Dehydration—Know the Signs
No matter where in the country we hail from, most of us will agree that Vegas summers are hot. While residents are used to the seasonal swelter, most vacationers have no idea what they’re getting into. Add free-flowing alcohol from the Strip into the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster. Dehydration is no laughing matter—if it gets bad enough, it can even be deadly. Be on the lookout for these telltale signs of dehydration and refuel before it’s too late.
What Is Dehydration?
Your body is about 66% water. Lose even 2% of that, and you’re considered dehydrated. Dehydration affects your mood, energy levels, and even cognitive power. Here are some reasons you may get dehydrated:
- You’re not drinking enough. Most experts agree that adults should be drinking eight 8oz glasses of water per day—at least 64oz total. If you’re out in the sun or losing a lot through sweat, you may need more. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. So keep a water bottle handy, and drink up.
- You’re drinking too much (alcohol, that is). Booze dehydrates you faster. Casinos love to keep the libations flowing in hopes of loosening your purse strings. Alternate every drink with a big glass of water.
- You’re taking meds. Certain types of prescription medications, like those for blood pressure, are diuretics and predispose you to dehydration. Keep taking your meds, but wash them down with a drink.
- You can’t take the heat. If you’re not used to the hot Vegas summers, you’ll sweat a lot more than the average resident. If you’re losing fluids through sweat and not replenishing them quickly enough, you’ll become dehydrated quickly.
What Are the Symptoms of Dehydration?
The first symptom of mild dehydration is thirst. As the condition progresses, you may notice:
- Dry mouth or throat
- Cessation or reduced sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Vomiting or nausea
- A lack of tear production
- Decreased urine output
As mild or moderate dehydration progresses into severe dehydration, you may experience more alarming dehydration symptoms:
- Heart palpitations
- Mental confusion
If left untreated, severe dehydration can result in organ failure, coma, or death.
Simple preventive measures can minimize your chances of becoming dehydrated in the hot Vegas sun. Make sure you’re taking in more fluids than you’re losing through sweat. The key here is hydrating fluids: mimosas in the morning won’t cut it.
Try to arrange your outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day. The UV index tends to be highest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so get out early or in the evening, if possible.
Heat Stroke: A Life-Threatening Complication
A side-effect of severe dehydration is a dangerous illness known as heat stroke. It’s a life-threatening emergency. When you lose too many fluids to cool yourself back down again, heat stroke results. The telltale signs of heat stroke are:
- Hot skin that’s red but not sweaty
- Extreme fatigue
- Rapid heartbeat
Heat stroke must be treated immediately by a medical professional to avoid long-term or permanent damage. If you suspect someone has heat stroke, get him or her to a shaded area and call an ambulance. While waiting for help to arrive, apply ice packs or cool water to his or her armpits and fan them to begin sweating.
Severe dehydration can have devastating consequences. If you or a loved one have been injured by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Casinos and hotels are legally required to exercise reasonable care and keep their patrons safe. To see if you qualify, contact us to set up a free case evaluation.