Happy Summer everyone! While we are enjoying the sun, outdoor fun, and now warmer temperatures, we also need to remember to stay hydrated. While we tend to focus a lot of energy on food — deciding what to eat for lunch or for the weekend cookout — water is essential. In fact, we can go up to 3 weeks without food but would not last more than 3 or 4 days without water. Hydration is necessary for survival. The cells in our bodies contain water and are surrounded by water. When we are dehydrated, these cells are less permeable, which means they have trouble absorbing nutrients and removing waste. Low fluid volume, also known as hypovolemia, is a decrease in the volume of blood in your body, which can be due to blood loss or loss of body fluids. Excessive perspiration or sweating and an inadequate intake of fluids can cause dehydration and hypovolemia. Thirst is not always a reliable indicator of the body’s need for water. Many individuals do not feel thirsty until they are already dehydrated. That is why it is important to increase water intake during hot weather. Symptoms of dehydration include less frequent urination, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion. Dehydration can lead to serious complications, such as urinary and kidney problems, seizures, and hypovolemic shock. To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids and drink 8 ounces of water 6 or 8 times a day, every day. During summer months, replenish fluids at regular intervals and avoid the complications of dehydration. The Nurse.