We all know water is essential to life, but how much water is adequate? It’s possible to become dehydrated even when you believe you’ve consumed enough liquids. You can get dehydrated at any time when you lose more water than you take in.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.”
Changes that occur to the body during aging, such as a decrease in total amount of water in the body as well as a decreased sense of thirst, mean that dehydration can happen quickly in the elderly.
In addition, “Certain medical conditions and medications can affect a senior’s ability to retain fluids. Individuals with dementia may forget to eat and drink, and in more advanced stages may have difficulty swallowing. Drugs like diuretics, antihistamines, laxatives, antipsychotics and corticosteroids can cause frequent urination that depletes water and electrolytes. Furthermore, seniors who experience incontinence often purposely refuse or limit fluids in order to avoid accidents,” according to AgingCare.com.
Dehydration can cause confusion, overall weakness, light-headedness and other symptoms. The right amount of fluids in the body helps to regulate the body temperature through sweating and helps maintain blood pressure as well.
How much water you need to drink per day varies from person to person and activity level. Eight glasses a day is what’s commonly heard, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be 8 glasses, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be water. Six glasses may be appropriate for you, and many people get fluid from high water content fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, cucumbers, celery, grapefruit, cantaloupe, peaches, zucchini and tomatoes. Depending on your diet, it’s also OK to replace some water with tea, flavored waters or drinks, or other non-alcoholic beverages. In cold weather, don’t forget about broths, which also count as liquid intake.
Categorised in: Daily Life