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What Happens When You're Dehydrated?

By Sara Butler

Being healthy and helping your body to work at its very best is about more than what you eat, it's also about what (and how much) you drink. More people are dehydrated on a daily basis than they may realize, and this can cause a cascade of issues. Here's what can happen to your body if you're not staying hydrated.

The Brain

Your brain needs water to function properly. If you're dehydrated, then it can have a big impact on the way your brain functions. Dehydration has been found to be linked to a decrease in cognitive performance and mood. It can impact your performance in memory, attention, and psychomotor skills.

The Kidneys

Your body is made to sound the alarm when you're getting dehydrated. It does this by sending a signal to the hypothalamus in the brain for it to release a hormone that is an anti-diuretic. It basically tells the kidneys to take less water from the blood, leading to more concentrated urine.

Since your kidneys work as a filter, filtering out toxins from the bloodstream, not having enough water will cause your kidneys to work really hard and can lead to damage that puts you at a higher risk of kidney disease. Plus, it can put you at a higher risk of developing a kidney stone.

The Blood

To say your blood is important is an understatement. It delivers important nutrients to your body as well as oxygen and if you don't have enough fluids in your body, then it simply cannot do its job right nor can it maintain a consistent blood pressure due to lack of volume.

Also, lack of appropriate hydration makes your blood thicker, which taxes your heart and causes you to breathe heavier, putting stress and strain on your whole system.

The Digestive System

Adequate hydration is essential for your digestive system to work properly. Water helps to move waste through your digestive system, so not getting enough of it can cause problems with regularity as well as damage to the lining of your gut -- something important to your overall health.

The Skin

Your skin protects your body from head to toe. If you don't get enough water, then your skin can't act as the barrier it needs to for your body. It can lead to cracked lips and skin that is dry, making it easier for things that can make you sick to pass through.

You must make sure you drink enough water per day to keep your body healthy.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Madison, Wis.

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