As someone with Moyamoya disease, staying hydrated is especially crucial to my health. However, as a relatively active and busy teenager, it can become easy to forget to drink water and stay hydrated. Usually I try to carry around a water bottle during school, as it provides a physical reminder to drink. In engaging and stimulating settings such as school, social situations, or sports, getting carried away and neglecting to stay hydrated can be easy — bringing a water bottle with me makes keeping hydrated easy and simple. I often find myself in situations where I have been concentrating on one thing for such a long time that when I finally get something to drink, I realize how thirsty I am. For example, during a packed and busy day at school, there can be lots on my mind other than drinking water. Even when eating lunch, I tend to drink less hydrating, sugary drinks such as lemonade when my body needs water.
The irony lies in the accessibility of water around me. Despite the privilege of usually having a source of clean water, I do not often take advantage of it. This is not in an attempt to scorn my body, but rather a lack of habit and a preoccupation with something else. I find that I am often slightly dehydrated when there is a source of water nearby me. In my mind, there is somewhat of a procrastination towards staying hydrated: “I will just get some later.” And this is fueled by how easy it is for me to access drinking water. The availability of water often circumvents my hydration levels, and causes water to be low on my immediate list of priorities on a given day.
Just to clarify, I am almost never dangerously dehydrated. Many of the instances that I have referenced above are cases of mild dehydration, not anything life threatening. However, it is still imperative as someone with Moyamoya to keep hydrated. One easy way for me to tell if I am hydrated is urine color. The darker and more yellow my urine is, the less hydrated I am. That, and thirst levels, are last resorts for me in terms of staying hydrated. For me, it is ideal if I do not have to rely on these signs of dehydration and be proactive in drinking water instead.
Although I am not necessarily the model, hydrated person, I have been striving to stay hydrated recently and want to share some quick, easy tips:
- As mentioned before, keep a BPA-free water bottle on person throughout the day, and on trips
- If you notice any of the tell-tale signs of dehydration, (see https://medlineplus.gov/dehydration.html) drink water immediately
- Stay away from sugary, caffeinated beverages as they are not as hydrating as water
- Stay away from salty, high-sodium snacks
- Remember to drink water after exercising, especially when the weather is hot.