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    • #19521
      Brittany Foster
      Keymaster

      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?

    • #19528
      V.R. Peterson
      Participant

      @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.

    • #19529
      Brittany Foster
      Keymaster

      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.

      • #19533
        V.R. Peterson
        Participant

        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.

        • #19545
          Jen Cueva
          Moderator

          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.

          You and @brittany-foster mention, pinching the skin, it’s checking for skin turgor. Here is some info that test.

        • #19546
          V.R. Peterson
          Participant

          Thank you, @jenc, for the information on skin turgor. It’s fascinating reading. It also lets me know that in a few years, this test won’t be very reliable because of my age.

        • #19551
          Jen Cueva
          Moderator

          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

    • #19544
      Jen Cueva
      Moderator

      Hi Brittany,
      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.

    • #19578
      Jimi Mcintosh
      Participant

      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.

      • #19583
        Jen Cueva
        Moderator

        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.

      • #19586
        Colleen Steele
        Keymaster

        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.

        • #19614
          Brittany Foster
          Keymaster

          Colleen,
          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.

        • #19639
          Colleen Steele
          Keymaster

          @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.

        • #19649
          Jen Cueva
          Moderator

          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?

        • #19626
          Jen Cueva
          Moderator

          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

      • #19612
        Brittany Foster
        Keymaster

        Jimi,
        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.

        Jen,
        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.

    • #19665
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      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.

      • #19669
        Jen Cueva
        Moderator

        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.

    • #22799
      Sheriden
      Participant

      My symptoms of dehydration are picking up skin on the back of the hand and if it does not immediately spring back, that is dehydration for me. Also, my veins pop out, as someone else mentioned.

      I always have a dry throat this winter, so it will be interesting to see if that changes in the summer.

      To help with dehydration and malnutrition, I found 100% healthy alternatives to Ensure online. In case anyone wants to know about them, they are: KateFarms products (highest calories, but higher sugars) and OWYN products (lower calories and lower sugars). I do not have any blood sugar challenges and I need o gain weight, so I chose the KateFarms products.

      They are delicious and they make products for feeding tubes (I would insist on these if I ever need a feeding tube). They have a form to use for a doctor to prescribe them. I am going to ask my doc if she is willing, so I can see if my insurance will help pay for them. I drink two bottles a day of the Komplete (same as their 1.0 formula that can be prescribed).

      I still need to drink more water and find myself choking easily. Interesting to read in the coughing forum (or here – I forget which) that could be a PH symptom.

    • #22800
      Sheriden
      Participant

      I forgot to mention, two days after a bad pain incident in November, I took myself to the Er for some fluids (after going to the PCP office where I was informed they will not administer fluids, then going to urgent care where I was also informed they will not administer fluids).

      They had no problem giving me some fluids.

      I checked in with a low grade fever and checked out with a fever of 101.6 (I knew it was worse and asked them to check it before I left), so I am not sure how much it helped to be honest.

    • #25469
      Jen Cueva
      Moderator

      Hey y’all, I thought this was a topic that we should revisit. With the weather warming up, do you find that you are dehydrated more often? I have a difficult time with this in the warmer months. I am on fluid restriction, and it never fails that I am more thirsty when it is hotter outside. Do you find this to be true for you?

      For me, my lips get dry and start to crack. I often drink a Gatorade water mix to help. I also suck on ice chips to help me think that I am quenching my thirst. Usually, I still end up needing IV fluids at times. What are your tips?

    • #25473
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      @jenc this is a good topic to revisit as we approach hotter days ahead. During the summer I keep checking on the level of Cullen’s water bottle and if it’s empty I place a new one in his hand. I always tell him that when it’s hot he should have a water bottle in his hand as much as he does his cell phone.

      Do I practice what I preach? No…I don’t. I still drink hot peppermint mocha’s in the summer and not nearly enough water. I experience brain fog, migraines and dry skin. Does anyone else connect dry skin with dehydration? That is always a big tell for me.

    • #25486
      Jen Cueva
      Moderator

      Hi @colleensteele, isn’t it much easier to preach than practice those things? Especially when it comes to Starbucks, hehe.

      I am happy that Cullen has you to hold him accountable, so maybe you need your pretty water bottle? Perhaps you can get one of the cute ones with a motivational quote on it? On days that my hubby is home, I fill up an old hospital water bottle with vice and water to be sure that he at least gets some water intake. He tends to drink water at work but slacks at home.

      I often do experience headaches, brain fog, and dry skin when I am not fully hydrated. It can be difficult for me as I am on fluid restriction and 3 diuretics. Does anyone else have this “balancing act”? I am sure that Cullen has this issue lately with increasing a diuretic. Have you noticed this more this week?

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