The color of urine reveals dehydration…and these are its causes in the elderly

Written By Mark

Dehydration in hot summers can be a health problem that is not affected by age, but there is a greater risk of dehydration in older people due to natural changes in the body as they age.

Whether you’re younger or older, drinking about 8 cups of water a day is important to help regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, and maintain overall health. But if enough water is not consumed, there may be problems.

What is drought?

Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluids than it consumes, which leads to insufficient amounts of water and other fluids needed for normal body functions, says internal medicine expert Dr. Shushin Bajaj, in statements to the Health Shots website.

Dehydration can result from not drinking enough water, losing too much water, or a combination of both.

Urine color reveals dehydration

If the color of urine is dark, you must drink water immediately, because this means that the person is severely dehydrated. If the color of urine is medium yellow, then it is recommended to drink more water.

If the urine is light in color, this is good, and it is recommended to drink water as usual.

The body loses a large amount of fluids in the summer, especially in areas where the temperature is high, which may expose the person to the risks of dehydration and heatstroke if the necessary precautions are not taken.

Some symptoms of dehydration

  • Thirst.
  • Dry mouth.
  • skin dryness.
  • Decreased urine production.
  • Dark colored urine.
  • Tired.
  • Weakness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Vertigo.
  • Confusion.
  • Cognitive impairment.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Reduction of Blood pressure.
  • Sunken eyes.

Why is dehydration more common in older people?

When the temperature is too high, it increases the risk of dehydration. However, it should be noted that it is not only the season or outside temperature that can cause dehydration. Older adults are 20 to 30% more susceptible to dehydration due to poor thirst mechanisms, inability to move, diabetes, and kidney disease.

These are some of the factors that make dehydration more common in older people:

1- Decreased feeling of thirst

With age, the elderly’s sense of thirst diminishes. This means that they may not feel thirsty even when the body needs fluids for the proper functioning of the body. This can lead to not taking enough fluids.

2- Decreased kidney function

Aging can affect kidney function, making the organs less efficient at conserving water. This means that people, especially those aged 60 and over, may lose more water while urinating.

3- Chronic diseases

Many older adults suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, or heart disease. These health conditions can affect fluid balance and increase the risk of dehydration.

4- Medicines

Older adults often take medications that can increase the risk of dehydration, such as:

Diuretics, which are often prescribed for conditions such as high blood pressure and heart failure.

Laxatives, which can lead to excessive fluid loss through the stool.

Some antidepressants, which can have diuretic effects.

5- Movement problems

Physical limitations and mobility problems can make it difficult for older adults to get fluids regularly. They may also have difficulty getting to the bathroom, which may cause them to limit fluid intake to avoid frequent trips to the bathroom.

Treatment of dehydration in the elderly

Treatment of dehydration in the elderly includes the following steps:

1- Increase fluid intake

Encourage them to consume more water. If water is not their cup of tea, offer other hydrating fluids such as herbal teas, vegetable or chicken broth, and oral rehydration solutions.

2- Monitoring and controlling medications

Seniors may prescribe medications for various health conditions. Review these medications with your doctor to adjust doses or switch to alternatives that have a lower risk of causing dehydration.

3- Use moisturizing foods

Introduce foods with a high water content, such as fruits (watermelon, oranges) and vegetables (cucumbers, lettuce) into the diet. In addition, put less salt in their food. If they eat a high-sodium diet without increasing their fluid intake, they may be at risk of dehydration.

4- Intravenous fluids

If these steps do not work, you should contact your doctor. In severe cases, the doctor may give fluids intravenously to quickly replenish fluid levels, says Dr. Bajaj.

Preventing dehydration in the elderly

  • Set a schedule for seniors to drink fluids throughout the day, even if they don’t feel thirsty.
  • Providing more choices in hydration drinks such as water, milk and low-sugar juices to make drinking healthy beverages more attractive.
  • Make sure they have easy access to fluids, by keeping water within their reach.
  • Encourage a diet rich in hydrating foods.