Dehydration…We all have some idea of what that means, but did you know it was such a chronic health issue in the US?
Most people think of being super thirsty and maybe even sweat-drenched outside on a hot day. But, did you know that the vast majority of Americans are chronically dehydrated? In fact, According to Medical Daily, US doctors are saying that 75% of us are dehydrated! Young Children and the elderly population can be the most severely effected by dehydration.
The signs and symptoms of dehydration can vary by age. But the one important thing to note is that thirst is NOT a reliable indicator in any population. In fact, feeling “Thirsty” usually means you are already dehydrated.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Here are some signs and symptoms broken down by age group: 
Infant or young child
· Dry mouth and tongue
· No tears when crying
· No wet diapers for three hours
· Sunken eyes, cheeks
· Sunken soft spot on top of skull
· Listlessness or irritability
· Extreme thirst
· Less frequent urination
· Dark-colored urine
Vomiting is a less common sign of dehydration and can be a big problem as this causes more fluid loss, this symptom can be especially dangerous to someone who is already low on fluids.
Experiencing Diarrhea for 24 hours or more, irritability, confusion or loss of consciousness, bloody or black stools or can not keep down fluids, are good reasons to give your doctor a call.
Fatigue is a common side effect of dehydration, and many people assume they need to eat. What they may need, instead is a big drink! This phenomenon is very common in the afternoon when people report being “tired”. They often reach for drinks filled with caffeine and /or sugar. Better choices would include pure water or drinks low in sugar.
So, how much does a person need to drink to be properly hydrated? An easy rule of thumb is to take your body weight in pounds and divide by 2. This is the number, in ounces that a person needs, at a minimum to stay hydrated. So, a 150 lb. person would need about 75 oz. of fluids per day. You might be asking what “fluids” count? Water and anything that does not contain caffeine. Since caffeine is a diuretic, it actually causes you to lose fluids, so if you drink caffeine, you need to make extra certain you keep up with your non-caffeinated fluid intake.
Drink up my friends!