Thursday, August 2, 2012

Drink, Drank, Drunk

When I was diagnosed as a Type II Diabetic, most people asked if I noticed any of the classic symptoms, such as constant thirst. I cannot say that I did because I am a drinker. I constantly have a cup of fluid with me to keep my palette wet.

I am a drinker and, therefore, yes, it does get ugly quick when it involves alcohol. But that's not what we are here to talk about. Let's talk about (non-alcoholic induced) dehydration.

According to the Mayo Clinic
Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn't have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don't replace lost fluids, you may get dehydrated.
Dehydration can surprise you if you are not staying aware. Take for instance Awesome Cheryl during our last training ride in L'ville. The day wasn't even extremely warm, but she soon found herself experiencing the first stages of dehydrating: discolored urine, little sweating, slight headache and chills. After drinking more water, most of her symptoms subsided, but in order to catch it quickly you need to be aware of the symptoms:

  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Feeling of sluggishness, tired
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urine
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
Symptoms of severe dehydration which required medical attention ASAP:
  • Extreme thirst
  • Extreme fussiness or irritability, sleepiness
  • Very dry mouth
  • Lack of sweating
  • Little or no urination - urine may be dark yellow or amber
  • Sunken eyes
  • Skin loses elasticity, or doesn't bounce back after pinching
  • Low Blood pressure
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Rapid breathing
  • No tears when crying
  • Fever
Last weekend when Cheryl & I were coming home from L'ville, I received a text from my dear husband saying he needed to talk to me about his heart rate during his run which got up to 230-240. 


Just as I am someone who constantly has an ice cold something-something next to me, my dear hubby is my polar opposite. He can go all day long without drinking more than 16 ounces of fluid. When I asked him how much he had to drink that day, he said he had been working in the garage all day cleaning it out and drank one glass of tea with lunch. Oh my gosh. How can he drink so little????

Obviously, I was very concerned. I asked him to call our doctor on Monday and see about talking to him about the situation. Jeff's dad had a heart attack at the age of 50. Jeff is now 44. His maximum heart rate should be about 176 (220 minus age). 

Naturally, the doctor agreed that 240 was extremely high and was concerned. Jeff went through an EKG and chest x-ray that day and they found nothing. The next day he went in for a stress test. With dye injected into his veins, he ran on the treadmill for 15 minutes at 20% include, speed of 5.5. Unfortunately, they could not recreate the problem. I naturally assumed the problem was resolved because he was now properly hydrated. After receiving the all clear from the doctor, Jeff resumed running Monday night only to have his heart rate hit 230 again after running for 20 minutes. 

Could he still be dehydrated? Did he previously experience heat exhaustion which is now causing him to become easily dehydrated? Once again, we are calling the doctor to see what our next steps are. 

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