Did you know that your unexplained headaches, mood changes, lethargy and slow responses may be caused by mild to chronic dehydration? A lot of people know that it is important to drink water added with electrolytes when one is having diarrhea, dysentery, or suffering from an illness that makes ...Did you know that your unexplained headaches, mood changes, lethargy and slow responses may be caused by mild to chronic dehydration? A lot of people know that it is important to drink water added with electrolytes when one is having diarrhea, dysentery, or suffering from an illness that makes one expel lots of fluids everyday. However, not many are aware that mere inability to drinking the right amount of fluids each day can also cause dehydration.

But before delving into what is dehydration, it is important to know that the human body is composed of about 55% to 75% water. As a person ages, however, the amount of water in the body starts to decline to about 60% or even lower. Lean muscles and the brain are comprised of 73% water, while bones also contain around 22% water.

Basically, your body needs new supply of water everyday because it is unable to store or hold water for long periods of time. Water comes out of the body through sweat, urine, or fecal matter. The amount of water that a person needs largely depends on his or her metabolism. Someone who lives in a hot climate or leads an active life might need more water than one who lives in colder regions or is living sedentary life.

Why You Need Water

People can actually live for weeks even without food. However, without water, people can only last for days. You see, water is crucial in the maintenance and integrity of all the cells inside your body. Moreover, you need water to get rid of toxins and regulate the temperature of your body. In order to ensure that your mouth and lungs are moist, your joints lubricated, and your bowels moving, you need water. Lastly, water is essential in carrying not only nutrients, but also oxygen to the cells.

What Happens If You Don't Drink Enough Fluids?

Not drinking enough fluids can actually make a person dull, both physically and mentally. Although reduced function of salivary glands should be the least of your worries, chronic dehydration can also increase obesity risk in children. Other serious illnesses and conditions that can be caused by poor water intake include constipation, formation of kidney stones, and colon and breast cancers.

The first few signs of dehydration include cracked lips or dry mouth, deep-colored urine, and dry nasal passages. However, if you are perpetually not drinking enough water or other fluids, you may end up suffering from headaches, confusion, weakness, mood swings, slow responses, lethargy and even hallucinations. When you are rarely urinating, you know that your case is very serious because this means your kidneys have failed and you won't be able to remove toxins and waste products from your body.

How Water Is Regulated

In order to understand the importance of drinking water, you need to know how your body regulates fluids. The organ in your body responsible for monitoring the levels of water inside your body is your kidney. If you were unable to take in ample fluid for the day, the hypothalamus (a gland that is found in the brain) will ask the pituitary gland to tell the kidney to conserve water by secreting anti-diuretic hormones. Once the kidneys receive the message, they make urine more concentrated and they reabsorb more fluids. Furthermore, your brain also signals a feeling of thirst. Unfortunately for many, this signal is sometimes read as hunger pangs.

The Truth About Water Retention
It may seem odd to talk about water retention under the topic of dehydration. However, people who feel they are retaining water often drink less and become dehydrated, which might exacerbate their problem. Since high sodium levels in the body is one of the leading causes of water retention, drinking enough water would help get rid of excess sodium in the body.

However, if your water retention is caused by hormonal imbalance from menopause or your monthly cycle, then it may be advisable to look for supplements, such as Expelis, that will help you with your hormone problems and your fluid retention. But before you take any drugs or supplements, it would be wise to seek medical attention first. If you want to know more about Expelis, simply visit http://tinyurl.com/8jkw6ma

Author's Bio: 

Janet Martin is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premiere online news magazine www.thearticleinsiders.com.