Dry seasons in Nigeria are epic, they are characterized by the dry dusty atmosphere, a cold environment coupled with low humidity.
Certain health issues can be linked to this season of sheer dryness some of which includes but not limited to conditions such as skin reactions, sore eyes or conjunctivitis, respiratory disorders, heat stroke, sunburns and dehydration.
In this piece, I will be focusing on dehydration and water intake.
According to Mayo clinic water is very important to the human body as it helps in the following ways
1. Gets rid of waste through urination.
2. Regulates body temperature.
3. Lubricates and cushions joints.
4. Delivers oxygen to the body as it forms part of the human blood.
5. Prevents kidney damage.
6. Boost exercise performance.
7. Helps the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal system.
8. Forms about 60-70% of adult body mass and more for infants.
Being in a situation where one or any of these will not be optimum in the body would mean a disease state.
It would be worthy of note that sources of water are not limited to potable water but also some fruits such as watermelon, oranges, grapes etc.
Water loss from the body is directly proportional to the environmental temperature, hence, as environmental temperature increases water loss also increases and vice versa and inversely proportional to humidity and as humidity increases water loss decreases and vice versa.
Now the weather is hotter than it used to and less humid this means further loss of water as compared to the rainy season will occur in the dry season, hence a need for water replacement strategies.
The appropriate volume of water for a given individual varies, but it’s important for one to take note of the right amount of water his/her body needs.
Research (From MayoClinic) has shown that about 3-4Liters of daily water intake is required for adults.
Can we stay true to ourselves that we do drink that much?
A sachet of water is 50cl (i.e. 0.5Liters), so mathematically, we need about 6-8 sachets of water to fulfill a good daily intake following the above information.
Certain demerits are associated with inappropriate drinking of water which can be highlighted in this season of dry weather.
A typical example is constipation, a condition where one cannot pass out stool, or passes out stool in a frequency lesser than he used to this may be characterized by painful stooling.
According to James McIntosh in his article “fifteen benefits of drinking water” on Medical News Today, inappropriate water intake increases the risk of kidney damage, as water helps dissolve minerals and nutrients making them easily excretable; inability to excrete undissolved minerals as in a case of water insufficiency promotes kidney damage. He also added that drinking plenty of water reduces the risk of developing a urinary tract infection.
In extreme cases, inappropriate body water levels can promote complications such as anemia, central nervous system damage and heart failure.
Therefore we are encouraged to continue or start-up good water-intake habits that will be of benefit to our overall health and wellness.
GREATMAN ADIELA OWHOR