Generally, adults should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water (or fluid) each day. Yet research indicates that many of us, and especially older adults, are chronically dehydrated.
It’s not just our fluid intake (or lack of it) that’s a problem. Heat exposure, overexertion, acute illness, and even certain medications – such as drugs to treat high blood pressure – may increase the risk of dehydration. So, as we head into summer, when hot humid weather can make us even more susceptible to fluid loss, it’s a good time to be aware of the health problems that dehydration can cause.
Drinking more water may not “cure” any of the following issues, but not drinking enough has certainly been shown to make them worse. Check out these five surprising health consequences of being dehydrated:
1. Increased pain. Studies have found that when a person is dehydrated, their sensitivity to pain increases, causing them to perceive more pain. Dehydration is also linked with headaches and muscle aches.
2. Brain fog and fatigue. When you’re not drinking enough water, your brain can’t operate at peak efficiency. A dehydrated brain may lead to irritability, difficulty focusing, depression, and fatigue.
3. Delayed healing. Being dehydrated negatively affects the health and elasticity of your connective tissues and may delay healing for tissues such as the skin or muscles after injury. Additional research has found that being even mildly dehydrated can impair athletic performance, muscular endurance, and recovery.
4. Urine and kidney problems. According to Mayo Clinic, being dehydrated increases the risk of urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and in severe cases, kidney failure.
5. Heat-related illness. If a dehydrated person is exposed to high temperatures, their body may not sweat enough to help regulate their internal temperature. This increases the risk of a dangerous health condition called heat stroke, which can be fatal if left untreated.
Center for Pain Management in Indianapolis wants you to stay well-hydrated this summer – it’s an important part of your pain management plan! So, get in the habit of drinking water throughout the day. And if you need help with chronic pain, please call us today at (317) 706-7246.