No thirst signals, watch out for dehydration

Some people hardly know it, the feeling of thirst. This is often learned by ignoring the incentive so often that it eventually disappears into the background. This seems useful, but it is not. Drinking too little disrupts the fluid balance and this is a health risk. So, despite the absence of the thirst stimulus, it is wise to build in enough drinking into your daily routine.

Ignore incentive

You are busy and have a lot of appointments or you have to be in the car for a long time. Then it is annoying when you often have to go to the bathroom. Many people want to prevent this by drinking less, because whoever drinks less has to go to the toilet less often. You deliberately ignore the thirst stimulus.
When this happens occasionally, this is not a problem. We usually get thirsty when we have lost about two percent of body fluids and then we are far from drying out. Only if we ignore the thirst stimulus often enough, it will eventually take longer and longer before we feel it and then it can entail a health risk.

Hunger instead of thirst

Sometimes the body gives a signal if you ignore the fluid deficiency for too long. You will then feel hungry. Your body then asks for food, while you are actually thirsty. When the feeling of hunger disappears after drinking a few glasses of water, chances are that it was not hungry, but thirsty. Many people eat too much, while they are actually thirsty instead of hungry.

Dehydration (dehydration) and headache

When you suffer from dehydration, headache is often the first phenomenon. It seems that fluid deficiency is the most common reason for headache. So it's not a bad idea to drink a few glasses of water empty when you feel a headache coming.
It is not known exactly why we get a headache from drinking too little. It is assumed that the brain is the first to give clear signals when they are not given enough fluid and waste accumulates. It is also your brain that first signals that you are drying out. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that causes the thirst stimulus, and when you ignore this, a stronger signal comes in, headache.

Other early signs of dehydration

If you drink too little chronically, you may occasionally have a headache, but there are other symptoms that should actually encourage you to drink more. These are:
  • the color of the urine. Urine should be light yellow in color. When the urine is dark yellow, this is already a sign that you drink too little.
  • little energy. If you often feel tired and lifeless, this may be due to a lack of moisture.
  • dry lips and dry skin. If you always drink too little, your body will be the first to extract moisture from the skin.
  • bad mouth odor. Not everyone notices a dry mouth, but when you start to stink out of your mouth a dry mouth may be the reason because of insufficient saliva production.
  • dry eyes. Too little moisture will also produce less tear fluid, causing you to suffer from dry eyes.

What else is associated with dehydration?

Back pain and neck complaints

Between the vertebrae of the back are intervertebral discs which prevent movement of the vertebrae painfully against each other during movement. These intervertebral discs contain a type of jelly and this jelly thickens due to insufficient fluid intake. This can cause you back pain or neck pain. Low back pain in particular is often associated with a lack of fluid.


Older people are sometimes thought to become demented when there is actually a lack of fluid. Due to a lack of moisture, they get confused and sometimes start talking incoherently. They seem to have memory problems. Older people in particular must be extra alert and ensure that they drink enough and that older people in particular often have difficulty getting enough fluid due to the lack of thirst stimulus.

Low bloodpressure

High blood pressure is not good, but there can also be something wrong with (too) low blood pressure. Dehydration is often the cause of low blood pressure. Low blood pressure can cause symptoms such as feeling weak, dizziness, fainting and nausea.

How much should you drink?

Drinking one liter of water every day is sufficient in addition to the moisture that you get along with the food. According to 2008 University of Pennsylvania research, it is not necessary to drink two liters of water a day. It is, however, important what you get in addition to the moisture intake of nutrients. Too much salt, alcohol, coffee, nicotine and refined sugar has a negative influence on our moisture balance. In addition to drinking, it is also important what you eat. Most people know the influence of alcohol on our fluid balance. The notorious hangover is the result of lack of moisture, caused by too much alcohol.

Video: All the Signs That Youre Not Drinking Enough Water (February 2020).

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