Water is essential for our body. It is needed by every cell in the body to function properly and is vital for our bodies to process the toxins that we all inhale and eat on a daily basis. An adequate daily intake of fluids is one of the most important prerequisites for well-being and health in general. But you may be wondering what the consequences of dehydration are? What happens in the body when it gets too little water? You can find out in the article!
Dehydration consequences for the brain
When your body dries out, your cells send a signal to your brain telling you that you are thirsty. But dehydration also affects your brain in more surprising ways.
Although the mechanism is not yet fully understood, dehydration has been linked to decreased mood and cognitive performance. A June 2013 review in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that dehydration as low as 2 percent is enough to interfere with performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotricity, and immediate memory.
Lack of fluids can also cause problems in the brain when electrolyte levels are too low. Electrolytes are minerals like potassium and sodium that are involved in transporting signals between cells. If your electrolyte levels are too low, these signals may break down or be interrupted, causing muscle twitching in various parts of the body and even seizures.
Dehydration consequences for the kidneys and urinary system
When you’re dehydrated, your cells send a signal to your hypothalamus, releasing a hormone called vasopressin, known as antidiuretic hormone (ADH). This hormone stimulates the kidneys to hold back fluid so that the body loses as little water as possible. This results in darker, more concentrated urine.
The kidneys are the primary filter for your blood, and without adequate fluids, they cannot remove toxins from the bloodstream and pass them through the urine. Every day, about 209 liters of fluid are cleaned from the blood in our kidneys.
If you’ve been constantly dehydrated for an extended period of time, your kidneys have to work extra hard. This can lead to what is known as acute kidney damage (AKI), a type of kidney injury that puts you at a higher risk of kidney disease.
Dehydration can be a major contributor to kidney stone formation. People who live in warm, dry climates and people who sweat a lot may be at higher risk than others.
Lack of fluids can affect your blood
Your body needs fluids to make blood, and when your fluid levels go down, so does your blood volume. The bloodstream needs enough fluids in the body to maintain adequate blood pressure. Lack of fluids can lead to low blood pressure (hypotension) and cause dizziness or fainting.
In extreme cases, this can lead to an emergency condition known as hypovolemic shock. It is caused by a decrease in the amount of blood circulating, which leads to a sharp drop in blood pressure and the amount of oxygen in the blood. The heart is unable to pump enough blood around the body, which can lead to organ failure.
As the blood thickens, the body increases the heart and respiratory rates to compensate, which essentially puts the body in a state of stress. Then symptoms such as headache, fatigue, eye strain and decreased sleep quality occur because the brain is in a fight-or-flight state.
Effects on your digestive system
Your bowels need adequate hydration to function properly. Water is required for optimal gastrointestinal motility (the movement of waste through your digestive system) and intestinal health. Without regular fluid intake, bowel movements can be hard and difficult to pass. Lack of fluids can also damage the intestinal lining and microbiome, which are important for both your digestion and general health.
Effects of dehydration on the skin
Even though you may not be aware of it, the skin is actually the largest organ in your immune system. The skin acts as a natural barrier between the body and the environment. However, inadequate fluid intake can lead to chapped lips and dry skin. If the natural protective covering of the skin is damaged, pathogens can penetrate and cause inflammation. Therefore: hydrated skin is healthy skin.
How much water to drink a day is healthy?
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, an adult needs between 2 and 3 liters of fluid per day: 2.7 liters for women and 3.6 liters of water for men. An average person covers around 20 percent of their water needs through food, i.e. women should drink around 2 liters per day, men 3 liters.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, young children and older adults have lower water levels and are at higher risk of dehydration. The recommended fluid intake for seniors is 1.7 liters per day.
How much water should children drink per day??
Boys and girls aged 4 to 8 years need 1.1 to 1.3 liters per day
Girls aged 9 to 13 need 1.3 to 1.5 liters per day.
Boys aged 9 to 13 need 1.5 to 1.7 liters per day.