Prescriptions - August 2016

Don't Sweat Hydration

Don't Sweat Hydration


Are dry eyes caused by dehydration?

In most cases the answer is NO. Dehydration and environmental factors may worsen the dryness, but most dry eye symptoms are related to underlying Dry Eye Disease, which is very common, and many patients go undiagnosed and untreated. Symptoms such as burning, redness, foreign body sensation, intolerance of eye makeup or contact lenses, and blurred vision are most common. Women make up the majority of the patients with moderate to severe dry eye disease due to hormonal changes, and other systemic diseases such as Sjogren’s, lupus, rheumatoid, Crohn’s, rosacea, and psoriasis. 

Kenneth D. Farr, M.D. is the medical director of Sungate Medical Group and the Dry Eye Center of Excellence with five locations in Beaufort County. 843-842-2020


Q: How much water is too much? 
A: Although uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water.

When your kidneys are unable to excrete the excess water, the electrolyte (mineral) content of the blood is diluted, resulting in low sodium levels in the blood, a condition called hyponatremia, which can be dangerous or even fatal. Typically as long as your water intake is less than 3 litres per day, hyponatremia should not be a problem. However, if you are also on a diuretic or any type of water pill, you should discuss this with your health care provider, as these medications can predispose you to a low sodium level. Having the occasional sports drink will replace and supplement sodium and potassium levels in your bloodstream. In general, though, drinking too much water is rare in healthy adults, who eat an average diet.

Can Drinking Water Make You Swell?
Staying well hydrated and drinking plenty of water does not in and of itself result in swelling. However, in some patients, who have specific underlying medical conditions, your provider may suggest a maximum amount of fluid intake per day to avoid any complications.

Q: How much water should to drink in order to stay safely hydrated?
A: Generally, if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty, your urine is colorless or light yellow and measures about 6.3 cups (1.5 liters) or more a day, your fluid intake is probably adequate.

How Can I Avoid Dehydration?
To ward off dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your0
beverage of choice.
It’s also a good idea to:
• Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal.
• Drink water before, during and after exercise.
• With the heat and humidity here in South Carolina, I encourage people to drink one of the electrolyte sports drinks, like Gatorade or Powerade, in addition to water if they have been in any physical activities like golf, tennis or biking.
Dr. Charles Sevastos is a board-certified family medicine physician practicing with
Beaufort Memorial Bluffton Primary Care in Westbury Park.

Do coffee and soda hydrate? Is caffeine a factor?

Water is the best way to stay hydrated! It is calorie free, caffeine free, inexpensive and you can find it everywhere. It is true that caffeinated beverages can contribute to your daily fluid requirement, but too much coffee and soda can cause headaches, jitters and insomnia. Caffeinated drinks should be limited to two servings per day. A normal serving size is 8 ounces of coffee and 12 ounces of soda. Caffeinated drinks may have a mild diuretic effect, but they do not appear to increase the risk of dehydration.

Do certain foods help hydrate?

It is important to drink plenty of water in the summertime.  Most experts recommend drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day.  Some days it may seem overwhelming to drink that much water, but you can get 20% of your water intake through solid foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Foods with high water content are naturally low in calories, filled with nutrients, and of course, refreshing.  Listed below are some examples of foods with at least 90 percent water content that can keep you hydrated:
Cucumber: This summer vegetable is the highest in water content and is perfect in salads or served with low-fat dressing or hummus.
Tomatoes:  Campari, sweet cherry and grape tomatoes are great for a snack. Fresh tomato slices are always a nice addition to a sandwich.
Watermelon:  A favorite summer treat that is among the richest sources of lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant found in red fruits and vegetables.

 Holly Mlodzinski, MS, RD, LD, a registered dietitian for more than 20 years, moved to  HHI in 2001, promoting a healthy lifestyle through moderation not deprivation. She is the Health Promotions Coordinator at Hilton Head Hospital

How do you get dehydrated? What are the symptoms of dehydration? Urine color and dehydration?

Dehydration occurs when your body does not have as much water and fluids as it needs. Dehydration is classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on how much of the body’s fluid is lost or not replenished. When severe, dehydration is a life-threatening emergency. The elderly and those with chronic illnesses are at higher risk.

• Not drinking enough water
• Illness–nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, fever, pain
• Overheated indoor air
• Mobility—inability to get water
• Excessive urine output—uncontrolled diabetes, diuretic/water pill use
• Medications—laxatives, sedatives/sleeping pills/anxiety medications
• Excessive exercise—sweating too much

Symptoms of Dehydration

Mild/Moderate dehydration:
Thirst, dry mouth, not urinating much, dark yellow urine, dry, cool skin, headache muscle cramps, sleepiness.

Severe dehydration:
Extreme thirst, not urinating, very dark yellow/amber urine, dry shriveled skin, irritability, confusion, lightheadedness, decreased blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, sunken eyes, unconsciousness. If dehydration continues, shock
and severe damage to internal organs, such as kidneys, liver and brain, may occur. 

Urine Color and Dehydration:
If the water in your body is balanced, your urine should be pale straw or transparent yellow color. When you are losing more water than you are taking in, the kidneys need to conserve water, making your urine much more concentrated with waste products and making it darker in color. Dark yellow urine is a sure indicator that an individual is dehydrated and that the fluid consumption must be increased.

Jami Feltner M.D., Board Certified, Internal Medicine. Her philosophy and approach to wellness include disease prevention and establishing long-term relationships with her patients, families and the community.

How can good dehydration help improve your skin?

Water REALLY is the foundation to life. Hydrating your skin however, isn’t quite as simple as watering your favorite plant and watching it perk up. Water carries the nutrients you eat into all the cells in your body, it aids in excretion of toxins and cellular turnover in the skin. Staying hydrated, combined with eating healthy should help you achieve a more radiant complexion. 

Amanda Holdredge, LE Island Medical Spa (Sungate Medical Group)  •  843.705.1515

Hydrate in Style

The Corkcicle 25 oz. Canteen may have been created for wine, but it is perfect to help you hydrate throughout the day. Enjoy ice cold water, anytime, anywhere. Crafted from stainless steel, with superb insulation, the canteen keeps water cold for up to 25 hours.

"I will only drink water if it's ice cold, and this canteen has been revolutionary in my constant battle to drink my daily requirement. I thoroughly recommend it! -Lindsay Gifford

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