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Dehydration Headaches

 
The human body is about 70% water. Simply put, a dehydration headache occurs as the result of excessive loss of water from the body, when we lose more water than we take in.
 

What Causes a Dehydration Headache?

 
It’s a bit complicated since the body loses not just water, but valuable electrolytes as well. What causes a dehydration headache might be the most benign symptom if the root of the problem is not corrected.

Dehydration can be a prime mover, as a headache or Migraine trigger. Many people mistakenly think it occurs only in hot weather and that you’re not dehydrated if you’re not thirsty. Both of these are misconceptions.

Let’s take a look at dehydration, what it does to the body, how to treat it, and more sensibly … how to prevent it.
 

Dehydration basics

  • Depending on variables (activity/temperature) It takes an average of 60 to 80 ounces to replace the water our bodies lose in 24 hours.
  • Under normal circumstances, how much water we need depends a great deal on the volume of our perspiration and urine output.
  • Our bodies’ need for water increases under circumstances such as:
    • warmer weather or climate
    • living at high altitudes
    • increased physical activity
    • when experiencing vomiting or diarrhea
    • when fevered
    • when you have a cold or the flu
    • if you have a chronic disease such as uncontrolled or untreated diabetes, kidney disease, alcoholism, cystic fibrosis, or adrenal disorders
    • if you are taking some medications. Always check your prescription information.
    • during long air flights
  • Losing as little as 1 to 2% of body weight can result in dehydration.
  • Losing 3 to 5% can negatively impact reaction time, concentration and judgment.
  • Losing 9 – 15% results in severe dehydration and is life-threatening.

Symptoms of dehydration:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Less frequent need to urinate and decreased output
  • Darker colored urine (should be nearly clear to pale yellow)
  • Confusion
  • Increased heart rate and respiration

Treating dehydration

 
Dehydration should be confirmed by your doctor. Caught early, after confirming with your doctor, dehydration can usually be treated at home.

Especially with children, your doctor’s suggestions for treatment of this temple headache may vary depending on the cause and severity of the dehydration.

“An ounce of Prevention” is the best advice here. Obviously, it’s better to prevent dehydration. Here are some steps you can take:
  1. Drink plenty of fluids and eat foods high in water. Fruit contains the most water, followed by vegetables, meat, then grains with the least.
  2. Choose your beverages wisely. Caffeine and alcohol can be dehydrating. For some people, too much fruit juice can cause diarrhea, which also can be dehydrating. leading to a temple headache.
  3. If you’re planning a day with more significantly exercise than usual, begin hydrating the day before.
  4. Sports drinks can help maintain electrolyte balance, but be aware of the sugars in them, that may be what causes your headache.
  5. Plan outdoor activities for cooler parts of the day.
  6. If you’re organizing outdoor activities, provide shaded areas.
  7. When you’re ill, be sure to continue drinking fluids.
You most likely have heard that your body is 70% water. You are either more like a lake or a swamp.

What’s the difference? They are both bodies of water. But one has a flow of new refreshed water flowing in, the other is stagnate. You choose.  For more personal information and a telephone consultation for persistent headaches / Migraines take advantage of our free, no obligation, consultation with a BEYOND Headaches doctor.


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written by Dr. Jeff Finnigan

Dehydration Headaches