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Saturday, October 28, 2006

drying out

Our bodies are about 2/3 water and the average adult "loses" about 10 cups of water per day in regular activity. Most people replenish through normal eating and drinking. However, this doesn't always work. If you don't replenish, you can easily become dehydrated. The Mayo Clinic website cites some symptoms of mild dehydration as:

-Excessive thirst
-Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
-Dry mouth
-Decreased urine output — fewer than six wet diapers a day for infants and eight hours or more without urination for older children and teens
-Few or no tears when crying
-Muscle weakness
-Headache
-Dizziness or lightheadedness

I've been trying to make sure I get enough water because I have the tendency to become dehydrated. I just forget to drink. Last session, I had a very bad episode in which I felt nauseaous, weak and my head felt as if I had incurred Thor's wrath on a bad day. I had class and I just wanted to come home and cry myself to sleep. It felt like a horrible hangover, only I had not been drinking. Since dehydration plays a large part of feeling hungover, I looked up the symptoms after I got home. They fit. After drinking several large glasses of water, I did feel better. As Willow would say, I had an epiphany and a realization.

However, knowing to keep hydrated and doing it are two separate things. I still forget to drink. I'm learning to recognize the signs that my body gives. Before getting to the list above, I've learned that my lips are usually the first to suffer. They chap. I may not have been out in the sun or wind, yet my lips start to chap. Right now, my lips are chapped. I've been trying to drink more water. I think in a couple of days, they will be back to normal.

It's a bit scary to think how easy it is to become dehydrated. The web says hot humid climates are a danger. However, I personally think a milder dry climate is more dangerous for me. In Florida, in that heat and humidity, I felt thirsty and I would drink a lot of water. Here in California, I don't feel that heat, and I forget to drink. I realize I actually have to make myself drink. It's such a little thing, but with some big effects. I'm trying to get into the habit.

9 comments:

Matt said...

I know damn well I'm hung over b/c I've only had two wet diapers this morning.

Claudia said...

LOL...how did I know you would go there?

Melissa said...

The best decision we made when our fridge died last year was to spend a little extra for the icemaker/water dispenser in the freezer door. I think this is the first year of my adult life where I've been properly hydrated.

Claudia said...

I have bought the 2.5gallon water bottle so it's easy to just refill.

Karmyn R said...

I have found carrying a water bottle around with me helps.

Robin said...

Matt made me lol. For real (note to self: check him out!).

We wish WE had thought of bottled water...can you believe it? Millions of dollars spent on something that spews out of our kitchen sinks (or fridges)...go figure :/.

Hmmmm, maybe that's why I've been dizzy lately....

Claudia said...

Robin, yes, that Matt is a funny guy. That's why I keep him around. ;P

Growing up we used to drink water from the tap...now I can't imagine it...not knowing all the crud in it.

Pamela said...

I was hoping Karmyn would tell you about her dog Zeus.

He has been diagnosed with psychogenic polydipsia

thats when a dog starts drinking lots of water, even though it isn't thirsty.... and drinks... and drinks...

Thought it was funny that you would post about water just now

Claudia said...

OH NO! Poor Zeus! That's so sad...poor dog.