It is part of our practice to ensure our patients drink ample water during a physical therapy session. The fact that water counts for 95 percent of the brain, 82 percent of blood and 73 percent of muscle tissue explains how important it is to be hydrated. Dehydration can pose serious health problems for older adults, especially with Hawai‘i’s hot, humid weather. Dehydration symptoms that increase fall risk are dizziness, weakness, fatigue, confusion and low blood pressure.
Blood pressure can drop so low with dehydration that a condition called “orthostatic hypotension” can occur. As a person rises from lying down or sitting, blood rushes out of the brain, causing dizziness, faintness and weakness. This can result in a collapse or fall. Drinking more fluid would increase blood volume and help prevent a drop in blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of falling.
If you feel dizzy or light-headed when changing positions from prone to sitting or standing, we recommend waiting roughly 20 seconds before moving to allow more blood circulation and for the dizziness to subside. If you still feel light-headed, lie back down immediately. If you commonly experience this type of dizziness, drinking more fluids may be your solution.
Drinking plenty of fluids and eating foods with high water content every day is a great way to keep your body properly hydrated to prevent possible falls and injuries.