Teenage are times you will be bursting with energy and busy chasing your dreams. Drinking adequate amounts of water may not look like a priority. But studies point out that dehydration can adversely affect physical, emotional, and cognitive functions. Teens find it difficult to maintain focus in their studies when dehydrated. It can affect their academic performance as well.
Understanding Dehydration In The Teens
We normally lose water when we pee, poop, breathe, and sweat. We lose more water with strenuous physical activities like exercises, sports, etc., especially in hot climes; hot weather, and diseases like diarrhea, polyuria ( excessive urination), diabetes, vomiting, etc.
Gastroenteritis, which is the inflammation of the digestive tract can bring on diarrhea and vomiting that causes the loss of fluids and electrolytes from the body. The hesitation to drink or eat anything to avoid the lavatory may further increase the risk of severe dehydration. When they get sore throat also the difficulty in downing the water may cause dehydration.
It is best to stay hydrated. It must be made a priority. Some even recommend keeping track of the amount of water you guzzle down to ensure that you will not be dehydrated. It is better to nip dehydration in the bud itself. Look out for tendencies to drink less water and combat it.
You may have a dry mouth, bad breath, dry skin, dull hair, lethargy, tiredness, and confusion when your water intake is less. These are easily recognizable signs which can prod us to up our H2O intake. Dehydration when mild may go unnoticed.
Sometimes thirst may be mistaken for hunger and you may end up snacking. Some may be too busy and may ignore signs of dehydration setting in. When it gets severe, it starts acting up in different ways.
Signs And Symptoms Of Dehydration In Teens
- Excessive thirst ( the most obvious sign)
- Dizziness and confusion coupled with the inability to concentrate.
- Oliguria (less urine) or dark-colored urine (dark yellow or brown urine)
- Headaches. Migraines are also triggered by dehydration.
- Lethargy or fatigue
- Cold extremities i.e.-hands and feet
- Sunken eyes that are dry as well
- Rapid heart rate and fast breathing
- Dry lips and mouth with a coated tongue. Sometimes Halitosis (bad breath) too!
- Dry eyes
- Dry skin
Unconsciousness can happen in severe cases of dehydration. Hypotension (low blood pressure) and muscle cramps also can show up.
Dry skin, abnormal patterns of breathing, low blood pressure, passing out, and no urine are important pointers to dehydration where breathing and blood pressure are affected. The oxygen supply to the tissues gets affected by severe dehydration which is known as hypovolemic shock. These conditions require immediate hospitalization.
How To Prevent Dehydration In The Teens?
We can anticipate dehydration in many circumstances like athletic activities, hot climes, sports, diseases involving vomiting and diarrhea, etc.
Teenagers involved in athletic activities, strenuous physical activities, and sports are vulnerable to dehydration. Those teens who are into hiking and trekking in hot climes also should foresee dehydration and take adequate steps to prevent it.
Mild dehydration can be tackled by the intake of more fluids. Oral rehydration solutions are available at pharmacies and can be administered to replace lost fluids and electrolytes.
Limiting your physical activities to early morning and evening in the hot weather is a precautionary measure. You can also make sure to carry a water bottle with you and try to drink enough water before and after workouts or physical activities.
Sometimes the teens do not like to drink plain water. In that case, you may give them diluted juices, soups, popsicles, iced tea, etc. which are all sources of fluids. It is also in their best interests to avoid caffeinated drinks as it is diuretic and make dehydration worse.
Investing in a good water bottle and carrying it around is a great step. intelligent water bottles that beep at regular intervals are not science fiction anymore. Your smartwatch also can track your water intake nowadays. Technology is here to aid physiology to be at its best!