Do you have several mood swings throughout the day? While it could happen due to several reasons, one of the lesser-known ones is dehydration. It can also cause anxiety or jittery nerves. The correlation is clear. Dehydration leads to lethargy and dizziness, which in turn leads to agitation, confusion, and anxiety.
1. Causes and Symptoms to Watch Out For
Now the human body is composed of 70% water. However, this water does not stay in our body composition permanently. Thus, there are mainly two ways how this water exits our bodies:
- Frequent visits to the washroom.
- Sweating profusely after a good run.
Now since we constantly keep losing this water, it becomes important to restore this balance. And how do you do that? By drinking enough water to stay hydrated! When your water intake is not up to the mark, dehydration occurs. Nevertheless, simply sweating or urinating does not put you at risk of dehydration.
1.1 What Causes Dehydration?
To hydrate yourself means your water intake must be sufficient for you to go about your daily tasks with ease. It is a no-brainer, then, what the word ‘dehydration’ means. When you start losing more water than your usual intake, then you start going through the symptoms of dehydration.
However, before we come to the symptoms of dehydration, let us grasp the causes.
Simply sweating in the summer does not cause dehydration. Moreover, sweating after a good workout is quite normal. However, it becomes a cause for concern if you’re drenched in sweat the entire day. Dehydration occurs when you sweat constantly.
1.1.2. Too Much Caffeine
Coffee is a diuretic. This means that it makes you have frequent washroom visits. Therefore, this further aids in lowering the water content in your body. You do not have to say no to that enticing cup of cold coffee. However, drinking more than 2 cups in a day is not recommended.
Moreover, an increased caffeine intake puts you at risk of anxiety. So, make sure you reduce your caffeine intake.
1.1.3. Chugging Water
Keeping yourself hydrated means drinking 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day. However, chugging 3-4 glasses of water immediately is not the way to go. This will only cause you to urinate more, thereby causing dehydration.
Dr. Fertel says, “I don’t think those guidelines are that helpful because that’s for a normal person with an average weight in a normal situation…A general rule of thumb is, drink when you’re thirsty.”
1.1.4. Not Consuming Enough Water
Forgetting to hydrate yourself amidst work stress is quite common. You can set reminders or keep a water bottle nearby at all times. Ideally, 8-10 glasses of water are recommended. To know your ideal water intake, keep the following aspects in mind:
- Your energy is expended throughout the day.
- Your workout routine.
- Your food intake.
- How much do you sweat in a day?1.1.5. Running a High Fever
Being bedridden with a high fever is the worst as it is. Now add to this– dehydration. If you have a fever and feel low on energy, there’s a possibility that you haven’t been consuming enough water.
1.2 Can Dehydration Cause Anxiety? Symptoms of Dehydration
Once you go through the causes of dehydration, make sure to look out for the symptoms of dehydration. Dehydration contributes to these symptoms:
One of the basic symptoms of dehydration is tiredness or fatigue. Dehydration can become a hurdle in your sleep schedule. Thus, you might wake up feeling sluggish. Therefore, if you feel fatigued coming in the way of your daily tasks, do give your healthcare provider a call. Nevertheless, it is important to keep yourself hydrated!
1.2.2. Chapped Lips and Skin
If you often find yourself on the receiving end of dry, flaky skin and chapped lips, then you should look for other signs of dehydration. Dry skin and lips put you at risk for dehydration. However, since these could be symptoms of other diseases, visit your healthcare provider.
1.2.3. Low Blood Pressure
The blood flow in veins decreases due to dehydration. This is why it is imperative to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day! When your blood flow decreases, you experience low blood pressure. To make sure your blood pressure is right, book an appointment with your healthcare provider. Ideal blood pressure is around 120/80.
1.2.4. Anxiety and Increased Heart Rate
When your blood flow is decreased and you have low blood pressure, you might experience an increased heart rate and respiratory rate. This is how your body compensates. Thus, dehydration might cause anxiety. So, if you notice some increased anxiety symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.
One study claims that higher anxiety levels are more common in dehydrated people. Another states that an increased water intake is synonymous with a good mood. So, dehydration does contribute to causing anxiety. Thus, if you notice symptoms of anxiety, make sure to rest in a cool shade. Moreover, drinking water is key.
2. Helpful Home Remedies
If you resonate with most of the symptoms, then it is vital to get a proper diagnosis. Properly treating dehydration is essential since it disrupts your mental health. Nevertheless, along with going to a doctor, you can also be mindful of some home remedies. Some helpful tips include:
2.1. Oral Rehydration Solution
While drinking water is usually recommended, you can also toss in some ORS in it! ORS is usually recommended to compensate for a loss of bodily fluids. So, if you know that your sluggishness is caused by dehydration, make sure to reach for an oral rehydration solution.
2.2. Coconut Water
It is obvious that to treat dehydration, you have to increase your water intake. In addition, coconut water is high in sodium and potassium. And when you’re dehydrated, you’re low on both. Thus, drinking coconut water 2 or more times a day can be helpful to ward off anxiety caused by dehydration
2.3. Increase Fruit Intake
If you’re dehydrated, then make bananas your best friend! Dehydration indicates a low amount of potassium in your body. Thus, including bananas in your fruit bowl can be beneficial. Furthermore, eating fruits with more water content, like apples, oranges, and cranberries is also advantageous. The more you increase your fluid intake, the better!
2.4. Rest is Key
If you indulge in strenuous workouts and sweat profusely, it is important to stop for a while. Take a break! Engaging in heavy workouts while being dehydrated is quite dangerous. Thus, practising yoga or stretching is more than enough. This will help bring down your anxiety levels caused by dehydration. Contact your healthcare provider for more helpful tips!
3. Final Takeaway
As a mental health disorder, anxiety can be a result of various diseases. Dehydration decreases blood flow, which causes low blood pressure. To keep a balance, your body increases your heart and respiratory rate. This also contributes to disrupted mental health. Thus, drinking enough water, increasing your fruit intake, and taking rest are all vital! If symptoms persist, it would be judicious to call a doctor.