Medical Monday Dehydration

Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 12:40 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -While dehydration is something that can be experienced at any time of year, people are more susceptible to it during the summer months. Dr. Robert McFadgen, Primary Care Physician at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital says, the problem a lot of people have is keeping track of how much and how often they are consuming fluids.

Dr. McFadgen says, “We like to tell people how much a lot, but I really like to go by the urine color rule. I just think that’s the easiest way to keep track of things as opposed to trying to measure or remember how much you had. If you’re seeing that urine is dark, just try pushing more fluids. If you’re getting to the point of muscle cramps or confusion, or not seeing any urine over a couple of hours than it might be time to make sure things are looking ok.”

Some common symptoms are thirst, muscle cramps, dizziness, you may be more tired than usual, light headed, and low blood pressure. To avoid severe dehydration, Dr. McFadgen has some tips.

Dr. McFadgen adds, “Taking frequent breaks, definitely is beneficial, not trying to push yourself, and than frequent hydration with electrolytes as well. Because we lose sodium in that water and that’s really the main problem is losing the sodium. That’s what’s going to lower your pressure and things like that. So electrolyte rich fluids, whether that’s sugar free Gatorade, Pedialyte, Ectara. But replenishing those electrolytes is key.”

Korrin: McFadgen adds, it’s important to remember if you are drinking caffeine, or consuming alcoholic drinks, they are diuretics and will lead to dehydration more quickly. He also has a quick trick for checking for dehydration while you are outside enjoying yourself.

“A quick thing you can do at home is checking what is called skin turgor. So that is how, quickly your skin goes back to normal. So an example, when you pinch your hand it should go right back to flat. When you’re starting to get dehydrated, when you let go, it will kind of stay up there and than slowly go down. So that’s something you can do, I have some patients who will actually do that. They will as their working the garden they will start pinching their hand and go oh, I better start drinking some water.” says Dr. McFadgen.

If you’re concerned you may be dehydrated, contact your primary care physician.

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