Dehydrated? Just Add Water!

We’ve been hearing from our community
that there have been quite a few visits to
the emergency room lately.
The reason? Dehydration.

While we all need to stay hydrated in the summer heat, it’s especially important for people with Parkinson’s. The signs of dehydration are subtle though, and can
often be confused as being caused by something else.

Drink Water! Stay hydrated

Warning Signs That You May be Dehydrated
• Fatigue or weakness
• Dizziness
• Headaches
• Confusion
• Muscle cramps
• Dry mouth, nose or skin
• Upper abdominal pain or lower back pain
• Feeling thirsty.

Being dehydrated can lead to a urinary tract infection (UTI) which can also lead to a visit to the emergency room. Again, the signs can be subtle and confusing.

Symptoms that come on quickly are generally not caused by Parkinson’s, or medications not working.
If in doubt, check in with your primary care physician or depending on the severity, call 911.

And remember, drinking enough fluids can help to keep the digestive system moving which in turn helps oral medications to work better. You’ll experience less symptoms, and possibly less side effects from medications.

Tips for Staying Hydrated
Drinking lots of water is the most helpful way to stay hydrated, healthy, and out of the hospital.
Not keen on water?
• Focus on foods that have a high water content like watermelon, oranges, cucumber, tomatoes, and zucchini.
• Add some sliced fresh fruit or cucumber to your water, or even some fruit juice.
• Try caffeine-free herbal tea. Some are fruit flavored.
• Smoothies are another option.
• Get creative! We’d love to hear your suggestions so we can share them! Just email
Drink a full glass of water whenever you take your medications.
Keep a jug of water ready in the fridge with the amount you need to drink throughout the day.

How do you know when you’re drinking enough?
Feeling thirsty isn’t really the best way, but the color of your urine will tell you.
• When it’s pale, odorless and plentiful that’s often an indication that you are well hydrated.
• Darker urine is an indication that you are becoming dehydrated, and very dark urine is a warning sign to seek medical aid.

If in doubt, head to the kitchen and pour yourself a glass of nice, cool, refreshing water and see how much better you’ll feel. Cheers!

Suggestions from our readers

From Sabina:
Excellent and timely. All elderly people and especially PD patients need to be vigilant about this. Just doing two hour errands in a hot car has caused me heat exhaustion. I recommend also doing errands in early morning if possible, taking water with you in car or bus, using a handheld fan like in the old days, and take siesta afternoons.

From Bella:
I fill half a glass with kombucha and the rest with water. Sometimes I add a little sweetener. The kombucha is good for digestion and its easy to drink … a bit carbonated.
I also set up my glasses in the morning. One has juice from one lemon, the other with kombucha, the third with just water. Each glass holds 16 oz so I count it as 2 glasses. Plus a full glass by the bedside.