The human body is made primarily of water. Unfortunately, many people are in a constant state of dehydration, completely unaware of the damage they are doing to their health. Many subtle and not so subtle signs are given by the body that signify dehydration, but why is being dehydrated so dangerous?
Organs cannot properly function without adequate hydration. When the body does not have enough water to support them, water is drawn from the bloodstream to help keep organs functioning in order to sustain life. Lack of proper blood flow puts a great amount of stress on the heart, which exists to pump blood throughout the body. Lack of water in the bloodstream also makes it more difficult for the blood to be purified by the kidneys. In trying to do their job and failing, the kidneys try to work harder just like the heart. Over time, the exertion that occurs while trying to perform their functions in the body lead to exhaustion and may even result in organ failure in extreme cases. Warning signs of organ problems due to dehydration include constipation, headaches, urinary tract infections, dry skin, and an increase in the effects of aging.
Decline in cognitive function
Just like all other organs, the brain requires proper hydration in order to function efficiently. This results in delayed reaction times and memory problems. The brain must work significantly harder to produce results when dehydrated compared to being well hydrated. Mood is also significantly affected by the body’s level of hydration. People who stay well-hydrated most of the time tend to be happier and more productive while people who allow dehydration to occur over extended periods of time are often more depressed.
Fatigue and discomfort
In addition to organ malfunction and cognitive problems, fatigue and discomfort can be a result of improper hydration. Headaches, body aches, and extreme fatigue are common complaints from people who do not properly hydrate. The impact lack of water has on organs greatly affects how people feel. PH balance can be thrown off, inflammation can occur, and the body begins to shut down in order to preserve its core functions. Signs of this process manifest in joint pain, indigestion, headaches, nausea, and general aches and pains throughout the body. People who are adamant about staying hydrated report a much greater feeling of physical and mental well-being than individuals who allow themselves to get and remain dehydrated.