The Effects of Chronic Dehydration

October 1, 2020

Dehydration is a popular topic widely discussed in medical, athletic, and nutritional communities across the globe. Why? Because no one is immune, and its effects can be detrimental to our bodies. That’s why it’s essential to know the signs, symptoms, and remedies for it. But what about chronic dehydration?

What is chronic dehydration?

The term ‘chronic dehydration’ is exactly as it sounds: dehydration that continually recurs.

Fluid deficiency can result from many things, such as heat exposure, physical activity, and illness, among others. These factors usually cause mild to moderate dehydration, where you lose more fluids than you consume that particular day. Side effects can include but aren’t limited to, headaches, fatigue, cramps, and mental fogginess. Usually, one can resolve their dehydration by drinking water and resting.

But when you face chronic dehydration, your body is past the point of drinking more water to compensate for fluid loss. The case becomes ongoing and puts the body in a difficult position where it’s pushed to function without enough water. Considering the human body is more than 60% water, chronic dehydration can cause some pretty nasty symptoms and side effects. In a nutshell, it can be detrimental and requires immediate medical attention.

Symptoms & effects of chronic dehydration

Typically, you won’t realize your dehydrated. When you start to feel the symptoms of dehydration, it’s already too late. That’s why being able to identify the warning signs is imperative—especially for chronic dehydration.

If you’re chronically dehydrated, you could experience:

  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Continuous fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Recurrent headaches

While these may seem serious, what’s more serious is happening behind the scenes. Just like regular dehydration, you might not be aware you’re chronically dehydrated. This is because a chronically dehydrated body is less sensitive to water intake and forces its day-to-day functions (breathing, digesting, focusing) to operate without proper hydration. This change can happen regardless of how much you’re drinking.

Chronic dehydration is a serious health condition that you shouldn’t overlook. As it progresses, the individual could face the following:

  • Reduced kidney function
  • Kidney stones
  • Hypertension
  • Urinary tract infections (UTI)
  • Intestinal failure
  • Dementia


How to treat & prevent chronic dehydration

Primarily, drinking plain water does not help treat chronic dehydration because it does nothing to restore the body’s electrolytes. If diagnosed with chronic dehydration, your doctor might prescribe you an electrolyte drink.

Additionally, drinking large quantities of fluids at once is not effective at treating chronic dehydration. Instead, drinking small amounts more often is recommended. However, if your chronic dehydration is severe, you may be hospitalized to receive an intravenous line so fluids can directly enter your bloodstream. From there, your doctor will monitor your symptoms until the condition improves.

Whether you’ve suffered from chronic dehydration or not, the best way to prevent it in the future is hydrating adequately based on your lifestyle. You should consider certain digestive conditions, occupation, diet, location, and other health conditions specific to you.

Who is at risk for chronic dehydration?

In a word, everyone. No one is immune to chronic dehydration. But certain conditions make individuals more susceptible to it than others. Individuals with medical conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and nonceliac gluten sensitivity are more prone to chronic dehydration. This is also true for babies and toddlers who cannot communicate their thirst.

Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should also monitor their hydration, as they are at a higher risk for chronic dehydration. In fact, hyperemesis gravidarum is a pregnancy condition that negatively affects the body’s hydration level and ability to maintain it.

Feeling dehydrated? Primo Water can help.

Chronic dehydration is no joke. Luckily, by choosing Primo Water for your household, you can stay ahead of the hydration curve and make dehydration a thing of the past. Besides, bulk water users drink 25% more water on average than non-bulk water users. We’re helping you fight dehydration one glass at a time.

While the amount matters, the source is just as important. While your tap can carry along some pretty nasty contaminants, Primo Water is purified for safety and taste. It undergoes a 5-step Reverse Osmosis (RO) purification process that eliminates harmful microorganisms, heavy metals, trace pharmaceuticals, and more. Because we believe the fight for healthy hydration starts at the source.

Ready to get started? Find a dispenser that fits your lifestyle—from homebody to busy bee. We don’t judge.