Water is an essential nutrient which all humans need to survive. It is used by the body to digest food, regulate temperature, eliminate waste, and to perform many other critical tasks.
Water is also important for maintaining good spinal health. The back needs water to reduce inflammation, carry nutrients to muscles and ligaments in the back, and rehydrate intervertebral discs. Failing to get enough water can cause generalised back pain and increase the risk of several back complaints.
Even though water is a critical nutrient, our bodies aren’t very good at alerting us to when we need to drink more. Some of the warning signs of dehydration aren’t very obvious, particularly for people who have a busy lifestyle.
In this post, our Ealing chiropractor shares the warning signs of dehydration.
Are You Showing The Signs Of Dehydration?
Difficulty Concentrating Or Thinking Clearly
The human brain needs hydration to send electrical impulses efficiently. If you haven’t been drinking enough water, you may begin to notice that your mind is getting a little
foggy or that you are struggling to concentrate. You might notice this feeling of ‘brain fog’ occurs in the afternoon when you haven’t been drinking much water throughout the day.
Bad Breath Or Dry Mouth
Some of the water you consume is used by the body to produce saliva for your mouth. In addition to helping you eat food and keep your respiratory system lubricated, saliva keeps the amount of bacteria in your mouth under control. If you are often dehydrated, your mouth will be dry and bacteria will begin to thrive, potentially leading to halitosis (bad breath).
Dark Yellow Urine
Dark yellow or orange urine is one of the most obvious warning signs of dehydration. Ideally, your urine should be quite clear in colour, which indicates a higher proportion of water compared to waste.
Constipation and other digestive problems
The digestion of food requires a large amount of water. The body will use this water to break down food and drive it through the digestive tract efficiently. Water is also required to extract the maximum amount of nutrition from the food you are eating.
Dehydration makes it harder to transport food along the digestive tract and into the bowels. It becomes more difficult to remove all of the waste from the body and issues like constipation become common.
When your body is dehydrated, it will become challenging to absorb nutrients from all of the food you eat. It also become difficult for your body to transport nutrients to the cells in your muscles and organs. As a result, you may experience lower levels of energy and a feeling of general fatigue.
We find that many of the patients who visit our chiropractic clinic in Ealing and who actively participate in sports and are comlaining of fatigue have poor hydration levels. Once they increase their hydration, they often see improved results on the sporting field.
Dehydration can impact the balance of electrolytes within your body. This can lower your blood pressure, placing additional strain on your heart which may lead to heart palpitations. If you haven’t consumed much water recently and notice that your heart is racing, get a drink quickly.
Dry Skin or Lips
Some of the water you consume is used to moisturise your skin. If you haven’t been drinking enough recently, you will notice that your skin is drier than normal. Eventually, it can begin to look a little scaly and will be less elastic.
As mentioned earlier, water is used to support the health of the spine’s muscles and ligaments. If you are dehydrated, you may begin to experience general soreness in your back, as these tissues are not receiving the nutrients they need. Dehydration also reduces the amount of lubrication available for the joints in the spine, potentially causing pain and inflammation.
Your intervertebral discs will be less resilient and decrease in volume if you are dehydrated, which can cause more pain and increase the risk of injury. Many of the patients at our chiropractic clinic have seen an improvement in their pain by simply increasing the volume of water they drink each day.
Headaches are another common sign of dehydration. They occur because dehydration affects the fluid filled sac that acts as a barrier between the brain and the skull. This can also cause dizziness.
As you can see, there are quite a few symptoms of dehydration to look out for. The key to staying hydrated is to continually drink water throughout the day.
If you are suffering back pain, our chiropractors at The Spine & Joint Centre in Ealing are here to help you. You can book an appointment with one of our team by calling our clinic on 020 8900 9004.