Water Intake and Heart Disease – Hydrate Yourself to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Hot sunny summer and dehydration go hand in hand – whether you remain confined to your room, move around in your home or roam somewhere else, you cannot escape from dehydration as heatwave may cause dehydration and heatstroke. It is quite easy to get dehydrated by losing water as sweat due to heatwave and hot sun rays. Dehydration can cause symptoms ranging from headaches, and swollen feet to life-threatening conditions like heat stroke and heart problems.
What is dehydration?
When you lose more amount of fluids through urine, sweat and respiration than you consume as water and through foods and fruits – you will develop dehydration. When you are dehydrated you may feel weak, your skin becomes dry and your other bodily functions get out of sort – including your heart function as well.
Who is at Risk for Dehydration?
Those who work excessively, do more vigorous physical activities, athletes, children, diseased people, people with chronic illnesses, the elderly and weak persons are at risk of dehydration.
What are the cardiac effects of dehydration?
Water and heart health: Your heart works relentlessly pumping nearly about 2000 gallons of blood per day. As blood mostly consists of water – by drinking enough water you remain hydrated and thus you can help your heart do its job efficiently.
But dehydration negatively impacts you and your heart – as it causes a reduction in the blood volume – the amount of blood circulating.
Dehydration and blood pressure: When the volume of blood decreases, your heart beats faster to compensate it – owing to which your heart rate and blood pressure increase. Dehydration also leads to retention of sodium, and thickening of blood – causing more trouble to the heart making it harder for your blood to circulate through the body. Hydration causes opposite effects – your heart pumps blood efficiently – making the way for the oxygen to reach muscles and thus muscles work efficiently.
What are the signs of dehydration?
Excessive thirst, headache, muscle cramps, dark yellow colour urine, less urination, urinating much less urine, sticky mouth or dry mouth are the mild to moderate signs of dehydration.
Sunken eyes, shrivelled and dry skin, very dark yellow-coloured urine, not urinating, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeats, light-headedness, dizziness, confusion, irritability, delirium and unconsciousness are the signs of severe dehydration. If someone known to you experiences these or any of these symptoms, you should immediately seek medical help.
How much water should you drink to stay hydrated?
There is no strict hard and fast rule that you should drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. It all depends on how much your body needs. Whenever you feel the need you should drink water as much as you need.
There are some demanding situations wherein you need more water – such as while doing physical activities and indulging in exercises and prior to going outside during summer.
Why you should keep yourself well-hydrated?
Dehydration is a serious condition especially during hot and dry climatic conditions and on sunny days. Some people tend to neglect drinking enough water and thus may become prone to headaches and even to some life-threatening conditions like heat stroke. You must keep yourself well hydrated so as not to put excess pressure on your heart to work hard.
Some people tend to drink less amount of water than normal. They can spice it up with some lemon or orange slices. It’s a better move to hydrate yourself. The best parameter to know whether you are well hydrated or dehydrated is to check the colour of your urine. If urine colour is dark and strong -it suggests dehydration. You should drink more water. The urine of a well-hydrated person is often light, clear and colourless.
Always remember, never ever dehydrate yourself – it is neither good for your body nor for your heart. To prevent dehydration on hot sunny days, carry a water bottle wherever you go.
As water is necessary for your other bodily functions so for your heart as well. There is no confirmed study that suggests that drinking water regularly as per a certain norm is beneficial in reducing the risk of a heart attack in both men and women.
Some people say – owing to some fictitious information circulating on the internet – that those who drink at least five to six glasses of water have an approximately lesser risk of experiencing a severe heart attack. Similarly, women who drink the same amount of water have a lesser risk of dying from a heart attack. But this information is not true.
Keep Yourself Well Hydrated to Help Your Heart Work Efficiently. Still, if you have any concerns pertaining to water intake and heart disease, meet Dr. Sarat Chandra.