The scorching summer heat can make anyone sick, but some sections of people are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, such as older persons, young children, and people who are on medicines that lower sweating.

Dehydration is the first sign of trouble, but many people cannot read the early warning signs. Listen to your body, say experts.

“If you feel exhausted, experience cramps, have pain in the leg, or the urine output seems low then your body is giving you enough signals that you need to increase your fluid intake,” says Dr RK Singal, director, department of internal medicine, BLK Super-speciality Hospital.

“In children, a dry or pale tongue is a sign of dehydration,” he adds.

Two to three litres of water is necessary to keep the body cool, while those who do strenuous physical activity or spend a lot of time outdoors, need to have even more.

“There’s no minimum or maximum fluid intake limits, it depends on individual needs. Once should not get overboard with liquids as liquid overload is equally harmful for the body,” said Dr Singhal.

Signs of dehydration

  • Mouth and tongue feel dry
  • Feel constantly thirsty
  • Urine is dark in colour
  • Low urine output
  • Skin is dry and flaky
  • Have constipation
  • Have a headache
  • Are fatigued
  • Muscle cramps
  • Low blood pressure