If you don’t get enough water, dehydration happens. so the question arrives how do you test for dehydration?
Your body is nearly 60% water. For breathing, digestion, and any basic body function, you need water.
By sweating too much on a hot day or exercising a lot, you can lose water quickly.
Your body also loses water by excessive urination. If you have a fever, vomit, or have diarrhea, you may get dehydrated.
Dehydration may be severe. Luckily, there are several ways to tell if you’re dehydrated. You may have symptoms even with a small loss of water.
Dehydrated by even 1 or 2 percent can cause signs and symptoms. Let’s look at the indicators more closely.
A lot of people are still not aware that they lose water daily and need to replenish it. Sports people, diabetics and burn victims are at most risk for dehydrating.
Here below is the list of some symptoms of dehydration.
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Symptoms of dehydration
This is the first sign. When you have less water, the body has less fluid in the brain and this makes the brain prone to unpleasant issues.
When brain fluid is reduced, the brain pushes on the skull. This causes headaches. Also, dehydrating means less oxygen and blood flow to the brain.
Foggy brain and no focus
The brain is made of 90% water, so when we are dehydrated it will show right away. It also will manifest mood swings and cognitive problems.
Not severe dehydration just reduces short term memory, perception differences, tracking visual and motor, arithmetic capabilities, psychomotor skills of every age group.
Also, it will cause mood changes; confusion, exhaustion, anger, and hyper-energy.
Substantial lack of water damages heart and physical condition. If we have less water than we need, plasma is reduced in volume and the blood is more viscous.
This impairs blood flow and heart rate too. Also, dehydration causes an imbalance of the minerals and thus to hypotension.
A palpitation occurs if we have low potassium and low sugars.
This is another symptom. The body makes less saliva which is antibacterial. That means bacteria grow more and causes bad breath.
The saliva also protects the teeth from cavities or decay and makes a protection layer to clean them from food remains between teeth.
Constipation and digestion issues
Water breaks down food and you get nutrients. If the water breaks down water-soluble vitamins, that is good, like vitamin C and B.
Also, it lubricates the digestive organs and keeps the system clean and flexible. This means good bowels and no constipation.
Substantial lack of water can cause you heart burn and indigestion too.
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If you have a lot of cravings just sip water before this. The body fails to send a message to the brain about thirst, so it just signals it as hunger.
When you need water, it is hard for nutrients or organs (like liver) to work properly, and such organs need water to release glycogen from energy reserves, that is why you crave food.
Commonly there are the sweet cravings due to the body’s problem with glycogen making.
Joint and muscle ache
The joint cartilages are made from 80% water and if we lack a lot of water, the bones grind with each other and cause pain. Low magnesium too can cause pain and cramps in the leg muscles.
The loss of fluids causes the blood volume to decrease and hypertension to happen.
The heart expands more and needs the energy to send to the brain, muscles, skin – they need oxygen and nutrients.
This makes you lethargic and tired. The easiest way to be alert is to drink water.
Dry lips and skin
Dehydrated skin is not so elastic. The skin needs a lot of water to be elastic. Less water intake means less sweating and the body cannot get rid of all toxins through the skin, and remove oil or dirt on the skin.
Also, dehydration means more acne, eczema or psoriasis. Also, dry and chapped lips.
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(Very) dark urine
The kidneys maintain our fluid balance. With water, the urine is clear to yellow. This means we have enough water for toxin removal.
When the urine is darker, the kidneys lack water and cannot keep good blood pressure or mineral balance.
The dark urine has too many toxins as well and that is not good of course. If dehydration becomes chronic, the kidneys will store too many toxins and can create kidney stones.
Tests for dehydration
Here are the top three test or methods how do you test for dehydration? These methods can be used at home with all ages of persons.
Skin Test for dehydration
The skin elasticity or turgor test for dehydration can help you determine if you are dehydrated. To carry out the test:
- Gently pinch the skin with two fingers on your arm or stomach to make it a “tent” shape.
- Let the skin go.
- Check to see if the skin springs back to its normal position in one to three seconds.
- If the skin is slow to return to normal, you might be dehydrated.
Nail capillary refill test for dehydration
It blanches or whitens when your nail bed is pinched. This is because blood is forced out. Blood normally returns in two seconds or less.
If you are dehydrated, it may take longer for the area to return to a pink shade. To carry out the test:
- Hold the testing hand above your heart.
- Press or pinch your nail bed until it turns white.
- Release the pressure.
- Count how many seconds it takes for color to return to your nail bed.
Urine Color test for dehydration
Urine test for dehydration should be compared to the chart to the above. The lower the number, the better the result.
Dark yellow urine is a sure indicator that the individual is dehydrated and that fluid consumption needs to be increased.
The goal is to produce no darker urine than the Urine Color Chart color 3.
The desire to urinate less than twice a day and/or produce urine darker than color 3 in the chart indicates severe dehydration; the individual must start drinking immediately.
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By the way, the color of the urine is a good way to check if you need to drink water. In short: if it’s slightly darker and not fully transparent and clean try drinking a glass of water.
Remember that the color of the urine is a natural and simple way to keep hydration under control and you won’t need an app to remember to drink (based on nothing, it is more like a little game!).
Nature has not expected that you need 8 glass of water/day but it changes the color of your urine little by little and makes you thirsty.
Hope the article how do you test for dehydration? helps you find out the answers to all the queries in your mind. If any further queries, do comment below.