Last winter I had a very scary health event that included severe dehydration and so that made me aware of the dangers of this condition. I have recently been having symptoms of dehydration again, namely,:-
- dry skin
- dry eyes
- dark urine
- lack of skin elasticity
Scientists warn that the ability to be aware of and respond to thirst is slowly blunted as we age. As a result, older people do not feel thirst as readily as younger people do. This increases the chances of them consuming less water and consequently suffering dehydration
The body loses water as we age. Until about age 40, the proportion of total body fluids to body weight is about 60% in men and 52% in women. After age 60, the proportion goes down to 52% in men and 46% in women. The reason for the decline is the loss of muscle mass as one ages and a corresponding increase in fat cells.
Drinking at least five glasses of water daily reduces the risk of fatal coronary heart disease among older adults. This is a shocking statistic and one we should all take heed of.
Sudden shifts in the body’s water balance can frequently result in dehydration and the physical changes associated with aging expose the elderly in particular to the risks of dehydration. One serious danger to the elderly is that they may not know about their dehydrated condition, which could lead to it not being treated and result in more serious consequences.
The kidneys’ ability to remove toxins from the blood progressively declines with age. This means the kidneys are not as efficient in concentrating urine in less water thus older people lose more water. The information listed on my medical notes includes CKD which is chronic kidney disease. Whilst I realise that this is a common condition in people of my age I do try to drink more water as directed by my GP.
However, I have made a decision to be more proactive with regard to this particular health issue and so have been researching what food supplements I could use to aid my rehydration.
ORS Dispersable Tablets
These tablets must be dissolved in a glass of water to make a drink that is easier to take than the large tablets. The tablets are fruit flavoured making them easier to drink.
Ingredients per tablet dissolved in 100ml of water
- Glucose/ Sugar /Energy 8.6kcal
- Citric Acid,
- Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate
- Sodium Chloride /Salt 176mg
- Potassium Chloride 150mg
- Colourant Beetroot
- Blackcurrant Flavour
- Polyethylene Glycol 6000
- Kollidon K25
These tablets are said to contain a balanced formula of electrolytes, glucose & minerals. They do not contain yeast, gluten or lactose. They are free from artificial preservatives and are suitable for vegans and vegetarians. They are cheap to buy and easy to take so I will give them a try. It’s the 21st of May and I have been taking them for one week so I will report back in another three weeks and note any progress.
Electrolytes produce ions and enable the body to function. Body fluid contains electrolytes, chemicals which, when they dissolve in water, produce charged ions. These ions enable the flow of electrical signals through the body.
The major electrolytes: sodium, potassium, and chloride. Electrolytes are substances that dissociate in solution and have the ability to conduct an electrical current. These substances are located in the extracellular and intracellular fluid.
Electrolytes are minerals that conduct electrical impulses in the body when mixed with water. It’s important that you have the correct balance of electrolytes as they are involved in many essential processes within the body.
Some of the most common electrolytes in the human body include calcium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, and sodium.
Mild dehydration can usually be treated by taking more fluids by mouth. Generally, it’s best to drink something with some electrolytes, such as a commercial rehydration solution, though in most cases, even drinking water or tea will help. Be creative and make having a drink an occasion instead of a task. It goes without saying “No Alcohol”. That causes dehydration.
Strawberries and Coconut Water
- 1 cup (250ml) of fresh coconut water
- 1 cup (250 ml) strawberries sliced
- sugar or sweetener
- To make the sugar syrup boil sugar and water together.
- Add one cup of coconut water.
- Combine the strawberries and sugar or blend.
- Serve with ice.
This drink sounds wonderful but the combinations are endless.