Adult Dehydration: What You Should Know

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Unless you are new to the Sonoran Desert, you are well acquainted with dehydration. As Momma Bears we are super protective of our babies. We give our infants extra breast milk, formula and even water in the summer. We incessantly encourage our children to be drinking. We train them to stop from the excitement and play to hydrate. We know the warning signs. If they even say they are thirsty, it is a red flag. Time to take a break. Headaches or diarrhea, forget it. The day is done. Time to recover.

Even then our babies can become victims of the heat. Steph has shared very candidly about their experiences in hopes of helping other moms.  You can read her post here. Sometimes, though, we are more vigilant in protecting our children and forget about caring for ourselves, too.

This weekend, my family got a huge scare. While getting ready for work, my healthy, active husband collapsed on the floor. He was disoriented and not answering my questions in a clear way. He just said he was exhausted and needed to go back to bed. So not like him. As it was super early, I had our doctor on call paged to see what he thought. Within a few seconds of speaking, the doctor asked me to hang up and take him to the ER immediately. He said not only was the behavior not typical, it gave me, as his wife, pause. He said, “you know your husband.” That is so true. I probably didn’t even need to call, but sometimes we need that extra confirmation from an expert that we are on the right track.

Super long story short. He was severely dehydrated. He had none of the typical early warning signs, though. No thirst or even a headache. He jumped all the way to disorientation, muscle weakness and decreased blood pressure. When the doctors and nurses spoke to him he would give long delayed answers that made no sense. Two rounds of IV fluids and he was finally back to himself. He was holding his head up, chatting and cracking jokes. But for 6 straight hours, my heart stopped beating.

So here is my plea to you. The temperatures are rising. Please take care of yourself. Force yourself to drink water. As adults, we may not have or notice early dehydration. The recommended amount is 64 ounces a day– more if you are outside or pregnant. My hubby even started lining up water bottles this week to make sure he had gotten enough during the day. And I know this is TMI, but check your urine. If it is dark or smells, you aren’t getting enough water.

Scottsdale is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is still the desert, though, and it can be dangerous. Let’s have a safe and hydrated summer.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Last year when I was 7 months pregnant, one day I start to have contractions and I rushed to the hospital and I was dehydrated it was really scared, but lesson learned now I always have my bottle with me.

  2. oh Cate! How scary. So glad he’s ok and thanks for the reminder – forwarding to the hubs (who is a perpetual coffee drinker) to let him know it can happen!

  3. So glad Sean is ok!! How scary for you! I know first hand because of all the health issues that Mike (My Husband) has had, its really important to trust your instinct when you feel there is something wrong with your spouse. You know what is normal for them. There were even times for us when the doctors were trying to tell me that he was fine, but I knew in my heart that wasn’t the case.

    I’m so glad you were present when he collapsed and were able to get him to the hospital right away. God was watching out for y’all!

  4. Thank God he is alright. I’ve never even heard that you could skip straight to being disoriented. That’s a great lesson because I’ve always heard once you are thirsty you’re already dehydrated. But I guess you should always make doubly sure.

  5. It’s very important to know about dehydration in our lives. Also the most important is the dehydration in infants and children, because infants and children need more water than adults, but without prejudice to the need for water in adults as well. The information you write is very useful for me and thank you are sharing it. Thank you so much 🙂

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