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Dehydration can pose serious threat to anyone

By Cami Thomas
On October 4, 2012

  • Cami Thomas. Assistant Sports Editor

It goes without saying that Louisiana is hot. Sometimes it's scorching, sometimes pleasant, but almost always tank-top worthy. Staying healthy while living in the south includes staying hydrated. Dehydration happens when the loss of body fluids surpasses the amount taken in. It's natural to lose water throughout the day from sweating, and it's important for that water to be replaced. A few sips at the water fountain and a glass of water at lunch isn't enough to fulfill your body's needs.
According to Dr. Ajsa Nikolic from Uptown Urgent Care, water only does part of the job.
"The biggest mistake that people make is drinking plain water and thinking it will hydrate them" Nikolic said.
This is not to say that you can stay hydrated by drinking soda all day. Water is still important, but lack of electrolytes can also make you feel dehydrated. Nikolic suggests drinking Gatorade, coconut water and Pedialyte to give your body the electrolytes that it needs.
Out-of-state students may find themselves dehydrated more often than their native peers. Nikolic has found that people who are not used to the weather in New Orleans will lose water without even knowing it.
"Their bodies have to get acclimated to the climate," Nikolic said.
Director of Tulane EMS Bijan Rivi agrees that the warm weather poses a threat.
"The heat is a serious issue in this," Rivi said.
Students should recognize the symptoms of dehydration before it progresses into something harmful.
The initial symptoms of dehydration are minor but can get worse as time progresses. Increased thirst is the first way your body will warn you that it isn't hydrated. It's best to drink something as soon as you feel thirsty. Other signs include weakness, dizziness, palpitations and fainting.
Unless you're deliberately trying to avoid liquids, there's no good reason to end up in the hospital due to this. Tulane EMS rarely receives calls to assist a student who is suffering from dehydration.
"Usually your body gives you fair warning," Rivi said.
Signs of dehydration can hit anyone. However, you can get equally as dehydrated by sitting in the library all night without drinking anything or by a night of drinking at local bars.
Whatever the reason for your thirst, don't ignore it. Drink water throughout the day to replace the fluids that your body loses. Gulp down some Gatorade and relax if you feel exhausted, and you'll be back on your feet in no time.
Staying hydrated has much to do with listening to your body and reacting accordingly.
Cami Thomas can be reached at cathoma2@loyno.edu


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