Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Guest Blog - Dehydration

A follow up on the previous blog about heat related illnesses is a guest blog on dehydration from a medical standpoint and what it means in your body.

Don’t Get Dehydrated This Summer! 

With summer temperatures rising high, it is critical to keep in mind what may be causing you to feel dehydrated and also how you can spot dehydration before it becomes a serious hazard.

The first tip is to know the signs and symptoms of dehydration. Usually, the first signs are neurological; headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, increased thirst, and dry mouth. After that, if dehydration has not been treated, the signs may progress on to GI symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and cramps. Medical signs physicians look for include tachycardia, fever, tachypnea (increased breathing), decreased urine output, and hypotension. On rare occasions with severe dehydration coma, seizures, and death can occur.

In order to avoid dehydration, prevention is key. Especially in preparing for any long outdoor physical activity, you should decrease alcohol, coffee, and tea, intake. The common factor in many sports drinks and sodas is caffeine, which is also a big contributor to dehydration. They are diuretics and diuretics will cause inhibition of ADH (antidiuretic hormones) made in the pituitary gland, which is needed for the sodium active transport system in your kidneys. When the transport system is blocked, water does not get reabsorbed by the kidneys and is lost through urine. This is the reason for the frequent urination when drinking these products.

Even more important than knowing what can make you feel dehydrated, is knowing ways to help you stay
properly and fully hydrated. When choosing a beverage that will keep you hydrated, the two main ingredients to look for are Salt (NACl) and Water(H2O). Plain water will be absorbed via the GI Tract but is very inefficient. Have you ever drank plain water and still felt dehydrated? It is the active transport system, specifically, the sodium (Na) active transport system in the kidneys that is the most efficient system in the human body in reabsorbing water. When we drink a high sodium drink in the form of NaCl (salt) and H2O (water) during dehydration, the kidneys will actively transport the sodium (Na). When this occurs, the H2O will follow passively into our body. This is why when a patient comes to the ER (emergecny room) for dehydration issues, they are given a Normal Saline IV. 1 Liter normal saline has 9000mg of Salt (NaCl) and Water (H20). The only ingredients found in a normal saline is Salt and Water.

Don’t short yourself of fluids you need to stay hydrated. While this is difficult to measure, generally for non-active consumers, 2-4 BANa’s per day will keep the doctor away. 4 bottles of adult BANa is similar in salt content as a normal saline IV bag. When hydrated, your body will naturally filter out out the excess salt and water. Doctors also tell non-active patients in clinic the 8x8 rule. Eight - 8 oz glasses of plain water per day. Have fun this summer, but stay safe by staying hydrated!

For more than a decade, Benjamin Yoo, MD has treated patients in the emergency room for dehydration. Dr. Yoo is the founder of BANa Bottling Co., an industry-leading rehydration beverage company. Born in South Korea, Yoo moved to the U.S. at the age of six and was raised on his parent’s farm in western Kentucky. Dr. Yoo earned his medical degree from the University of Louisville in 2001, then began working in emergency rooms across Georgia and South Carolina. He moved to Charleston, S.C. in 2004 to work at HealthFirst Rapid Care in North Charleston. It was there that Yoo had the idea for BANa a rehydration drink inspired by saline IVs given to patients in the ER or urgent care for dehydration

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