You already know what thirst is. This can be especially acute after a grueling football game or a day at work without a reliable water bottle. But some symptoms of dehydration are more subtle or even a little weird.
When you’re dehydrated, you lose more fluid than you drink. Fortunately, the first signs of dehydration are mild and disappear after a few sips of a glass of water.
“When you start urinating more frequently, passing dark-yellow urine, headaches, muscle cramps, and even heat to the touch, these are weak signals from your body that you need water,” says Jay Woody. , Doctor of Medical Sciences. Legacy ER & Urgent Care Physician. “Most people can manage these symptoms by drinking water and staying hydrated.”
Women have less water per body weight than men, so it’s important to know that dehydration affects women more. According to Natasha Trentacosta, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute, it’s more common in women than in men.
Here are some of the more unusual signs of dehydration to look out for.
- You’re itching
“The loss of water from the skin cells causes the skin cells to shrink,” says dermatologist Ahmad Chaudhry. In addition to being dry to the touch, the skin becomes itchy and flaky.
- Your breath stinks
When you’re dehydrated, you produce less saliva, says nutritionist Paula Dobrich, RDN, MPH. Saliva’s primary function is to remove bacteria from the mouth, which eventually leads to bad breath.
- Your eyes look different
Dehydration can also affect your eyes, says ophthalmologist Angelique J. Pillar. In addition to dry eyes, you may notice dark circles under the eyes and sunken or sunken eyes.
- Your muscles are tight
Dehydration is a common training error that leads to muscle spasms, contractions, and eventual injury. Although the science is not clear, dehydration is a suspected cause of sports injuries.
- You are constipated
Water is essential for digestion, says Paula Dobrich, RDN, MPH. “When you’re dehydrated, your gut can’t add enough water to your stool,” he says. As a result, you may have difficulty going to the bathroom.”
Also see: 7 Yoga Poses to Help You Get Rid of Constipation
- You like sweets
You may crave sweets when you’re dehydrated. That’s especially true after dehydration and intense exercise, Dobrich says. When energy reserves are depleted, the body signals to eliminate the deficiency, and the fastest way to do this is with sugar. Don’t forget to drink water after exercise.
“Remember, these urges aren’t always bad,” Dobrich says. “In some cases, especially if dehydration is caused by physical activity, drinking an isotonic sports drink containing carbohydrates is a good way to rehydrate.”
- Your workout failed
Exercise performance suffers when your body is not adequately hydrated. But that doesn’t mean you have to drink water and go back there. However, fluid loss should be replaced gradually.
- You are worried
“Dehydration causes blood vessels to constrict and heart rate to increase. They can mimic feelings of anxiety,” says neurologist Santoshi Billakota.
- You are angry
Other symptoms of dehydration include irritability, mental fog, and cognitive slowing. If you’re in a bad mood or your brain seems to be slowing down, you just need to find a drink. “Especially drink something with electrolytes,” says Billakota.
- Your vision will change.
Dehydration can cause eye strain, which can distort your vision, says Pilar. Blurred vision, flies in the eyes or spots in the visual field are common.
“Given the risk of chronic vision and eye disease directly linked to dehydration, it’s important to recognize these symptoms and drink more water,” says Pilar. “If you’ve started drinking water but still have these problems, make an eye appointment.”
- Your skin won’t shrink back.
A rapid hydration test involves pinching the skin of the abdomen in front of the sternum. If it doesn’t come back quickly, you need to hydrate, says Chaudhry. Symptoms of chronic dehydration include wrinkling and wrinkling of the skin.