Our bodies are made up of 60% water. If we lose even 1.5 % of it, it is a tipping point for mild dehydration affecting our mood, energy levels and cognitive functions, according to the University of Connecticut. There are some obvious reasons and causes that can make us dehydrated - such as exercise, a sunny day or not consuming enough water in general.
Here are a few surprising causes of dehydration (Aleisha Fetters):
- People with diabetes are at an increased risk of dehydration. When the sugar levels in the blood are too high, the body tries to get rid of the excess glucose through increased urine output which can result in dehydration.
- When you have your period, drink an extra glass of water. The estrogen and progesterone influence the body's hydration levels; hence you may need to increase your fluid intake to stay hydrated.
- When under stress, one's adrenal glands pump out stress hormones. And if one is under constant pressure, the adrenals may become exhausted causing adrenal insufficiency. The adrenals also produce the hormone aldosterone which helps in regulating the body's levels of fluid and electrolytes. As adrenal fatigue progresses, one's body's production of aldosterone drops, triggering dehydration and low electrolyte levels.
- Are you pregnant and feeling bloated? Chances are that your body is retaining water in an attempt to offset dehydration. During pregnancy, a woman's overall blood volume and cardiac output increases which can thereby increase your fluid requirements. Additionally, nausea and vomiting can also take a toll on hydration levels.
- As you age, your body's ability to conserve water and sensation for thirst decreases which means that it's easier to become dehydrated and more difficult to tell when your fluids are low.
- Being at high altitudes can speed up breathing and increases urine output. While both are necessary for a healthy adjustment to the altitude and oxygen levels, constantly urinating and panting can cause you to exhale more water vapour than usual making you dehydrated.