Excessive Sweating And Dehydration
With up to 75% of our body weight consisting of water, it can sometimes be difficult to fathom the idea of dehydration. Most often when people hear about dehydration, their focus turns to Third World countries without running water. The fact of the matter is, it’s just as serious here in North America, and many people don’t realize how easily it occurs, especially for excessive sweaters.
Dehydration is what happens when the amount of water leaving the body is larger than what we are physically putting in. The routine ways in which we can lose the important water in our system are when we sweat or eliminate, or as humidified air escaping our body.
One of the most significant reasons for dehydration is sweating, which is how the body cools itself down. Some situations when this cooling down process occurs could be during hot weather, in areas with excess heating, or sweating due to physical activity. Since sweat is released when we partake in physical activity, keeping yourself healthy and fit requires that you drink enough water both before and after exercise, and possibly during as well.
With a bit of variance with weather conditions, a quick or brisk walk of about thirty minutes around the block or through the park can result in your body generating up to sixteen ounces of sweat. This is the equivalent of about one pound.
If you’re not hydrating your system enough, signs indicating possible dehydration are:
* Excessive thirst or feeling you can’t drink enough
* Decreased output of bodily fluids in an attempt to conserve water.
In this case urine will be more yellow in color due to its concentration.
* Continual dry mouth resulting from decreased salivation
* Dry eyes as the body attempts to prohibit the creation of tears
* Significant decrease in sweat levels
* Muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting
* Light-headedness, confusion and weakening
Consult a physician when a dehydrated adult presents the following signs in addition to those mentioned above:
* Increased and/or continual vomiting for a period of 24 hours
* High fever over 101°F which isn’t relieved with acetaminophen or ibuprophen
* Diarrhea lasting longer than 2 days
Transportation to a hospital emergency room is recommended if any of the following occur:
* Fever over 103°F
* Lethargy, headache or seizure
* Chest and/or stomach pain
* Inability to urinate over a period of twelve hours
* Difficulty breathing
* Fainting or unconsciousness
When dealing with possible dehydration in children, in addition to the symptoms outlined above you want to watch for:
* Sunken eyes
* Sunken fontanel (soft spot) on babies
* Sticky or dry mouth or tongue
A visit to the doctor is recommended if any of the following occur:
* Blood in stool
* Pain in the abdomen
* Vomiting for more than 24 hours, or if vomit is green in color consistently.
* Less urination than usual
Transportation of the child to a hospital emergency room is recommended if any of the following occur:
* Your child becomes lethargic
* You can’t reach your family physician
The simple practice of drinking enough water both during physical activity and throughout a normal day is enough to prevent dehydration in both adults and children. To ensure everyone receives the appropriate amounts, you may want to consider charts for at home, as well as personal water bottles for each member of your family when outside enjoying some physical activity. Remaining alert to the signs of dehydration is especially important for people who tend to sweat excessively!
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