Nutrition Myths

SUMMARY

Sensitivity to thirst is reduced in the elderly as the receptors responsible for thirst regulation become defective with age.

Advertisement

Reduced sensitivity to thirst may cause dehydration in elderly

Dehydration in elderly is not uncommon. 

Some research shows that the elderly drink less water (including more palatable beverages) after a period of water abstinence. Drinking less water is a result of diminished sense of thirst. (1, 2)

In the elderly, the receptors (osmoreceptors, baroreceptors and opioid receptors) responsible for the regulation of thirst are not as effective as in young people. With age these receptors may become defective or undergo some changes resulting in a decrease in thirst response. (3)

This leads to 

Common symptoms of dehydration in increasing order of severity are: increased thirst, vague discomfort, decreased appetite, dry mouth, loss of concentration, headaches, sleepiness, tingling sensation and numbness of hands and feet and possibility of collapse.

It is, therefore, advisable to get the elderly to learn to drink water regularly even if they are not thirsty, in order to avoid dehydration. (4)

  • test test kjlkadf kdsjf daksldjf d
    • dajf dkldjf sdf lkjad kf jksajd f
    • asdjfj dslj fkljds f
  • djakfdj kasdjfkdsjf ljdkfjaksdjf
  • jdfksjdfkdsjfkjdskljfkldsjflkj

Related Posts

Is the need for “8 glasses of water per day” a myth? The 8*8 rule is not valid since water requirements vary substantially between individuals. It should be treated as an easy to remember slogan rather than a rule we have to obey.
Is coffee or tea a diuretic? If consumed on a regular basis, coffee and tea are not diuretic – they don’t dehydrate us. On the contrary, they can be counted towards the daily fluid intake.
Can you die from drinking too much water? Drinking above the kidney's ability to filter water (between 800 and 1000 ml per hour) may result in hyponatremia, which can cause swelling of the brain and lead to death.
How much water should you drink to lose weight? Drinking more water contributes to weight loss by increasing the metabolic rate. It may be associated with the reduction of appetite and fluid retention.
Advertisement
Advertisement

Get updates

Receive regular updates on nutrition myths, facts and curiosities. All based on the latest scientific evidence.