In the last post I alluded to the fact that one side effect of dehydration is poor concentration and learning. There are many other signs of dehydration that you should be looking for. And remember, once you feel thirsty…you are already dehydrated. So keep the “water tanks” full and drink throughout the day.
(1) Feeling tired for no good reason – Now there are lots of reasons for fatigue, and if you are constantly tired see your doctor, but one reason may simply be not enough water. Water is the main source of energy formation in the body.
(2) Feeling flushed – if your brain is requiring water, but cannot draw sufficient amounts from the general circulation to meet the demands, then it will cause increased dilation of the vessels in your head and neck. If you see someone with a red nose and flushed face – often seen in alcoholics due to significant dehydration – then be a pal and give them some water!
(3) Feeling irritable and unreasonably short-tempered – give irritable people a couple of glasses of water and you will see them calm down. Next time you’re at a restaurant and the waiter/waitress is less than friendly ask for an extra water and have them drink it. You could also carry extra bottles of water to share with your friends who also happen to be Minnesota Vikings fans. (just kidding)
(4) Feeling anxious – anxiety is a perceptive way in which the frontal lobes of the brain (your executive brain) can reflect the need for increased hydration.
(5) Feeling depressed – this is mostly due to advanced phases of chronic dehydration. The body can’t keep up with the toxic metabolic wastes that are piling up and alters some of the amino acid levels in your body such as tryptophan and tyrosine. These are vital for neurotransmitter precursors and can alter mood and behavior.
(6) Headaches or feeling “heavy headed” – this could be a sign again that the brain is not able to gain as much water from general circulation as required. Think about the brain and circulatory system as a machine that runs hot and requires a very intricate water-cooling system…that’s your brain.
(7) Disturbed sleep – I know this may come as a shock to many of you, but in the majority of cases, sleep disturbances are not due to an Ambien or Lunesta deficiency. We will get into a lot of sleep hygiene tips when we get to that point of the Magnificent Seven, but for this discussion drink more water!
Other Signs / Symptoms of Chronic Dehydration
- anger and quick temper
- unreasonable impatience
- very short attention span
- shortness of breath in an otherwise healthy person without lung disease or infection
- cravings for soda, coffee, teas and alcoholic beverages
- dreaming of oceans, rivers, or other bodies of water
The list is pretty much endless. Give yourself 30 days of adequate water consumption and grade your list of symptom improvement. Then come back to this post and share in the comments below what symptoms were improved in your life, just by starting to drink right.