05/10/2022

Why it is important to be Hydrated

In recent years, due to record-breaking temperatures, being hydrated is more important than ever.

Being properly hydrated can also improve your mood, skin, digestion, and brain function resulting in making you feel happier and more alert and even helping you look younger!

So next time you reach for a sugary soft drink or coffee instead of water, think again – your body will thank you for making the healthy choice.

What is hydration?

Hydration is the process of maintaining a good balance of fluids in your body based on your physical requirements. If you're an active person, you will need a different balance than someone less active. Why? Your body consists mainly of water that is intermixed throughout your system. Water carries the fluids and nutrients to the cells of your body, making sure they stay replenished, toned, flexible and healthy.

Without proper hydration, those same elements cannot properly feed your body what it needs at a cellular level, and various parts of your system can shut down very rapidly.

This is why people experience headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, etc. This is your body's way of saying, "hydrate me!"

The Importance of Hydration

Hydration is important for the human body for many reasons. Water makes up around 60% of the human body and is essential for all its functions. It helps to regulate body temperature, carries nutrients around the body, and aids in digestion.

Body Temperature regulation

 The most apparent function of water in the body is temperature regulation. Simply put, when you sweat, you lose water. Water is continuously lost through pores via perspiration to regulate body temperature. Keeping well hydrated is critical on hot days when there is a potential risk of heat exhaustion or sunstroke and when you are physically exerting yourself both indoors and outdoors.

Helps during Stress and disease

Any stress on the body, physical, chemical, mental or otherwise, will impact your body functions. Suffering from a chronic disease places a great amount of stress on your body; drinking plenty of water, therefore, is important to help heal one's body.

Oxygen Transport

Autonomous functions such as breathing involve a high amount of your body's water. When you breathe in, water aids the movement of oxygen into the blood and removes carbon dioxide from the blood, which is then exhaled. Without water, carbon dioxide would not be able to enter or leave red blood cells and would build up to lethal levels.

Balancing the blood ph

Water also plays a role in balancing your blood pH by neutralizing acids or bases in the blood and helping to remove unwanted waste compounds by the kidneys.

The kidneys require plenty of water, which is critical to the breakdown and removal of toxins. Most toxins are by-products of cellular waste or enter the body through your food. Without enough water in your body, your kidneys have trouble flushing out toxins.

Increased toxins in the blood will cause more water to exit your cells, dehydrating the cells, and water will increase outside the cells to dilute any toxins present.

The kidneys also play a vital role in regulating and maintaining homeostasis of the body. Your kidneys control what minerals exit the body and which are recycled to be used again. Drinking water eases the amount of work involved to detoxify your body and maintain whole body homeostasis.

Affects your Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure is also greatly affected by your hydration status. Being dehydrated decreases your blood volume, increasing the amount of work needed for your heart to pump blood around the body. Staying well-hydrated decreases the workload placed on your heart.

 

Helps Digestion

Water is very important in order to properly digest food and absorb nutrients. Nutrients are dissolved into water so they can be absorbed by the intestinal lining and distributed throughout your body. Water is also necessary for dissolving water-soluble fibre, increasing the size of your bowel movements and making you regular.

During weight loss, the breakdown and release of fat from fat cells can also release any stored toxins within your fat cells. Fat-soluble toxins are broken down by your liver into water-soluble compounds that can be flushed out of your body. Drinking water and eating well will help your body eliminate toxins and heal any damage the toxins may have caused. Also, drinking plenty of water before meals can help control your appetite and can also increase satiety.

Affects your Skin

The skin is the largest organ of the body and also the organ requiring the most amount of water. Your skin is in constant contact with the external world and thus is being constantly bombarded by toxins and fighting off foreign invaders.

When improperly hydrated, the skin does not receive adequate water to flush toxins from the skin, and the toxins begin to build up and can damage your skin. Providing your skin with plenty of water will keep your skin toxin-free and look youthful. In order to sustain the skin's protective barrier, you need to drink plenty of water. Properly hydrated skin is strong, healthy and youthful.

What is dehydration?

Dehydration can occur when a person does not drink enough fluids or loses too much fluid from sweating, vomiting, or diarrhoea. It can lead to serious health problems such as heat stroke, kidney failure, and seizures. Symptoms of dehydration include thirst, dry mouth, tiredness, dark urine, and decreased urine output.

It is important to drink plenty of fluids during hot weather, when exercising, and when ill. Infants, young children, elderly people, and people with certain medical conditions are at higher risk of dehydration and should take extra care to stay hydrated.

The Benefits of Hydration

There are many benefits to staying hydrated, including improved mental focus and physical performance, reduced fatigue, and healthy skin. Proper hydration is especially important in hot weather and during physical activity.

Dehydration can lead to serious health problems, including heat stroke, kidney stones, and seizures. It is important to drink enough fluids every day and to drink even more if you are sweating excessively or urinating frequently.

The Consequences of Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluids than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don’t replace lost fluids, you will get dehydrated.

Dehydration can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on how much of your body weight is lost through fluids.

Mild dehydration is when you lose between 1 and 2 per cent of your body weight. This can happen if you haven’t had enough to drink and have been sweating a lot — for example, during exercise or in hot weather.

Moderate dehydration is when you lose between 3 and 10 per cent of your body weight. This can happen if you haven’t had enough to drink and have been sweating profusely, for example, during strenuous exercise or in hot weather. You may also experience moderate dehydration if you have diarrhoea or are vomiting.

Severe dehydration is when you lose more than 10 per cent of your body weight. This can happen if you haven’t had enough to drink and have been sweating profusely for a long time, for example, during strenuous exercise in hot weather or as a result of illness such as gastroenteritis with diarrhoea and vomiting.

The Risks of Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when your body does not have as much water and fluids as it needs. You can lose fluids through vomit, diarrhoea, excessive sweating, and urination. You also lose fluid when you breathe.

Severe dehydration can lead to serious complications, such as:
- Heat injury
- Swelling of the brain
- Seizures
- Permanent brain damage
- Kidney failure
- Death

What Causes  Dehydration?

There are many potential causes of dehydration, but they can be broadly divided into two categories: intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic causes are those that originate from within the body, such as vomiting or diarrhoea. Extrinsic causes are those that come from outside the body, such as heat exposure or not drinking enough fluids.

Dehydration can also be caused by a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. For example, if you have diarrhoea and are also exposed to hot weather, you will be at a higher risk of dehydration.

The Symptoms and Signs of Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when your body does not have enough fluids to function properly. It can occur when you are sweating excessively, vomiting, or having diarrhoea. You may also be dehydrated if you are not drinking enough fluids during hot weather or exercise.

The symptoms of dehydration include:
-Dry mouth
-Thirst
-Fatigue
-Headache
-Dizziness
-Confusion

The Treatment of Dehydration

Dehydration is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. If not treated, dehydration can cause severe and potentially life-threatening complications.

The first step in treating dehydration is to replace the fluids that have been lost. This can be done by drinking clear fluids such as water, clear broths, frozen water or ice pops, or sports drinks. Some dehydration patients, however, will require more than just clear fluids.

If you are vomiting, have bloody diarrhoea, or cannot keep down clear fluids, you will need to be treated with intravenous (IV) fluids. IV fluids are liquids that are directly injected into your vein through a needle. IV fluid replacement is the most effective way to treat dehydration because it ensures that the fluid replacement goes directly into your bloodstream.

In some cases, oral rehydration solutions (ORS) may be used instead of IV fluids. ORS are specially formulated to contain the right balance of salt and sugar to help replenish the body’s fluids. ORS can be bought at most pharmacies or made at home using a simple recipe.

Once the body’s fluid levels have been restored, other treatments may be necessary to address the underlying cause of the dehydration. For example, if dehydration is caused by excessive heat exposure, medications may be needed to lower your body temperature. If dehydration is caused by an infection, antibiotics may be necessary to treat the infection.

What is the most effective way to hydrate?

The most effective way to hydrate is by booking a hydration IV drip. This is because IV drips bypass the digestive tract and the nutrients are available straight for the body to use.

Find out more about what IV drips are.

We offer IV drips at home or in our clinic in London, which will provide high levels of hydration that can improve physical and mental health, improve the immune system, and even help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to some research publications.

How to Prevent Dehydration

It is important to prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids during extended periods of exercise or heat exposure. Water is the best fluid to drink to prevent dehydration. Sports drinks containing electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium) can also be helpful for athletes or people who are sweating a lot.

References:

 www.cpft.nhs.uk/PDF/Miscellaneous/Staying%20Hydrated%20Feb%202018.pdf
• www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/hydration
• www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/
• www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-scienceschool/science/water-you-water-and-humanbody?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects
• www.bupa.co.uk/newsroom/ourviews/ten-waterrich-foods-hydration
• www.nhs.uk/conditions/dehydration/
 https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/life/dehydrationelderly.html

Dr Saskia Kloppenburg Vieth Medical doscotr and holistic and complementary care practitioner

Consultant in General Internal Medicine (GMC reg. number: 7541548) and Specialist in Complementary Cancer Care
MBBS, MRCIM (Spain), MSc Homeopathy, MFHom, Master practitioner in Ericksonian Hypnotherapy and Neurolinguistic Programming, MSc in Nutrition

Integrated medicine Doctor and Holistic Medicine Practitioner

INTEGRATED MEDICINE AND HOLISTIC HEALTHCARE CLINIC

Private Complementary and Alternative Healthcare clinic.
Appointments
1st Floor
185 Tower Bridge Road
London,
SE1 2UF
United Kingdom
info@integratedmedicine.co
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