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Dehydration: 7 Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

What is Dehydration?

Thirst is not always the right measure of how much your body needs water. Dehydration occurs when your body doesn’t have enough water or fluids to function normally. It can lead to complicated situations such as seizures, blood clots, adverse effects on energy, mood, and athletic performance. Here are 7 signs of dehydration you should look out for:

Dehydrated Skin

Oil helps lock in the layer of moisture that helps keep our skin soft and supple. If your skin is constantly dry, dehydration could be a likely cause.

Foul Breath

Your saliva contains natural anti-bacterial properties that fight off bad breath (or Halitosis). You don’t produce enough saliva when you’re dehydrated. This enables bacteria to thrive and can lead to the development of foul breath. Maintain oral hygiene and drink plenty of fluids to avoid this.

Craving for Food

Your organs require water to release glycogen - a fuel reserve that helps your body to continue functioning at optimal levels. When you’re dehydrated you lose sodium from your body. To balance that, you crave for salty foods and may experience a sensation of hunger.

Muscle Cramps

If your muscle tissues are dehydrated, it is likely you will experience cramps while exercising or engaging in any strenuous physical activity. Low electrolyte levels, such as that of potassium and sodium, can lead to muscle cramps as well.


Your brain is securely placed inside a sac of fluid that protects it from bumps and trauma. When you’re dehydrated, the fluid sac remains empty, making the brain susceptible to bumps and jerks into your skull, causing headaches.


If you don’t keep your body hydrated enough, the large intestine is compelled to use up all the available water from your food waste and can result in dryness in your intestinal tract, thereby causing constipation.


If you’re dehydrated, you’re likely to experience “lightheadedness” which is caused due to a heightened shift in blood pressure. This is caused due to low levels of water in your intravascular space, making the body compensate by increasing heart rate and constricting the blood vessels in order to maintain blood pressure and flow to the organs.

The Takeaway on Dehydration

Dehydration can lead to complicated situations and general discomfort in bodily functions. Ensure you drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day, keep your sodium levels in check, avoid the sun, and stay away from caffeine as much as you can.

Medanta Medical Team
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