Thirst is one of the first signs of dehydration – a fact you may have heard before. Your body’s fluid balance is constantly changing. You can become dehydrated very quickly from unexpected events like vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. But you also lose water every day through sweat and urination.
And if you don’t replenish it because you’re busy or simply don’t like the taste of water, you’ll begin to feel the difference very quickly.
Water helps your body in many different ways. It aids digestion, lubricates your joints, and helps balance your chemicals. Water is important in delivering oxygen, regulating body temperature, and more.
Dehydration interrupts your body’s natural processes. Staying hydrated is critical to every organ system, and our bodies have a complex system in place to maintain fluid balance. But illness and human nature can get in the way.
Symptoms of Dehydration
At first, dehydration causes mild, temporary symptoms. Increasing your fluid intake can start to reduce mild symptoms within minutes. Symptoms like:
- Decreased urination
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
Severe hydration is a medical emergency and causes symptoms like:
- Excessive thirst
- Fast heart rate and breathing
- Inability to sweat
- Low blood pressure
- Shriveled skin
- Sunken eyes
- Urine that is dark and concentrated
The color and quality of your urine is an easy way to monitor your hydration. Healthy, well-hydrated urine is a pale, straw yellow. If your urine is dark yellow and cloudy, you may be dehydrated.
Dehydration happens quickly when you’re not drinking enough to replace the water you’re losing. Fortunately, we can rehydrate even faster – it only takes minutes for the fluid to begin to relieve the symptoms of dehydration.
The best choice is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day. Dehydration can lead to serious complications in every body system, including the one that regulates hydration – your urinary system.
4 Reasons Dehydration Is Dangerous for Your Urinary Tract
When the color of your urine or other symptoms let you know you’re dehydrated, it’s a good idea to start replenishing your fluid immediately. Dehydration doesn’t only mean you’re low on water; it also means you’re heading towards some possible complications. Here’s how dehydration affects the urinary tract.
1) Dehydration can lead to a urinary tract infection (UTI)
Dehydration may UTIs . Your body requires adequate fluid to flush bacteria out of the urethra. Bacteria that hang around can irritate the lining of the urethra and bladder, eventually resulting in a UTI. Both men and women can get UTIs, but they are much more common in women. That’s because they have a shorter urethra that is exposed to bacteria from the rectal and vaginal areas
2) Kidney Stones can start to form
Your body needs to produce enough urine to flush excess minerals like calcium, salts, and uric acid out of your kidneys. When they aren’t flushed out efficiently, they can form stones. Dehydration may kidney stones, which can be painful, cause blood in your urine, and produce a frequent urge to urinate.
3) Dehydration can cause bladder inflammation
When you’re dehydrated, your body has less fluid but still has toxins and excess minerals to flush out. Without adequate fluid, your urine becomes more concentrated. The excess minerals in the concentrated urine can irritate the bladder lining, resulting in a painful condition called interstitial cystitis.
4) Dehydration may lead to kidney failure
Your kidneys are an essential part of your urinary system and play a critical role in your overall health. Dehydration is one of many possible factors that can affect kidney health. It can be hard on your kidneys – it slows your metabolism, which can weaken and damage the kidneys.
Dehydration is both a symptom of a health problem and a cause of health problems. Fortunately, our bodies are programmed to give us clear signals when we need to drink more water.
Remember – if you feel thirsty, you’re already mildly dehydrated. It’s easy to get to that point when our lives are so busy. But as long as you listen to what your body is telling you, you can recover just as easily.
Keep a glass or bottle of water handy, and you’ll keep your urinary tract (and the rest of your body) running smoothly.
Don’t suffer from the symptoms of urinary tract problems – schedule an appointment today!