Learn how to listen to your body and stay healthy in the heat
The record for the longest amount of time without sleep is 11 days. A person can live for a few weeks without food. Your body can only go about three to four days without water.
Approximately 60 percent of the human body is made of water, making it one of your body’s most crucial needs. That’s why dehydration, the condition that occurs when there is less water coming into the cells of your body than going out, is so serious. If the problem becomes critical, it could even be fatal.
Causes of dehydration
- Heat exposure.
- Vomiting, diarrhea, diabetes and other ailments that result in increased fluid loss or urination.
- Being unable to access or swallow clean, safe drinking water.
What to do if you or someone you know is dehydrated
Each day our bodies discharge water through sweat, water vapor from breathing and urination. Minute amounts of salt go along with it. Losing too much of these elements sends your body out of balance and affects its normal operations.
When a person is sick or vomiting, it can be difficult to administer fluids. It is important to go slow. Taking small sips of water or sucking on ice chips can help someone who is ill get water a little at a time.
It may also be necessary to help the individual cool down. Move the dehydrated person into an air-conditioned area and remove any extra clothing. In the event that air conditioning is not available, look for fans or get into the shade.
Gently lowering the body temperature back to normal range is the goal. You can use a spray bottle with lukewarm water to apply mist or use a wet towel. However, do not use extreme cold such as ice packs or ice cubes. These will make the body work harder to fight off the cold, increasing body temperature instead of lowering it.
Benjamin Franklin once said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. His assertion is certainly true regarding your health. Follow these four tips to avoid becoming dehydrated in the first place.
- Plan ahead. When you know you will be outdoors for a long time on a hot day, don’t count on finding water along the way; bring it with you.
- Monitor the weather. If the weather is forecast to be excessively warm, make arrangements to stay indoors. Exercise inside when the weather is hot and sticky.
- Take care of young and old friends, family and neighbors. Young children and the elderly are exceptionally susceptible to dehydration. Encourage them to drink fluids during the day.
- Don’t stay in the heat too long. Of course, you want to enjoy warm, sunny days, but the fun will quickly end if you become dehydrated. Schedule periodic breaks from the heat to allow your body to cool down in shade or air conditioning.
How to tell if someone is dehydrated
If the symptoms are not severe, you may not know that you are dehydrated. Learning the early signs and seeking treatment are the best ways to prevent an emergency.
- Excessive thirst.
- Heart palpitations.
- Decreased or overly yellow urination.
- Swollen tongue.
- Inability to produce tears.
- Lightheadedness or vertigo that affects standing or walking.
When to get medical attention for dehydration
- Vomiting constantly for more than 24 hours.
- Weakened blood pressure.
- Fever greater than 103 degrees.
- Diarrhea that lasts longer than 48 hours.
- 12 hours or more without any urination.
- Breathing problems.
- Loss of consciousness.
At Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center, you can get emergency room treatment without the emergency room wait. Our trained, caring physicians will administer the right tests to properly diagnose your dehydration and start treatment. Visit a walk-in clinic today to quickly take care of your medical needs so you can get on the road to recovery sooner.
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