Mommy's Favorite Things: Common Symptoms of Dehydration

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Common Symptoms of Dehydration

If you’re like most people, you’ve been told since childhood to drink plenty of water; unfortunately, it’s common for most people to not include drinking water in their daily to-do-lists. Instead, they have several cups of coffee or soda throughout the day, with the assumption that they are still getting sufficient amounts of fluid. Unfortunately, when you don’t drink enough water to replenish the water your body loses through sweating, urination, and breathing, your body may become dehydrated. It’s especially important to make sure children and elderly adults are drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. The ideal way to know if your body is properly hydrated is to pay attention to what it’s telling you, such as drinking water when you feel thirsty. Here are some of the most common signs and of symptoms dehydration to be aware of.

Dry Mouth

One of the first symptoms of dehydration is a dry mouth, which means your body is telling you that it needs more water. Without enough water, your body cannot make sufficient saliva, which can lead to not only dehydration but other things as well, including bad breath. So, if your mouth is feeling dry, instead of grabbing a piece of gum or mouth rinse, drink a glass of water.

Urine Problems

Every organ in your body relies on having sufficient amounts of water in order to function properly, but one of the vital reasons to stay hydrated is your renal system. Water is critical for helping your kidneys remove waste from your blood via urination, so if the kidneys aren’t getting the appropriate amount of water necessary to carry the waste from your body, it can cause a variety of serious health problems, such as kidney stones. The more water you drink, the clearer your urine is, so if it is a darker color than usual, it means the urine is concentrated and you need to drink more water. One of the initial symptoms of dehydration is a decrease in urination. If your kidneys aren't getting enough water, you will not urinate as frequently as you should.

Muscle Cramps

If your body is dehydrated, it causes your blood to become more concentrated, which then causes a drop in blood volume. This drop in blood volume, which means that the blood flowing through your body is going to go to the muscles that need it the most, which is the heart; however, the inadequate flow to the other muscles causes muscle cramps. The cramps are caused by the muscles “fighting” to pump the blood through them. If you are experiencing frequent muscle cramps, especially in your legs, it’s a good sign that your body needs more water.


Your brain is an essential muscle, which means it is critical that you keep it hydrated. Without sufficient hydration, you will experience a range of symptoms in the brain, such as headaches or migraines, loss of consciousness, dizziness, feeling lightheaded, and fainting. If you experience any of these symptoms and you suspect that it is the result of dehydration, it’s important to drink water and contact your medical provider as soon as possible.

Ensuring your body is properly hydrated is a critical factor in maintaining your health. It is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day and if you are participating in strenuous activities or outdoors during hot and humid weather, you should increase the amount of water you take in to be sure you are replacing the water you are losing.