During menopause, dryness is often an issue. This is likely caused by the decrease in oestrogen levels. Drinking water can help with these symptoms. Drinking water can also reduce the bloating that can occur with hormonal changes.
Signs that you’re not drinking enough water
So, let’s take a look at some of the signs to look out for that can indicate that you are not drinking enough water.
1. Your urine is dark and smelly
If your urine looks dark, if it starts to smell as well, that’s the number one signal that your body is telling you that it’s dehydrated. Healthy urine should be very, very pale and should have little or no odour at all.
2. You’re needing to go to the toilet more
It’s one of these weird things. When you drink less, you may end up going to the toilet more. But why? Well, as you get more and more dehydrated, your dark, smelly urine can become very concentrated, which irritates your bladder. It can get to the point where your bladder can become quite raw and give you symptoms like cystitis without any infection present.
When that happens, this really strong urine will just keep irritating your bladder, you will very often get a real urge to go to the toilet very quickly, you will go, and you’ll only pass a little bit of urine.
This is a standard scenario during the night. Very often, a lot of women have to get up two or three times during the night to go to the toilet. And when they go, they pass very little urine. It can sometimes be a little bit stingy. This is usually just caused by being dehydrated during the night.
3. You’re getting lots of hot flushes and night sweats
Again, as I mentioned above, this is a bit of a vicious cycle! Hot flushes and night sweats can dehydrate you, but being dehydrated will put more pressure on your nervous system, which will also trigger more hot flushes and night sweats.
4. You’re feeling tired and lethargic
Tiredness, fatigue, and feeling lethargic are classic signs of dehydration! If you’re dehydrated, your body just won’t want to move.
5. You’re struggling to concentrate and experiencing brain fog
This often goes hand-in-hand with feeling tired and lethargic. Brain fog and loss of concentration at the same time every day is another classic sign of dehydration, as well as a sign of low blood sugar level.
Your brain is full of water and is like a sponge. It needs lots of water. It’s been shown that if you get dehydrated, your brain shrinks in volume, which impacts how it functions. (1)
Even mild dehydration can affect the proper functioning of your brain and make menopausal brain fog even worse.
6. You’re getting headaches
If your brain is physically shrinking due to dehydration, as well as impacting brain function, you can also experience dehydration headaches, which can be similar to tension and thumping headaches.
7. You’re getting heart palpitations
Palpitations, again, can be due to dehydration. So, if you are getting palpitations at the same time every day, which often happens in this kind of situation, then, again, it just means that you’ve probably gone too long without that drink of water.
8. You feel thirsty and have a dry mouth
This is really common first thing in the morning. A lot of women will tell me that they feel as if their tongue is stuck to the roof of their mouth. And, again, this is often caused by becoming dehydrated during the night, especially if you have night sweats.
9. Your constipated
Your digestive tract needs lots of water to process and eliminate all the food that you’re eating. And if you’re dehydrated, everything just slows down and literally just sticks.
10. You’re feeling achy and sore
Joint pain and muscle cramps are both common symptoms of dehydration. Another great signal of dehydration is low back pain. If you’re getting a lot of back pain on both sides of the spine regularly, that’s very often your kidneys just complaining that they are feeling the dehydration as well.
11. You’re feeling low and irritable
Dehydration can greatly impact your mood, something that is already impacted during menopause. It can make you feel low and sad or irritable and angry. So, if you find you’re getting a low mood or irritable, sometimes, a glass of water can fix it.
12. You’re feeling hungry and get sugar cravings
They do say that it can be difficult to distinguish between thirst and hunger. So sometimes, if you are starting to feel hungry, if you’re getting sugar cravings, then it’s a sign that you are dehydrated, and your body is needing water and not food.