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Hidden dehydration caused by winter drying


As the morning and evening cool down, the season has finally come to announce the arrival of winter. The number of households that heat indoors has increased, but “hidden dehydration” is particularly important for elderly people with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition to reducing the frequency of water intake, people often experience dehydration before they become aware of the dry air. “Frequently manage your physical condition and take good measures”. Experts are also calling for attention.

When entering the home of the home care service user, squeeze the towel with water and dry it in the room. It is indispensable at this time as a handy dry measure. “Users and families tend to forget. Always be careful.” This is the basic operation of a care worker, Katsuko Mikami, who belongs to Nichii Gakkan.

Why do we need to be careful about winter dehydration? This is because there is a high possibility of dehydration without being aware of breathing and spontaneous evaporation from the skin. The room is easy to dry because it uses a heater. In particular, recent housing is highly airtight and spends a long time at high temperatures and low humidity.

“It can threaten the lives of older people with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and heart disease.” Prof. Yasushi Miyake of Teikyo University points out. The proportion of water in the body is 60% of the weight of adults, and it is only about 50% for those 65 years and older. The function of feeling thirsty is also reduced, making it difficult to notice dehydration.

If the amount of water in the body is low, the blood flow becomes poor and blood vessels are clogged, causing stroke and myocardial infarction. In the case of diabetes, there is a diuretic action depending on the type of medicine taken, and there is also a risk that dehydration is likely to occur. In winter, infections such as influenza virus and norovirus are prevalent, so you should be careful about fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. If you lose your appetite, you will not be able to remove the moisture contained in the ingredients, and there is a risk of accelerating dehydration.

The most important measure is regular hydration. Drink water every hour even if you are not thirsty. I want to remember before and after bathing. Since everyone is lightly dehydrated when waking up in the morning (Prof. Miyake), it is desirable to take water before going to bed at night and when getting up.

However, beverages containing a lot of caffeine, such as coffee and green tea, have a diuretic action and may lose water. Sports drinks are also unsuitable for daily consumption because of their high sugar content. “In many cases, barbecue and hojicha are recommended in addition to white water” at the nursing care site. Mikami explains.

Drinking a lot of water at once is also counterproductive. This is because it is easier to keep moisture by taking small amounts little by little. “The kidneys that regulate the amount of water in the body make urine and expel it when a lot of water comes in.” Professor Miyake speaks. People who cannot complain of thirst are advised to drink water when their skin is thick or their mouth is sticky.

Dehydration in winter is less noticeable than in summer, and there is also a caution due to the assumption that dehydration is in summer. First of all, it is recognized that there is a risk of dehydration in winter, and when the physical condition is different from usual, it is suspected that it may be dehydrated.