The Best Ways to Get (and Stay) Hydrated

by Jackie Zimmerman Patient Advocate

Since dehydration is such a common topic among IBD patients and ostomates, let’s learn about proper hydration.

Drink the right amount for your body

Divide your weight by half: that’s the easiest way to determine the optimal number of ounces your body thirsts for each day. This formula is for people with digestive systems, so remember to sip some extra to help yourself out!

Recognize what dehydration feels like

Many IBD patients are chronically dehydrated but don’t know it. Symptoms can include lack of energy, headaches, joint pain, brain fog, and difficulty sleeping. More severe symptoms can include a rapid heartbeat, chills, and sunken eyes.

Be prepared

Carry a water bottle everywhere you go so you can refill without problems. You can even find unique water bottles to make it more fun.

Cheat when you have to

Drinks that have electrolytes in them can help maintain your hydration! There are tons of supplements that you can add to your water or water that you can buy with electrolytes already in it. If you’re feeling extra dehydrated you can try Pedialyte to help get you back to normal.

Eat your water

There are so many fruits and vegetables you can eat regularly to add water to your body. Do you have trouble digesting fruits and veggies? Try some chicken noodle soup or a popsicle!

Avoid drinks that will dehydrate you

Coffee, caffeinated tea and sodas will dehydrate you over time. Sure you can indulge in one here or there, but if you’re an all-day soda drinker, you’ll want to substitute some of those cans with water! Alcohol is another notorious dehydrator. If you’re going to drink alcohol, try to drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume.

Go to the ER

If you’ve tried all of the above methods and you’re still feeling dehydrated, it may be time to head to the emergency room. Many patients think that going to the ER for fluids is silly, but sometimes it is the only way to get you back to normal levels of hydration. Dehydration can be a very serious problem, and as patients who are chronically dehydrated, it is important that we do our best to stay on top of it.

Jackie Zimmerman
Meet Our Writer
Jackie Zimmerman

Jackie Zimmerman is a multiple sclerosis and ulcerative colitis patient and the founder of Girls With Guts. Since diagnosis, she has blogged her IBD journey at Blood, Poop, and Tears. Jackie has worked hard to become a strong voice in the patient advocacy community. In her free time (what free time?!) she spends time with her two rescue pups, her husband Adam and plays roller derby. She’s online @JackieZimm.