The Easiest Condition to Cure - Dehydration

Blog and Recipes

Blog and News Updates 

Welcome to Dr. Anderson's Blog.  Check back often for new information, recipes and more!

The Easiest Condition to Cure - Dehydration
Written By: Dr. Anderson ~ 8/31/2023


I am continually astounded at the amount of patients that tell me that they drink no water at all. If you just read that and were shocked, you’re clearly a water drinker. If you read that and thought to yourself “What is the big deal?” you’re probably chronically dehydrated and are increasing your risk for multiple conditions, needlessly.


Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Dehydration

  • Constipation
  • Ongoing muscle weakness
  • Frequent headaches
  • Less frequent or dark-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Dry or flaky skin

Complications of Chronic Dehydration often include

  • High blood pressure: Dehydration can cause the blood volume to decrease and the blood vessels to constrict, resulting in increased pressure on the heart and arteries.

  • Kidney stones: Dehydration can increase the concentration of minerals and salts in the urine, which can form crystals that grow into stones.

  • Urinary tract infections: Dehydration can reduce the amount and frequency of urination, which can allow bacteria to multiply in the bladder and cause infections.

  • Constipation: Dehydration can make the stool hard and dry, which can cause difficulty in passing it and lead to abdominal pain and bloating.

  • Cognitive impairment: Dehydration can affect the brain function and cause symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, irritability, and mood swings.

How to Prevent Chronic Dehydration

  • Drinking water before, during, and after exercise or physical activity
  • Drinking water or fluids with electrolytes when sick or experiencing diarrhea or vomiting
  • Drinking water regularly throughout the day, especially in hot weather or dry environments
  • Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks that can dehydrate the body

Many patients will very excitedly tell me that they drink lots of water. When we delve into the numbers, it turns out that most are drinking about 20-30 ounces per day. This is simply not enough, especially if you are also drinking coffee or sugar filled beverages as well. I love a good Starbucks drink as much as the next person, but we should be adding in additional water if we are drinking those fun, but potentially dehydrating, drinks as well.

BLOGPOST_Dehydration2_08312023_s.jpgSo how much water do we need?
A good rule of thumb is that we need about half our body weight in ounces. For example, if someone weights 180lbs, they should be aiming for 90 ounces of water per day.

This rule tends to apply less as weight increases, to some extent. If someone weights 300lbs, it’s usually not feasible to take in 150 ounces of water per day. For the average person, I recommend a minimum of 64-80 ounces depending on their body size, activity level, other dehydrating beverages they consume, and temperature. Obviously, if you’re outside in the summer on a day hike, you’ll need to consume more water.

Make your beverage interesting?
If you find plain old water boring, mix it up! Add some lemon or orange slices to give it a hint of fruit or add some fresh or frozen berries as well as a little club soda for fizz!

Know How Much You’re Drinking!
If you have one or more of the symptoms listed above, monitor your daily water intake and see if you can alleviate your symptoms by increasing water intake. It might just be that simple!

If you do have these symptoms and they do not respond to proper hydration, see your doctor!

Stay well and stay hydrated!


Dr. A