Here’s a laundry checklist of signs: constipation, dry mouth, kidney and urinary issues, thirst, unhealthy breath, joint ache, muscle cramps, compromised pores and skin well being, decreased immunity, temper and thoughts issues, sugar cravings, and bronchial asthma and allergy signs.
Whereas these might look like a random assortment, they’re all signs of dehydration—a few of which can be extra stunning than others. An individual can expertise dehydration at any age for a wide range of causes, however when you’re anywhere from 40 to 50 years old and/or experiencing menopause, chances are you’ll questioning: Can menopause trigger dehydration?
Consultants In This Article
- Alyssa Dweck, MD, FACOG, board-certified OB/GYN on the Mount Kisco Medical Group
- Brandye Wilson-Manigat, MD, board-certified OB/GYN, menopause professional, and Cure medical advisor
- Michael Green, MD, OB/GYN and chief medical officer at Winona
- Taniqua Miller, MD, Taniqua Miller, MD, FACOG, MSCP, is the founding father of TaniquaMD and an Evernow clinician.
Earlier than we dive into the potential connections between the 2, it’s vital to grasp what menopause is within the first place.
Menopause is a pure organic course of marking the top of reproductive years for individuals with uteruses, normally occurring of their late 40s or early 50s. It’s outlined by the absence of menstrual durations for 12 consecutive months. Perimenopause, then again, is the transitional section main as much as menopause. Throughout perimenopause, which can start anywhere from mid-30s to mid-50s, hormonal fluctuations happen, resulting in irregular durations and varied signs like hot flashes, night sweats, and mood changes.
Components that may make dehydration extra doubtless throughout menopause
There are a number of physiological modifications to the physique that occur across the identical ages that perimenopause and menopause start that may make it straightforward to imagine that menopause is inflicting your dehydration, however there’s extra to it than that.
Living proof: “The quantity of water that we maintain onto declines as we age,” says Taniqua Miller, MD, MSCP, a board-certified OB/GYN, menopause professional, and Evernow doctor. It is because it’s widespread to begin losing three-to-five percent of your physique’s muscle mass per decade starting at age 30. “Much less muscle mass means much less physique water content material, and thus danger for dehydration,” says Alyssa Dweck, MD, a practising gynecologist and the chief medical officer at Bonafide Health. “This can be a pure phenomenon.”
Because of this, dehydration is much more doubtless with even simply the slightest lower in fluid consumption as you become old, in line with board-certified OB/GYN Brandye Wilson-Manigat, MD, menopause professional and Cure medical advisor.
So as to add to that, individuals sometimes experience less thirst when they’re older making it more difficult to remain hydrated, in line with Dr. Miller. Dr. Wilson-Manigat provides that “as a result of our indicators for thirst normally lag what’s occurring in our our bodies, by the point we grow to be conscious, we’re enjoying catch as much as our physique’s wants.”
What’s extra: “The kidneys additionally grow to be much less environment friendly at concentrating urine [as you age], resulting in elevated water elimination and additional depleting the already-diminished complete physique water degree,” says Dr. Wilson-Manigat.
Menopausal signs which will trigger dehydration
To be clear, menopause can undoubtedly contribute to dehydration, nevertheless. For instance, an overactive bladder is a standard symptom of menopause, in line with Dr. Dweck, and it may possibly result in peeing extra steadily. “With a view to mitigate these signs, many will fluid-restrict and thus danger dehydration,” she says.
In the meantime, the physiological modifications on account of hormonal fluctuations throughout menopause, aka sizzling flashes and night time sweats, are correlated with estrogen deficiency, in line with Dr. Miller. And that causes different signs that may be dehydrating.
“Estrogen [is central to] the thermoregulatory zone of the mind within the hypothalamus,” she explains. “Because the estrogen decline nearing menopause, the interior thermostat will get disrupted. The physique can simply overheat, inflicting the recent flashes. And in response, the physique will produce sweat with the intention to cool the physique.” Similar to with train, sweat can result in dehydration when you’re not adequately replenishing.
Temperature regulation isn’t the one half at play, although. Let’s leap again to a decreased sense of thirst actual fast. “Moreover, many ladies expertise fluid retention (pondering bloating, swelling) in menopause, which additionally dampens the notion of thirst,” Dr. Wilson-Manigat says. As you possibly can guess, all of that is the place the dehydration is available in. “Extreme sweating may cause dehydration, particularly if the individual will not be capable of sustain with the elevated losses,” she continues.
At what stage of menopause does dehydration ramp up?
It’s worthwhile to notice that you could be expertise dehydration earlier than menopause has absolutely began (and after it ends). “Dehydration throughout menopause can start at any stage, however it could grow to be extra noticeable in the course of the perimenopausal and postmenopausal phases,” says Michael Green, MD, an OB/GYN and the chief medical officer at Winona. He explains that perimenopause is usually when hormonal fluctuations begin.
Dr. Wilson-Manigat says the reason for your dehydration might fluctuate relying on what stage of menopause you’re experiencing. “Often within the early a part of menopause, sizzling flashes and night time sweats are the difficulty,” she says. “Whereas later in menopause, it could be as a result of modifications seen with an absence of estrogen within the urinary system that results in elevated frequency of urination and elevated fluid loss by urination.”
What helps with menopause-related dehydration?
Set water objectives
Merely being extra aware may be key. Some merchandise could make that job simpler for you, from the LifeFuels bottle that gamifies drinking water to the Fabulous app that motivates you to make small changes that will help you meet your goals.
However how a lot water do you want? “Whereas that is no laborious and quick rule, take your weight in kilos, divide it by two, and that needs to be your goal water consumption every day in ounces,” Dr. Miller says.
“If water will not be your jam, attempt to spice it up with cut-up fruit, resembling strawberries or cucumbers, to provide it somewhat taste,” Dr. Miller says.
Take note of your lavatory habits and different signs
At the start, know what you’re coping with. Dr. Dweck encourages monitoring how typically you are feeling the necessity to pee and the focus of your urine.
“When urine appears notably darkish and/or frequency declines considerably in comparison with baseline, dehydration would be the root trigger,” she says, including that vital fluid loss can deplete electrolytes, minerals that stability the water in your physique, transfer vitamins into cells, and transfer waste out of cells—principally, they assist the water you drink really preserve your physique hydrated. This may trigger fogginess, fatigue, headache, dry mouth, and extreme thirst, too.
Enhance your electrolyte consumption
As you’re shedding each water and electrolytes once you sweat or pee, you must you’ll want to replenish each of those parts, in line with Dr. Wilson-Manigat. Examples of high-electrolyte foods embrace melons, candy potatoes, pickles, leafy greens, and avocados, to begin.
Dr. Manigat recommends Cure, a hydrating electrolyte drink combine that replenishes potassium and sodium with pure elements (and simply tastes higher than common water). She encourages a minimum of a serving a day, rising that frequency if wanted till signs lower or resolve.
Moreover, a lot of completely different fruits, resembling lemons, melons, and limes, are nice additions once you’re seeking to make a homemade electrolyte drink.
Eat extra fruits and veggies
“When you might not have the will to drink water due to decreased thirst, you could possibly compensate for some fluid losses with vegetables and fruit with greater water content material,” Dr. Miller says. Examples of hydrating foods embrace watermelon, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, peaches, cantaloupe, and oranges.
Restrict caffeine and alcohol
This tip isn’t any enjoyable, I do know, but it surely’s one to contemplate. “Each have diuretic properties that may trigger extra fluid losses,” Dr. Miller says. She encourages ingesting water as a substitute.
Whereas menopause can play a job in dehydration, it’s not essentially the largest contributor. “It’s essential to acknowledge that dehydration may end up from a mix of things, and menopause might exacerbate dangers that exist already,” Dr. Inexperienced says.
So do what you possibly can: Drink water and electrolyte drinks, add fruits and veggies to your weight loss program, and keep away from dehydrating drinks (aka espresso/soda/alcohol) as a lot as you possibly can and are keen.
Moreover, figuring out what stage of dehydration your physique is in primarily based in your signs may also help you gauge how lengthy it’ll take to your physique to bounce again. FYI, dehydration recovery can last up to 36 hours, relying on the stage.