don’t give up your “wine-down Wednesdays.”  Instead, drink responsibly, and for every alcoholic beverage, drink at least one full glass of water. Not only will you stay hydrated, you may also have less room for another round, effectively drinking less pinot in the process.

Signs Of Dehydration

Some signs are subtle or not even something you’d think about right off the bat, while others are apparent, causing you to run to the nearest water fountain or refill your water bottle. The rest can be dangerous, so it’s vital to be vigilant. Be aware of your body, its reactions, and these symptoms* below that may mean it’s time for a hit of H2O.

  • Thirst/Dry Mouth
  • Insufficient Urine Output
  • Dark Yellow Urine
  • Dry, Cool Skin
  • Headache
  • Cramping
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Sleepiness
  • Fainting
  • Eyes Sunken In

If you experience any of these symptoms of dehydration and drinking more water doesn’t help quickly resolve them, contact your local vybe urgent care for an evaluation. Otherwise, remember to drink plenty of fluids before any signs set in. A well-hydrated body always fares better. So, filler up and feel great!