RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas– With the heat index hitting the triple digits experts weigh in on the signs of dehydration and how much water people should be drinking.
Andrew Escamilla, M.D., a physician at Valley Regional Medical Center said it is very easy to overlook the symptoms of dehydration.
“Eventually people can start feeling dizzy, light headed, maybe their vision gets blurred, maybe they start feeling short of breath, tired, then in the extreme cases people can become confused or lose consciousness,” he said.
According to Escamilla the elderly and young children are the most vulnerable to dehydration but said those working outside are also at risk.
“Construction workers who are working outside there’s no shade or maybe they’re wearing special gear to try to protect themselves and that equipment is very hot, they can also become dehydrated,” he said.
Escamilla said drinking a lot of fluids like water will help prevent dehydration, but if you are looking to quench your thirst, he said to beware of energy drinks and caffeine.
“One of the things you want to watch out for is that a lot of those sports drinks have a lot of sugar, so that can become a problem as well because sugar itself will cause some dehydration,” he said.
According to Escamilla dehydration and heat exhaustion can also lead to hospitalization.
“Depending on the level of dehydration or heat stroke or damage to their body it can be a lot more than that to the point where somebody may require intensive care,” he said.
To prevent dehydration during these hot days, Escamilla recommends taking frequent breaks and drinking plenty fluids.