I’m a doctor these are the unusual signs of dehydration – including sugar cravings


BRITS are currently baking in a heatwave. It can be easy to forget to top up your H2O levels – which in turn could lead to dehydration.

Water firms have warned taps could run dry in the following days as the country continued to heat up.

Temperatures are set to hit 38C in some parts – making it hotter than that Caribbean.

If you’re out and about, travel operators have urged Brits to carry a bottle of water at all times.

But it can be easy to forget to top up your H2O levels – which in turn could lead to dehydration.

Water accounts for almost two-thirds of your body weight and about 73 per cent of your brain – so it’s important we have enough.

While most of us know when we are thirsty, one doctor has revealed the three unusual signs of dehydration you might not be aware of.

Posting to TikTok, Dr Karan Rajan said you need to make sure you know these three signs.

1. Sugar cravings

He explained if you start craving something sweet, then this could be a sign of dehydration.

“This happens because you are so dehydrated your liver struggles to break down glycogen into glucose.

“So there’s less glucose in your blood.”

People who live with diabetes struggle to manage their glucose levels, and experts previously issued a warning to those with the illness to take care during hot weather.

Dan Howarth, head of care at Diabetes UK said: “Sitting in the sun for long periods can affect your diabetes because you’re not being very active, making blood sugar levels higher than usual.

“On the flipside, if you take insulin to treat your diabetes, it will be absorbed more quickly from the injection site in warm weather, and this increases the risk of hypos,” he said.

2. Dry eyes

Dr Rajan said the second sign you might be dehydrated is dry eyes.

He explained: “Your body produces tears for more than just crying.

“Tears are also for lubricating and cleaning your eyes. So dehydration means dry eyes that are easily irritable.”

3. Bad breath

You might be used to a dry mouth if you feel dehydrated, but Dr Rajan said you might also have bad breath.

“Dehydration means less saliva, more bacteria and more funky breath”, he added.

But these aren’t the only signs, and medics say it’s important to not ignore the key symptoms.

Hussain Abdeh, superintendent pharmacist at Medicine Direct said:

“Signs of dehydration include extreme thirst, headache and tiredness.

“Your urine will be a dark-yellow colour and pungent, and you may even feel dizzy, in which case speak to a doctor or pharmacist, who can recommend rehydration sachets that replenish the electrolytes in your body,” 

The NHS states that if you’re dehydrated then you will also have a dry mouth, lips and eyes.

It’s likely you’ll also be urinating little – less that four times a day.

“Keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times, so you can take regular sips, and break up alcoholic drinks with pints of water,” Hussain added.

Aim to drink six to eight glasses of water a day, and if you’re sweating lots, drink enough that your pee is pale.

Boots Chief Pharmacist Marc Donovan OBE, added that in hot weather, hydration is key.

“Staying hydrated is vital if you’re going to keep your energy levels up on a warm day and to help ensure you do not overheat and become dehydrated.

“Aim to drink a glass of water soon after waking and continue to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Carry a reusable bottle with you and avoid excess alcohol as this will dehydrate you.”

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