August 29, 2019 at 9:15 am #19521
As I am waiting for my next surgery to place a direct j tube into my intestines, I was advised to “watch for dehydration” and go to the ER for fluids if needed. My date for surgery is September 12th which is only a few weeks away. It feels like a long time to wait when getting by on just the minimum amount of calories and fluid intake.
It is a hard balance because my body swells easily when I don’t take my fluid pills, but at the same time, I need to hold on to any bit of water I take in to try to avoid getting dehydrated. Having to watch for signs of dehydration made me think about what MY signs are for when I feel like I need more fluids in my body.
Some of these signs are: swelling in my hands, veins looking like they are bulging more, increased brain fog (sometimes feeling lethargic) , increase in fatigue, pale skin and cool skin, and waking up with bad headaches or getting an increase in migraines through the day.
What are some of your warning signs that you may be getting dehydrated? Have you ever gone into the ER just for fluids or electrolytes? Are you usually monitored when you receive fluids in the hospital to make sure they aren’t “overloading” your body?
August 29, 2019 at 1:41 pm #19528
@brittany-foster, I’m so sorry you’re looking at more surgery. I’m keeping you in my prayers.
While I have never dealt with PH (except vicariously through my son), I have been dehydrated. The two symptoms that alert me… feeling cottonmouth (almost like my tongue is getting thicker, even though it isn’t) and being able to pinch the backs of my hand — and the resulting crease stays for more than 5 minutes.
August 29, 2019 at 1:47 pm #19529
I get thise side effects too! I have seen the doctors pinch the hand before but I never realized why they did that until just now. That makes sense as being a quick check for any dehydration. The skin probably loses some of that when the body needs water! Cotton mouth is awful. Even drinking water doesn’t get rid of that feeling sometimes. i get that from side effects of medications too so it can be hard to know the difference which is another tricky thing about dehydration.
August 29, 2019 at 4:33 pm #19533
The cotton mouth also happens when I’m going into shock. I noticed it last year, when I was hit by a truck (as a pedestrian). I wasn’t badly hurt, but my mind didn’t know that until they had the x-ray results. Strange thing, our bodies.
August 31, 2019 at 8:03 pm #19545
Hi @mamabear007, I’m sorry that you were hit by a truck! That’s horrible! I’m happy to hear that you were not injured. I’m sure your body was shocked. Wow!
I also experience ” cotton mouth” and a thick tongue with dehydration. It’s difficult to talk when I’m extremely dehydrated.
September 2, 2019 at 7:55 am #19546
September 2, 2019 at 12:56 pm #19551
I’m glad that you found it informative, V.R. I would not worry about your age, from my experience we used that test often. It may be less reliable due to skin turgor. Some medical professionals will still use it.
As far as age, as I told my neighbor yesterday, getting older is a good thing. I like to say I am like wine, the older I get, the better I am. Hehe
August 31, 2019 at 7:58 pm #19544
I’m saddened that you need yet, another surgery. I hope and pray that the ’j” tube will help. I’m sure your body is in need of more nutrition.
I have been to the ER for dehydration and to replenish my electrolytes. Sadly I’ve been more times than I can count.
When I’m dehydrated, my eyes look sunken in. I also have ”cotton mouth”, dry eyes, lightheadedness, and dizziness. Muscle cramps also may be a symptom as well as darker urine and an increase in thirst.
I hope that you can stay well hydrated and do not need iv fluids. The fluid and electrolyte balance is often a struggle.
September 3, 2019 at 3:35 pm #19578Jimi McintoshParticipant
Brittany, I notice increase skin dryness, dry mouth, frequent eye dryness, itching and throat irritation,
and being thirsty. You take Lasix to help with heart failure and fluid retention, your kidneys are working overtime to balance everything. Avoid
Electrolyte replenishing beverages, caffeinated teas and sodas.
I have been drinking mineral and alkaline water, to try and replace the essential vitamins and electrolytes, also to combat the sodium cravings, when exercising.
September 3, 2019 at 4:00 pm #19583
Great tips, Jimi!
Have you tried coconut water to replenish electrolytes? I only use this at times and watch the ones with extra added sugars.
My kidney doctor told me last year to stay away from sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade.
September 3, 2019 at 5:57 pm #19586
Thank you for the advice, Jimi! You brought up some really good points, especially about the sport drinks. When my youngest played baseball it was his coach that actually informed the players that those drinks aren’t as good for you as people are led to believe. They can actually dehydrate you more.
A few other tells that you might be dehydrated that sometimes get overlooked is if you start accidentally biting your tongue. It could be that it’s a little swollen from dehydration and that’s why you keep biting it. The other is dark urine. Even if your not experiencing symptoms the color of your urine can give you hints that your not drinking enough fluids.
September 4, 2019 at 10:07 am #19614
I haven’t heard of that about biting the tongue as a sign of dehydration. I don’t bite my tongue but I notice that if I’m feeling dehydrated I end up biting the inside of my cheek and it actually ends up pulling the skin too. It’s a gross “habit” but one that I do for a reason for sure. And those sports drinks can be FILLED with sodium and actually sometimes dehydrate even more. My coaches always told use they were fine in COMBINATION with water. The dehydration from the sports drinks sometimes can make you hold onto water more though and makes the cells absorb it faster.
September 4, 2019 at 3:26 pm #19639
@brittany-foster and @jenc, the tongue biting example I learned from my mother-in-law years ago. I was complaining that I kept biting my tongue and suggested it was probably due to dehydration. I think she was right and now whenever I do that I make myself drink more water. I read articles that said without realizing it, your tongue can swell from dehydration, and then you end up biting it.
September 4, 2019 at 6:00 pm #19649
Wow, thanks for sharing, Colleen. As I mentioned, my tongue has become swollen at times when I’m dehydrated. Like Brittany, I have had problems biting the inside of my cheeks. I don’t recall any tongue biting.
I’m glad that your mother in law recognized that as a potential symptom of dehydration. Once you notice that you are biting your tongue, have you required IV hydration? Or, does increasing your fluid intake resolve this for you?
September 4, 2019 at 2:38 pm #19626
I like your addition to the tips, Colleen!
Dark urine is definitely something that we can all keep an eye on, ourselves.
Biting a tongue actually does not surprise me. I have had issues with talking at times as my tongue swells when my dehydration is really bad.
Brittany, so true, I tend to crave vegetables at times and I know it is when my body is lacking in certain nutrients. I do crave salty foods as well at times. I also crave fresh warm chocolate chip cookies with pecans, so I probably need those too, right? Hehe
As far as the coconut water, I am like you Brittany. I prefer to mix it. I use an organic one at Trader Joe’s as well as one from Kroger, their organic line.The main thing I look for is no added sugars as coconut water already has natural sugars. I do tend to add some to my smoothies, and even teas at times. It gives me an “island” vibe. Hehe
September 4, 2019 at 10:00 am #19612
interesting about the sodium cravings. I crave foods either sodium and salty foods like noodles or chips (I know, all the junky type foods) and I also crave sweets. Craving pickles and salty foods is actually a sign of some vitamin deficiencies. If you are overly craving a certain kind of food it may be a sign that your body is needing something else. Thank you for sharing all these tips with us and about signs of dehydration. I’m sure many have these signs and may not attribute them to getting dehydrated. Good idea to use waters with minerals in it.
good tips about the coconut water too. Any particular brands that you like? I have a hard time drinking coconut water on its own. I just really DO NOT like the taste of it at all. When I had smoothies or shakes I used to mix coconut water (the chocolate flavor) into them so the other ingredients masked that taste.
September 5, 2019 at 12:59 pm #19665
Jen, just increasing my fluid intake does the trick for me. There was one time many years ago that I required IV fluids but I was very sick with bronchitis at the time.
September 5, 2019 at 1:32 pm #19669
I am glad to hear that most often will do the trick for you, Colleen.
Dealing with bronchitis along with other health issues can certainly contribute to dehydration. When I am dealing with a virus or bronchitis, I often do not feel up to eating and drinking much.
I am glad to hear that you only required IV hydration that one time. As you know all too well, hospital visits are not the top picks of places to be. Although, I am thankful to have access when needed.
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