17 October 2017

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

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Throughout the day some of us might find ourselves feeling sleepy, generally unproductive and just a bit too warm in general. Staying hydrated will help you stay alert throughout the day.

Why is it important to stay hydrated?

Up to 60% of the adult human body is made up of water, we cannot survive without it. Being one of the major components of the body, you won’t be surprised to hear that these simple molecules have many, many functions.

Such as:

  • Aiding homeostasis by regulating the body’s temperature through sweating and respiration
  • Flushing waste products from our system, mainly through urine
  • Transporting oxygen around the body
  • Metabolising and transporting food from the digestive system
  • Forming saliva
  • Lubricating joints
  • Promoting the growth, reproduction and survival of cell

In short, without water, your body cannot survive.

As healthcare professionals, it’s important to ensure those in your care are kept hydrated. Older people, for example, don’t sense thirst as much as they did when they were younger. This can be particularly problematic for elderly clients also on a medication that may cause fluid loss, such as a diuretic.

It is important to keep track of water intake for those in your care; plain water is best for hydration, but ensuring that enough is drunk can be tricky. We can also get water from the food that we eat, so if possible, opt for water-rich options such as salads and fruits.

Warning signs of dehydration include weakness, headache, dizziness, confusion, dry mouth, tiredness or dark urine. At this stage, the ill effects can be reversed by drinking more water. Severe symptoms include; a weak or rapid pulse, low level of consciousness, fits/seizures, not passing urine for 8 hours and lethargy. If you or anyone you know is suffering from these symptoms call 111 for advice.