Dehydration- take it as a warning
Dehydration is a condition when your body doesn’t have the required amount of water. Your body won’t be able to function properly without enough water. You may have mild, moderate or severe dehydration that depends upon the amount of fluid lost from the body. In severe dehydration, the cells and organs fail to perform well that can lead to many dangerous complications. One can manage a mild dehydration by his/her own whereas some conditions of critical dehydration need to have medical supervision which is possible only in a hospital.
What are the signs and symptoms of dehydration?
The first signs and symptoms of dehydration are thirst, darker urine, and less urine production. Urine colour is the best sign of the hydration level. A clear urine means your body is well hydrated while darker urine means you are dehydrated. When mild dehydration advances towards moderate dehydration, symptoms include dry mouth, headache, lethargy, dizziness, and weakness in muscles.
In severe dehydration, there is an extreme level of the above symptoms and also some other symptoms are evident like:
• Sunken eyes
• Lack of sweating
• Dry and shrunk skin
• Low blood pressure
• Increased heart rate
Dehydration Symptoms in Children
Dry tongue and mouth
No tears while crying
Fewer wet diapers than usual
Sunken cheeks and eyes
In babies: sunken fontanel (soft spot on head)
What can happen if dehydration is left untreated
If dehydration is not treated, it can become severe. Severe dehydration is an emergency case that needs an immediate medical treatment.
Below are the symptoms of severe dehydration:
Cold hands and feet
Low blood pressure
Rapid heartbeat and breathing
Extremely dry skin
Lack of energy, sleepiness or state of confusion
Decreased urine output and of very dark yellow colour
If severe dehydration is not given treatment immediately, it can result in complications. It can also lead to death as the blood stops circulating. A case of severe dehydration needs hospital treatment where you will be put on a drip to restore the considerable loss of fluids.
How long does it take for your body to rehydrate?
According to a recent study, it only takes about 45 minutes and 600 ml of water to turn a mildly dehydrated body to a fully dehydrated body once again.
But it depends on factors like How dehydrated are you? For how long have you been dehydrated? What are the health problems? etc. The more dehydrated you are, the more time it will take to rehydrate your body. The time to rehydrate your body also depends upon the different bodily processes. For example, if you’re drinking water on an empty stomach then the water will easily pass your bloodstream in about five minutes. But when you drink water while eating, then you’ll have to wait for more as your stomach will first take time to digest the food and then it will take any amount of time from 5 minutes to 120 minutes to rehydrate your body.
Causes of dehydration
Sometimes dehydration can be due to simple reasons like when you don't drink enough water because you are ill or busy. Other times, when you don’t get access to safe potable water during traveling or camping.
Other causes of dehydration are:
• Diarrhoea, vomiting
When you have severe diarrhoea, there is a tremendous water loss and electrolytes also run out of your body in a very short period. With diarrhoea, if there is vomiting, you lose more minerals and fluids.
In general cases of fever, the higher your fever, the more dehydrated your body may become. The problem gets more serious when you have a fever along with diarrhoea and vomiting.
• Excessive sweating
When you do any vigorous activity, you sweat and along with this, you lose fluids. You need to replace these fluids in the process and if you don’t do this, you can become hydrated. Changes in weather conditions like hot and humid weather also increase the amount of sweating and also the amount of fluids you lose.
• Increased urination
This may be due to the condition where diabetes is not diagnosed or it is uncontrollable. Some medication ssuch as diuretics and some other medications to control blood pressure can also result in dehydration because by taking them, you urinate more.
Treatment of dehydration
The most way to treat dehydration is to restore lost fluids and electrolytes. The best method to treat dehydration depends on factors like age, the cause and the severity of dehydration.
To treat dehydration in infants and children, use an over-the-counter oral rehydration solution when the cause of dehydration is diarrhoea, vomiting or fever. TheORS contain water and salts in a specific ratio to restore both fluids and electrolytes in your body. Start giving 5 milliliters in every one to five minutes and increase the amount gradually. For young children, using a syringe is easier while for older children, diluted sports drinks can be given.
In adults with mild to moderate dehydration that is caused by diarrhoea, vomiting or fever, the condition can be improved by drinking more water or other liquids but avoid drinking full-strength fruit juice and cold drinks.
When you exercise during hot or humid weather, cool water is the best way to keep you hydrated. Sports drinks containing electrolytes or a carbohydrate solution are used to keep you well hydrated.
Children and adults who are suffering from severe dehydration should necessarily be treated in an emergency care setting or in a hospital emergency room. The treatment is given where Salts and fluids are delivered through a vein to speed up the recovery process.
Effects and prevention
If you are dehydrated because of any of the causes, the following are the problems that you may experience:
Low blood pressure
Because of sweating, you lose water which can lead to dehydration. So your blood pressure might get low.
As your blood pressure drops, your heart may also start running faster than usual.
In case of dehydration, you start overeating because organs like the liver do not absorb sufficient water to release glycogen which is required to provide energy to the body.
Dehydration is one of the most potent causes of muscle cramps. When there is less amount of water in the body, your blood has done the job of taking fluids from other parts of the body which makes the blood thicker. Therefore, your body is less likely to function properly. Your blood might not be able to reach the muscles on time causing muscle cramps.
Dehydration can result in constipation because when there is less amount of water in the colon to move the stool forward, you get constipated.
If you don’t drink sufficient water, you may feel extremely tired most of the time. This is due to the fact that your blood gets thick and your heart must work more to supply oxygen to all the major organs.
When you are not well hydrated, you urinate less and therefore the minerals in your urine stick together to form stones.
When your skin looks abnormally dry all the time, then the reason might be that you are not drinking enough water. The dry, flaky and cracked skin is one of the most effective ways to find that you are suffering from chronic dehydration. Chronic dehydration is less severe than acute dehydration but if it continues for a long time, it can considerably affect the quality of life.
You can prevent dehydration by drinking more fluids and eat foods that have more water. For eg. fruits and vegetables.
You need to intake more liquids if you are experiencing conditions like:
• Vomiting or diarrhea
When your child has diarrhoea or he is vomiting, start giving additional water or an ORS in the very beginning to prevent dehydration.
• Vigorous exercise
When you are to start a vigorous exercise, then start hydrating yourself a day before. At the time of activity, take fluids at regular breaks and continue them after you are finished.
• Hot or cold weather
Drink more water in hot or humid weather to reduce your body temperature and to restore the fluids you lose while sweating. You also require extra water in winters to withstand moisture loss from dry air.
Older adults usually become dehydrated even with minor ailments like bronchitis, influenza or bladder infections. Therefore, drink extra fluids when you are unwell.
Brain, the most important part of the human body. It is the main centre which makes the work or you can say the activities that a person does during his lifetime is all because of the presence of the brain in the human body. The brain is the central part of the centre of the nervous system situated in all the vertebrates. The brain is located in the head of the person which is also the starting point of the human body. If the start is good then, of course, the system will be the best and same applies in the working of the human body. The location of the brain is such that it is located near the sensory parts like eyes, nose and mouth thus the brain controls blinking of the eyes, breathing and swallowing respectively. These are the actions of different parts of the body but it is centrally controlled by the actions of the brain.
With the details mentioned above, we came to know how the presence of brain in the human body is important for the other parts of the human body. It can be easily concluded that the whole body or even the single part of the body is not capable of working without the permission of the brain. This is what the brain does for the rest of the body parts but there are some actions which are only limited to the brain and he does it the best.
When you study or if you are doing some important work then you need concentration and how do you get that? It is not possible with eyes or mouth or any other parts of the body, it is just performed by the brain. One more important thing that the brain individually does is the memory or to memorize anything. When you prepare for the exams then there are a lot of things that have to remember so the power of memorization has to be maintained and this is maintained by the brain.
Have you imagined or watched a person who gets disturbed or has a nervous breakdown or any condition in which the brain of the person is affected? The person in this situation is not capable to carry out his daily routine in a proper manner and in most of the cases, he requires a help from the other person. It means if the working of the brain is not proper the whole body of the person will not work and in this condition, the brain should be given an extra care.
We discussed concentration and memory above in relation to the brain so in order to boost the concentration and the memory of an individual the brain power needs to be boosted. Brain power is the natural process that occurs in the body of the humans and it seems that no power from outside can have any effect on the same but it is wrong. Though it is the natural process the actions and lifestyle of an individual give a positive or negative effect on the working of the same. There are a lot of ways to improve and boost the brain power. Along with the eating habits, there are many other actions and activities that a person should bring in their daily routine. You should exercise daily or walk early in the morning for the minimum of thirty minutes, a person should try to meditate any time possible, the sleep of the person should be perfect which means it should be for a minimum seven to eight hours in the night and finally the stress should be completely eliminated from the life of the person.
Along with the different activities and actions of daily routine, a good lifestyle and diet should also be followed for the maintenance of the brain power. There are many food items which help and give a positive impact on the growth of the brain power whereas there many other food items which have a negative effect on the growth of the brain. The diet should be such that we do not overeat anything nor do we leave anything forever. The combination of food items in the diet gives the best result.
Now let us be specific about the food items. The food items should be based on the taste of an individual but we should not completely depend on the same. The nutrient value and the advantage of the food should always be calculated and then consumed. Let us know about the list of such food items:
Foods that help to improve the brain power and how are as follows:
• Green and leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli which are rich in nutrients like vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta-carotene. This may help slow cognitive decline.
• Berries are the other option which also improves the memory. They contain a natural pigment known as flavonoids and when consumed every week it delays loss of memory for two-and-a-half years.
• A cup of coffee or tea, early in the morning gives a short-term boost to the concentration and increases the brain power. Though it contains caffeine, a small amount does not affect the same.
• Walnuts are the excellent source of protein and healthy fats and among them, there is one category of walnut which improves the memory power thus giving a boost to the brain.
Food items that do not help to boost the brain power or which are bad for the brain are as follows:
• Increased sugary eatables and drink in the diet has a big negative effect on the memory power. This eatable increases the sugar level which leads to diabetes and also affects the heart of the person which increases the risk of metabolic disorders and memory impairments.
• The refined carbohydrates have a high glycaemic index or GI as they include sugar and highly processed grains. The presence of high GI impairs brain function and memory in both young and adults.
• Aspartame or the artificial sweetener used in the sugar-free products also effects very badly. These sweeteners are made up of phenylalanine, methanol and aspartic acid. The consumption of these items increases the rate of depression and leads to an imbalance of antioxidant status in the brain.
• Consumption of alcohol has the worst effect on the brain power. Alcohol, if consumed in the low quantity just for fun does not have such bad effect but if the alcohol consumption becomes a habit it will destroy everything. People with alcohol consumption habit has the deficiency of vitamin B1 which gives severe damage to the brain, including memory loss, disturbances in eyesight, confusion, and unsteadiness.
In the starting of the articles once we mentioned the word meditation. Meditation also plays an important role to boost the brain power and increase the concentration level along with the memory power. But before we discuss how meditation helps in this condition let us know what meditation is?
Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique, such as focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity, to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. In general, the meaning of meditation is the action or practice of mediating. This action is carried on to give a calm state to the soul and mind of the person.
There are basically two kinds of meditation techniques that are linked to improved memory, cognition, and discernment and they are mindfulness meditation and awareness meditation
Let us now know how meditation is useful to enhance concentration and memory power in an individual?
• Meditation equals mind strength training. In the course of meditation, we are strengthening & exercising our mind, to keep it in incredible shape. When we meditate we work our mental muscle, prolonging the life of our brain, keeping us from suffering memory loss.
• Meditation slows the aging process of an individual and if the age of the person is young then obviously the brain will also be young and active forever.
• Meditation taps into the untapped subconscious memory stores where it harnesses the power of the subconscious mind, thereby retrieving seemingly long forgotten information, healthily & naturally.
• Meditation stimulates memory associated brain regions whereby flexing the memory muscle in meditation, the information storage mechanisms multiply, ensuring that the brain retains the ability to store new memories now and as you age.
• Meditation increases the focus as we recall important details because we actively store them as memory and assign them with significance.
So, in short, it can be said that a person should meditate daily for a healthy mind and soul.
With all the discussion above it can be concluded that the brain should always work properly for the proper working of the body of an individual.