Have you had enough to drink today? Are you feeling sluggish, lightheaded or have a headache? Are you struggling with constipation? If so, you may be dehydrated.
Your body needs adequate fluids to carry out normal functions. So, how much water should we drink every day? This is a topic of debate. According to the Institute of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic, a good rule of thumb is 9 cups of fluid daily for women. Caffeine robs you of hydration because it can cause you to lose fluids, so your morning coffee won’t count! Keep your fluid intake simple with water, flavored water, or decaffeinated tea. Remember that you may require more than 9 cups with illness or strenuous exercise.
Dehydration happens when you lose more fluids than you are drinking. You probably already know the most basic way to tell if you’re drinking enough: Your urine will be light or clear in color. Don’t trust your thirst as a sign—it’s usually not a good indicator until you’re really dehydrated, and it’s especially not reliable in young children or the elderly.
Rather, says the Mayo Clinic, look for these signs of dehydration:
After not drinking enough fluids, diarrhea and vomiting are the most common causes of dehydration. Fever also causes dehydration, especially high fever. Excessive sweating and increased urination can also put you at risk. Living higher than 8,000 feet in elevation can also make you more susceptible to dehydration.
Left unchecked, dehydration can lead to serious consequences, including low blood volume and a drop in blood pressure, what experts call hypovolemic shock. Dehydration can also lead to kidney failure, seizures due to electrolyte imbalance, and even coma or death. In severe cases, it’s possible to lose large amounts of fluids and electrolytes in a very short time. Infants, young children and the elderly are more at risk than others for the effects of dehydration.
Kate Middleton put the spotlight on a rare and risky form of severe nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: Hyperemesis Gravidarum. While 90% of pregnant women experience morning sickness, which can cause vomiting, only 2% experience HG, which is so severe medical intervention is required.
Champions for Change: You’re Invited! Become a champion for change in maternal health--attend the Champion for Change 2018 Summit.
Gain a Breast Pump & Supplies under the ACA Breast pumps are available for many expectant moms under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through mom's health insurance company. Here's how to ask about what benefits may be available to you.
PregSource Asks Pregnant Moms to Share Pregnancy Experiences PregSource is a "crowd-sourcing" website where pregnant women share their experiences with researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). You're invited to participate!
Avoid these foods and eating habits during pregnancy What to eat, and what to avoid, during pregnancy. These lists will ensure you know just what you need during pregnancy.