is a lack of water in the body's tissues, upsetting the balance of electrolytes
in the blood. Mild dehydration is relatively common and not serious, but
severe or chronic dehydration can be a life-threatening problem. Lack
of water can damage the kidneys, for example.
of mild dehydration are increased thirst and dry mouth - symptoms common
with many other ailments. The skin may wrinkle due to the lack of water.
As dehydration gets more severe, blood pressure decreases, episodes of
confusion or coma may occur, and urination may be infrequent or not occur
can result from diarrhea, excessive sweating, or simply by ignoring thirst
and not drinking sufficient water (especially when coupled with hard or
prolonged exertion or exposure to the elements).
Bottom line for sailors: dehydration can be serious, but you can treat
it yourself. If you're thirsty, drink! Especially during a blow, watch your fluid intake.