“You need to drink water to avoid dehydration!” You may have heard this phrase on extremely hot days, right? But, after all, how do you know that the body needs more liquid? What happens to the body in this “dehydration” condition?
➡️The main “thermometer” is urine, which needs to be clear/clear to indicate that water intake is adequate. “If the person is taking longer than usual to feel the urge to pee, it is also a sign that they need to drink more fluids”, explains Christian Morinaga, emergency care manager at Hospital Sírio-Libanês (SP).
➡️No matter how scary the situation seems, It is very difficult for a healthy adult, who is not taking medication (such as antidiuretics or blood pressure regulators), to become dehydrated. “It’s not clinically relevant”, says Carlos Eduardo Pompilio, doctor at Hospital das Clínicas (SP). Unless he is in a situation of fluid deprivation (like in a desert), he will feel thirsty, drink water and solve the problem.
➡️The biggest concern is with the “extremes of age”, says the expert: children and the elderly, who may not express the need to drink fluids. There are two groups that can develop more serious conditions. Understand more below.
1- How many liters of water to drink per day?
You need to stay hydrated to:
- regulate body temperature;
- improve blood circulation;
- protect and fuel cells;
- help with metabolism;
- moisturize the skin;
- improve the functioning of the intestine and kidneys;
- detoxify the organism.
2- In healthy adults, what are the symptoms of dehydration?
As stated at the beginning of the report, the main manifestation of a lack of fluids in the body is darkening of urine.
“If the person is ‘skipping a pee’ that they would normally do or urinating in a small volume, it is a sign that their water intake is low”, says Pompilio.
If, however, she does not increase her fluid consumption, she may feel more drowsy and even an increase in heart rate, as the heat causes blood vessels to dilate. “This leads to a drop in blood pressure, and the heart tries to compensate [batendo mais rapidamente]”, says Morinaga, from Sírio-Libanês.
The most expected, explain the doctors interviewed by the g1is that healthy adults notice these signs, feel thirsty, drink water and resolve mild dehydration.
The protocol is different for those with heart problems (the heart may be overloaded), kidney (the organ’s filtering capacity is compromised) and pulmonary (blood oxygenation is impaired). In these cases, you need to seek advice from a specialist.
➡️And attention: When someone presents symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting (due to food poisoning, for example), there may be a loss not only of water, but of electrolytes (salts). Isotonic drinks (like those consumed by athletes) or homemade serum can help improve the condition. If the patient is unable to drink anything, they should go to the emergency room to receive intravenous hydration, if necessary.
3- What about children and the elderly? Why is dehydration more of a concern?
Endocrinologist Ricardo Barroso, director of the Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabology Regional São Paulo – SBEM-SP, explains why dehydration is more worrying among children and the elderly. See the infographic below, with the symptoms: