It begins with a dry mouth and rubbing eyes. Then the mucous membranes are no longer properly moistened and the skin becomes increasingly dry. Can dehydration cause joint pain? The answer is yes! And even much more than that. Long-term consequences can be heart attacks, depression, a swelling in the joints, muscle pain, and even pain attacks. And all because we have let our bodies dry out like the desert on a hot summer day. Already [a water shortage of 0.7 liters per day](https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dehydration/#:~:text=Dehydration means your body loses,and become a serious problem.) can provoke the body to release an emergency program. Fortunately, dehydration is a problem that can easily be remedied.
What exactly is dehydration?
Dehydration is a state of health caused by an excessive lack of liquid in the body. This deficiency can be caused by a lack of drinking or by excessive fluid loss. Because the body does not have enough fluid available, important processes in the organs can no longer take place. Oxygen is transported less easily by the blood to the brain, and important vitamins and nutrients can also be lost in the bloodstream and have difficulty reaching the organs. The organs themselves work much slower and therefore toxins cannot be flushed out of the body. Causes can be bad drinking habits, illnesses, injuries, intake of medications, and staying in a very dry climate.
Which symptoms indicate whether one is dehydrated?
The human body consists of 70% water. This element is therefore essential for the metabolism. As soon as the fluid is missing, the whole system suffers. Many people do not immediately think of dehydration when they experience muscle pain, lack of concentration, or exhaustion. As in all health issues, it is important to listen to our body. Each body expresses itself differently. All of the following symptoms can occur or only a few but in an excessive degree:
- Strong thirst and dry mucous membranes in the mouth and throat
- Yellow to dark yellow urine, sometimes with odor
- Tiredness, weakness, dizziness
- Lack of concentration
- Swelling in the joints
- Dry, itchy skin
- Weight loss
The persistent lack of fluid
Can dehydration cause joint pain? Yes, especially if you suffer from chronic dehydration. Desiccosis is the longer-lasting lack of water. Desiccosis literally means “drying out”.
Many body-functions can be permanently disturbed. Due to the dry mucous membranes, you also risk being easily infected with diseases. A decreasing amount of urine increases the risk of an urinary tract infection. Wounds also heal more slowly in the meantime. Chronic constipation, kidney pain, swelling, and even muscle pain and cramps are also common. In addition, desiccation increases the risk of thrombosis.
In this state, you will experience delirium, disturbance of consciousness, disorientation, and the breakdown of the circulation. At a [20% fluid loss, the body goes into hypovolemic shock](https://www.healthline.com/health/hypovolemic-shock#:~:text=Hypovolemic shock is a life,of blood to your body.). This means that the blood volume has changed dramatically. As a result, blood pressure drops considerably and the heart has to pump more strongly to compensate. The brain and also external areas of the body can no longer be adequately supplied with blood. Due to the lack of oxygen in the brain, this often results in loss of consciousness. Diarrhea and strong vomiting can also occur and additionally aggravate the already existing lack of fluid.
Can dehydration cause joint pain?
Yes, because the lack of fluid means that the joints are no longer [sufficiently supplied with synovial fluid](https://orthopedicassociates.org/dehydration-and-joint-pain-how-your-hydration-is-affecting-joint-health/#:~:text=Dehydration can cause joint pain,don’t come in contact.). Synovial fluid is the thick, sticky lubricant that is located between the joints. It coats them like a cushion that protects them from moving. So the bones do not come into contact with each other. This synovial fluid is located between all the joints in your body, including your hips, hands, and shoulders. When dehydrated, this gel-like fluid decreases and can no longer adequately absorb shocks. Therefore, it is also first noticed in the knees when severe dehydration is present.
The joint cartilage can also cause joint pain through dehydration. About 70 to 80% of the cartilage consists of water. Due to the lack of fluid, this cartilage shrinks somewhat and the joints can rub against each other. Collagen can help to rebuild the cartilages faster.
Dehydration and its connection to muscle pain
Indeed, the lack of water is known to cause muscle pain and muscle problems. Especially athletes will know this condition. Loss of fluid causes the blood to become thicker. As a result, it can no longer transport as many nutrients to the places where they are needed. The supply of oxygen at the cellular level is also limited. However, since many nutrients and a lot of oxygen are needed in the muscles during training, swelling and a lack of elasticity in the muscle tissue occurs. These then cause muscle pain. Also, pollutants can no longer be removed from the muscles. The training usually destroys muscle cells, which are replaced by lactic acid. We know this condition as muscle ache. The fact that the lactic acid is more difficult to remove because the blood is too thick, means that the swelling of the muscle will remain for a long time. Also here helps collagen to strengthen the muscle and prevent the loss of water.
How much water does the body need?
It is very easy to prevent dehydration, and at that time muscle pain, a swelling in the joints, lack of concentration, and exhaustion. All you have to do is to supply yourself with sufficient water. How much water you need a day depends not only on your weight and height but also on the climate in which you live. Physical exertion and other factors can also have an influence.
As a general rule, you should consume 35ml per kilogram of body weight. A person of 57 kilos will then need 2 liters per day. An additional liter must be added for every hour of exercise. If you live in regions where it does not rain for weeks and where it is very hot and dry, you should take an additional half liter.
What is the best way to hydrate the body?
It doesn’t always have to be water to provide the body with sufficient fluid. Nevertheless, we should make sure that we drink the right beverages. This is the only way to effectively prevent swelling, exhaustion, and muscle pain. Some liquids contain a lot of sugar and are therefore not suitable to cover the daily fluid requirement. Worse still, they can make you sick in the long run. Besides fluids, also collagen powder can prevent the excessive water loss.
Unfortunately, tap water often contains pesticides, herbicides, high amounts of chlorine, and lime. Even the remains of medicines and drugs have been found in tap water. Therefore it should be filtered before consumption.
Make sure that mineral water is of good quality because many brands are not tested for nitrates, pesticides, or other harmful substances. Never buy water stored in plastic bottles, because you do not know what substances the plastic releases into the water. Microplastics are known to accumulate in the arteries in the body and cause heart attacks and clogged arteries at a young age.
Fruit and vegetable juices
These are very well suited to hydrate the body. It is best to dilute these juices with water in a ratio of 1:1 in advance, preferably even more. This is because fruit juices in particular contain a lot of fructose, i.e. sugars that drive up the insulin level. Fruit nectar in particular contains many valuable ingredients and vitamins but has even more sugar. Fruit nectar should be mixed in two parts with water.
Teas, coffee, and milk
For a long time, it was said that coffee did not count as a drink because it supposedly drained the body. But this is not true. In average quantities, coffee and tea contribute to the hydrogenation of the body. Tea and coffee drinks that are particularly sugar-free and low in sugar have particularly good properties. Green and white tea in particular are healthy because they also contain vitamins and minerals.
Milk counts as food and not as a drink. Therefore, it is not recommended for covering the need for liquid. You must also be aware that animal milk products can cause increased swelling, muscle pain, and wear and tear on joints. Milk belongs to the acidic foods and therefore causes inflammation in the body, which manifests itself in these symptoms.
Sweet drinks, such as iced tea and cola are not suitable because of their high content of sugar and sweeteners, and like two liters of liquid per day to take to itself. Here the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases dramatically after a long period of time. Of course, there is nothing wrong with a glass now and then, but it should not be done on a daily basis.
Can dehydration cause joint pain?
We now know that the answer is “yes”. But dehydration alone can not be responsible for muscle pain, joint pain, and swelling. It is very unlikely, but they can also suffer from any of the following diseases. So hydrate yourself well, and if the problems do not disappear after a month, you should see a doctor. [They will check you for the following](https://orthopedicassociates.org/dehydration-and-joint-pain-how-your-hydration-is-affecting-joint-health/#:~:text=Dehydration can cause joint pain,don’t come in contact.):