What does Dehydration Feel Like? Ask A Nutritionist. July 31, 2023

It’s So Hot!  Avoid dehydration and drink plenty of fluids!

South Carolina is having record breaking hot weather this summer. There are a few things you can do to stay cool that can prevent dehydration, especially if you spend time outdoors. And a most important tip is to stay hydrated!

Dehydration is when your body loses more fluid than it takes in. When you are dehydrated your body can’t function like normal. It can occur when the temperature is extremely high, but other things can cause dehydration, such as fevers, constant sweating, continued diarrhea and vomiting and frequent urination. People who are high risk for dehydration include the elderly, infants and toddlers, outside workers, athletes and pregnant women. So how can you stay cool?

When someone is dehydrated they get very thirsty, and do not urinate frequently, get tired and confused and can stop sweating. It’s important to keep them out of the heat and sun and give them plenty of fluids. In addition to water, here are a few ideas to jazz up water to keep cool:

-Add herbs, such as mint or basil
-Add fruit, such as strawberries, melon or blueberries
-Add cucumbers, lemon or lime slices
-Make a smoothie with your favorite fruit
-Try making iced tea with your favorite tea blend

Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to stay cool and avoid dehydration. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks as they can add to dehydration. And remember,  fall can’t be too far behind!

Joanne M. Gallivan, M.S., R.D.N. is a registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She served as the Director of the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) in the Office of Communication and Public Liaison for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1997-2016.  Previously, Ms. Gallivan has served as project manager for NIDDK’s Weight-Control Information Network (WIN), a national source of information on weight control, obesity, and weight-related nutritional disorders for health professionals and the public; as Contract Manager for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s National Cholesterol Education Program and Obesity Education Initiative, and as Director of the Prince George’s County Health Department Nutrition Division located in Maryland.

Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic is a free clinic in Charleston, SC, providing free, ongoing medical care for uninsured adults who Reside or Work across the Barrier Islands and their connecting communities. You can sign up for our monthly e-news updates, or follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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