How to avoid “volume depletion” in the warm summer months

Staying hydrated is absolutely crucial in the hot weather, especially where fighting off heat stroke and other heat related illnesses is concerned.

Luckily, our bodies are finely tuned in knowing when it’s time to chug down the H2o. 

Doctors refer to dehydration as volume depletion – a reduction in the volume of water in the blood vessels and the body’s cells. 

Volume depletion can be an issue because hydration is required for the body to execute its regular functions like regulating temperature and lubricating our joints. 

At its most severe, volume depletion can lead to shock and collapse, and without resuscitation with fluid, the consequences could be devastating. 

When you drink a minimal amount of fluid, your urine is more concentrated and you pass only a small volume as opposed to when you drink larger volumes of fluid.

Fluid can be lost via avenues other than urine, including in cases of diarrhoea and vomiting or bleeding. Symptoms of volume depletion include: 

  • Thirst and a dry mouth
  • Dizziness, particularly when standing 
  • In severe cases, confusion due to inadequate oxygenation of the brain
  • Taking longer for skin to bounce back after being pinched
  • Low blood pressure 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Reduced body weight 

Blood test results could indicate kidney impairment due to the kidney’s requiring large blood flow to function optimally. 

Blood flow to the kidneys is compromised in cases of volume depletion, causing them to go into a state of “shock”.

Fortunately, the effects of this are mostly reversible when volume and blood pressure is restored. 

For more information, head to Health Direct

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