Updated: Dec 11, 2019
Do you ever make it to the end of your day and realize that the only thing you've had to drink before racing out the door 12 hours earlier was a cup of coffee?
Or maybe you've done things a bit better and tossed back a cold beer with your workmates over dinner?
Perhaps you’ve decided to avoid your water bottle so you could skip a few time-stealing bathroom visits during your workday?
I’m guilty of all three of these easy offenses. Not drinking enough water especially for prolonged periods of time can create serious health problems and dehydration.
Over the years, because of the nature of my work as a field engineer, not drinking enough water has happened more times than I'd like to admit.
Here are some of the symptoms I experienced due to dehydration:
Background headache that crept up who knows when
Unreasonable mood (when my default is annoyingly easygoing)
Prolonged periods without using the bathroom
Heartburn so pre-stomach it could be called ‘throat burn’
Parchment skin with indented place holders for my tight socks and sleeve cuffs
A crushing urge to swallow my shower water, toothpaste, actually anything fluid-like.
While these symptoms were severe and cookie-cutter for someone who is dehydrated it didn’t start our so obvious. There is a vast range of symptoms one can suffer from when dehydrated. Sneaky things, that easily get passed off as something else.
Before I reached a severe stage my symptoms started off as:
- Runny eyes and a stuffy nose - oh great, leave it to me to develop allergies in my 30's! I guess Sudafed's on the grocery list from now on.
- Too many visits to the toilet - crap on a stick, how the heck did I get another UTI so soon?
- Bring your sore throat to work days - did I catch the office cold, for the third time in 3 months? Nobody's going to believe me. I should just go in to work anyways, I can’t fall even more behind schedule.
Any of this sound a tad familiar? I had these symptoms for some time and At no point did my doctor, my boss, or anybody ask me to tell them about my hydration behaviours?
According to the hydration experts over at the European Hydration Institute chronic dehydration can increase the risk of infection.
Why? Because... histamines. Not getting enough water actually raises your histamine levels, which suppresses your body's immune system, leaving you wide open to get sick.
If you’ve nodded along to any of my story, you might need to revisit your hydration practices.
For more information on hydration, go check out the wealth of info at the European Hydration Institute, and go have a chat with your doctor about symptoms you might be medicating for unnecessarily.
Stay HYDRATED my friends!