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Dehydration...just a reminder

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by heygrassman, May 26, 2002.

  1. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 509


    Dehydration is one of the most common heat diseases. Very few of us go through life without being dehydrated at some time or another. At times dehydration might be dismissed as a minor "irritation", but it is indeed something that deserves our full attention and warrants timely treatment.

    Dehydration can be defined as "Loss of water content and essential body salts (electrolytes) needed for normal body functioning." it is the lack of adequate body fluids for the body to carry on normal functions at an optimum level.

    There are basically 3 types of dehydration. Mild dehydration, which is said to set in when there is a fluid loss of 5% from the body. At this point in time, dehydration is not very dangerous and can be easily cured with re-hydration.

    Moderate dehydration is said to set in when there is up to a 10% loss of body fluid. This type is of great concern and immediate steps should be taken for re-hydration.

    When about 15% of a persons body fluid is lost a person is considered severely dehydrated. This should be treated as a medical emergency and might even require hospitalization to bring about a normal electrolyte balance.

    To enable quick and easy diagnosis, proper knowledge of some of the more common symptoms of dehydration is necessary.

    A person suffering from dehydration will display the following symptoms:

    <b>A dry mouth with sticky mucus membrane in the mouth.
    Decreased urine output.
    Sunken eyes
    Wrinkled skin which may lack its normal elasticity and sag back into position slowly when pinched into a fold.
    Dizziness, confusion, and coma
    Low blood pressure
    Severe thirst
    Increased heart-rate and breathing </b>

    If you experience any of the above symptoms, or observe them in a friend then you need to get immediate medical attention, and immediate steps should be taken for re-hydration.


    If caught early the treatment of dehydration, under normal circumstances, may be undertaken at home. However, it is always recommended that you contact your doctor to ensure a proper and complete recovery.

    Mild dehydration can be treated by simple rehydration. Oral fluids are very effective. <b><i>Sports drinks like Gatorade are very effective in restoring body fluids and salt balance. Another very effective way of maintaining salt balance and fluid intake is to drink fresh lemonade with salt in it.</b></i>

    For moderate dehydration intravenous fluids and hospitalization might be required. Though, if this is caught early enough, simple rehydration might suffice. It is essential that you contact your doctor for appropriate medical advice.

    For severe dehydration hospitalization along with intravenous rehydration will be necessary. This form of dehydration should be treated as a medical emergency and immediate action should be taken.
  2. yardboyltd

    yardboyltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 323

    Good post. In fact, just today the heat started sweltering and I started thinking about dehydration. One tip in addition: Remeber guys when your at the 711 inbetween accounts, pick a healthy choice, no POP! It quinches thirst, but not your bodies. Also, gatorade and powerade are sometimes the wrong thing for dehydration. You need pure water most of the time. In fact, powerade makes me throw up, two times at track meets and several times weight lifting. Also, too much salt displaces water and can make you dehydrate faster...
  3. Tony Harrell

    Tony Harrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 739

    Years ago when I was in Texas for Air Force basic training, We were given salt tablets to force us to drink,.....you guessed it--water. Soda won't quench my thirst, but a cooler filled with filtered water from my home does the trick until I can get home for the day and grab a cold beer. Here's to ya all!
  4. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 509

    Just a reminder...
  5. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    good post Grassman...yesterday I may have had a mild case of it...worked too hard last week and then worked like a dog tearing out some shrubs.trees at my own house this weekend and its been very warm here. I woke up yesterday and felt like a train hit me and very thirsty no matter how much I drank water. Real tired and a little disoriented. I was almost afraid to run the mower. And now when I think back a few days, although I was drinking a fair amount of water, trips to the bathroom were few and far between. I was so tired I could barely put one foot in front of the other. Be careful out there....this can sneak up on you and you'll feel like you have mono or something. I went to bed last nite at 7 pm. Today I feel much better but still have a dry mouth.
  6. Gr grass n Hi tides

    Gr grass n Hi tides LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    Yes, this is a great post that should be bumped up to the top for the next couple of months or so if it starts to drop down. I've been involved & seen a few other threads over the past couple of days along the same line, including symptoms I had this past weekend.

    We all talk about equipment and methods here quite a bit, naturally, but let's not forget the most valuable tool and asset to our families - ourselves.

    Also, before I go out for the day I say a prayer. I "put that on" like I would a shirt, hat or sunblock. Won't go anywhere without it.
  7. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 476

    Great information...thanks guys.
    The one thing I was wondering about is what you guys said about not needing to pee! When it gets real hot here, I chug tons of water (a couple days ago I drank a gallon and a half) and I still don't have to use the bathroom, so I think that even when you aren't dehydrated you still won't need to use the bathroom as much when your body is sweating out all your fluids...just be sure to replace them.
  8. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    This is a great post that seems to come up every year, which is good. Just bumping this back to the top to hopefully prevent anyone from having this happen.

  9. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I'm gonna print out this thread and tape it to my back door so I see when I leave in the morning until about Labor Day...thanks for the reminder heygrassman:)
  10. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    It may be gross to talk about, but I always judge my hydration levels by the color of my urine. Too much yellow, that means I need more water. If it's clear(er) then I know I'm good. Your kidneys regulate the amount of salts (including sugar) in your body, and when you get dehydrated, it will expell the salts which makes the urine yellower. If you are hydrated enough, it will expell the water, making the urine clearer. Good ole loop of henley. Drinking soda or sugary drinks doesn't help to hydrate you, it can actually do the opposite. Stick to water.

    Also, a couple of more symptoms to look for: Headaches and lack of sweating during hot weather. If you get dehydrated enough, it can screw up your sinuses and create headaches, and when you lack water, your body won't sweat to cool off. This is a double danger!

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