Water is a vitally important aspect of survival because the human body cannot function without it. When you don’t get enough water intake, you start to suffer from dehydration and the condition can quickly become serious and even life threatening. In the early phases, symptoms of dehydration are so mild that they are barely noticeable. Then as things advance, the body starts to shut down and you will get very sick, very fast. Let’s take a closer look at how dehydration impacts the body and what symptoms you should be watching for if you ever find yourself in a survival situation where water is scarce.
Early Warning Signs
Your first clue that you need more water is thirst. When you start noticing that you feel thirsty, you are probably already slightly dehydrated. If you are chronically dehydrated, thirst might be mild and eventually, you won’t even feel thirsty anymore. In the beginning stages of dehydration, you often have a reduced appetite. Sometimes your skin becomes flushed, especially on your neck or face. Another warning sign is dark colored urine or dry mouth. You might feel fatigued or have a mild headache. Chills and dizziness can also occur in the early stages. If you notice these symptoms, act quickly to prevent dehydration from progressing any further.
As Dehydration Progresses
If you do not consume enough water after the early warning signs, you will continue to suffer more uncomfortable symptoms. Your might notice an increase in your heart rate and you could breathe a little faster than usual. The body temperature will rise and you will notice a marked decrease in sweating and urination. As dehydration continues, you will experience extreme fatigue, muscle cramps, severe headaches, and even nausea and constipation. You can also experience neurosensory problems like tingling in your hands and feet or numbness in your extremities. At this point, you need to drink a significant amount of water to stop the symptoms. You could require IV fluids at this point in the progression so medical care is advised. If you don’t have access to medical care, drink as much water as possible.
Symptoms of Advanced Dehydration
When dehydration moves to an advanced level, your body will start to shut down. You might have strong muscle spasms, vomiting, and a rapid heartbeat. Some people experience temporary blindness at this stage as well as a feeling of confusion or disorientation. Next, you will feel respiratory depression and you can start having dangerous seizures or chest pain. The final step is unconsciousness and at this point, your life is on the line.
The easiest way to conquer dehydration is to stay hydrated from the beginning. That’s why it is crucial to be prepared in case you cannot access your water supply in case of an emergency. Children and infants experience dehydration must faster than adults and your pets can also experience these symptoms too. Lack of water can be deadly so plan ahead! Make sure you have at least two gallons of water per person per day in your prepper supplies. Start by stocking up a two week supply and then you can expand it further.
What steps are you taking to be prepared for a water shortage?