We all know water is a crucial part of our lives and health.
It helps us digest food, keeps our skin smooth and healthy, and helps our brains function properly.
Usually, we can spot signs of dehydration from a mile away! Common symptoms may include dark urine, infrequent urination, headaches, or dizziness.
But what about the hidden signs?
How do we know if we are drinking enough water – what if we don’t feel thirsty?
Fortunately, there are subtle indications of dehydration that can alert us.
In this blog post, we will discuss five of them!
1. Dry Mouth
A dry mouth is the first hidden sign we are not drinking enough water.
It is important to understand how a dry mouth relates to our mucus membranes and why it may be more likely to occur when we are dehydrated.
The problem with dry mouth is that it can cause cotton mouth (the feeling of having cotton in our mouth), making it difficult to swallow, which can lead to heartburn and other digestive problems.
When our bodies become dehydrated, the salivary glands produce less saliva than usual—as if they were trying to conserve water. This reduces their ability to keep their mouth moist and comfortable.
If this happens often enough, we may find ourselves experiencing symptoms like cracked lips and tooth decay.
In some cases, chronic dehydration can even lead to gum disease or tooth loss!
2. Dry Skin
The second hidden sign of dehydration is dry skin.
We all know that our skin is the largest organ, but what happens to it when we become dehydrated?
Essentially, when our bodies lose more fluid than it takes in, our body will try to retain as much fluid as possible.
This causes the kidneys to hold on to any excess water, affecting how well we retain moisture in our skin cells.
This leads to skin irritations like flaky patches and sometimes redness.
3. Dry Eyes
It is important to understand that there are two main types of tears – basal and reflex tears.
While our body’s lacrimal glands produce basal tears to keep our eyes lubricated, reflex tears are produced when something irritates our eyes (like wind or dust).
When our body does not produce these tears at the right levels, it can irritate our eyes and lead to redness and discomfort.
If this irritation continues without treatment, it could lead to other issues like dry eye syndrome or chronic conjunctivitis (an inflammation of the conjunctiva).
4. Prolonged Sickness
Dehydration can affect our immune system and cause us to stay sick longer.
Even though our bodies are built to fight off illness, it needs tools like water, electrolytes, and nutrients to do so.
If we don’t give our bodies these nutrients— especially if we’re not giving them enough—our immune systems will be unable to fight off whatever’s making us sick.
This negatively impacts our white blood cells, which means that bacteria or germs will be free to roam around and wreak havoc.
5. Increased Fatigue
One of the most common reasons for increased fatigue is dehydration.
When we become dehydrated, it affects our body’s ability to regulate its temperature, our blood becomes thicker and more viscous, making it harder to pump blood through our veins.
This means that less oxygen reaches our muscles and organs, leaving us tired and lethargic.
Therefore, if you start feeling fatigued, check with your healthcare provider to ensure dehydration is not the cause!
6. Bottom Line
We all want to avoid becoming dehydrated, but it is so easy to get caught up in our day-to-day that we forget to take care of ourselves.
That is why we have put together this list — so you will know what symptoms to look out for and how to prevent it from happening.