Often when you get hit with a flu or cold, you get dehydrated. Your body has lost more water than it has taken in. Because water is a vital substance in many bodily functions — in fact, water makes up about 75 percent of the body’s weight—being dehydrated can make you feel even worse when you’re sick. Dr. Ken Redcross, who specializes in internal medicine at his personalized medical practice Redcross Concierge, recommends you watch out for these tell-tale signs and shares a few tips to help you avoid becoming dehydrated.
Signs of Dehydration
- You’re taking less trips to the bathroom. When you are dehydrated, your urine becomes darker and you go less often. Little ones will also have less wet diapers or tears than usual. And, though rare, children with the flu may also have diarrhea, which may lead to dehydration.
- Your mouth feels very dry. Your mouth will feel dry when your body has not gotten enough fluids to produce an adequate amount of saliva. Decreased saliva can mean bad breath since saliva contains antibacterial properties.
- You’re feeling lightheaded. When the body doesn’t get enough fluids it can cause a drop in blood pressure and decrease blood flow to the brain. If you are feeling extremely lightheaded, seek medical attention immediately.
- You’re sweating. Flu is usually accompanied by a fever which can cause sweating. If you’re not able to replenish the water your body loses during this process it can lead to dehydration.
Tips to Stay Hydrated
- Fill up on mom’s chicken soup. Not only can chicken soup help keep the body hydrated, but a study from the journal Chest found that it has properties that slow the movement of infection-fighting white blood cells. When white blood cells move more slowly, they spend more time in the areas of the body that need them most. The steam from the soup can also help open stuffed-up nasal passages, and the salty broth can soothe a sore throat.
- Eat more fruits and veggies. Oranges, grapefruits, cucumbers and tomatoes contain more than 90 percent water. They are also packed with good-for-you nutrients like vitamins C (said to have immune boosting properties) and B (said to help promote a healthy metabolism).
- Enjoy a cold treat. Popsicles made of fruit juice can also help children stay hydrated. It’s best to avoid popsicles high in sugar since that may impair the immune response. Coconut water and regular H2O are also a great option to help keep the body hydrated.
- Avoid caffeine or alcohol. These beverages are a diuretic causing you to urinate more often and further lose water.
For more natural tips to help you through this cold and flu season, visit Oscillo.com/wellness.