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Thread: self test for dehydration

  1. #1
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    self test for dehydration

    i was told that a simple self test to check for dehydration was to pinch the skin at the back of the wrist, if it stay pinched that means your dehydrated. it is supposed to also work in winter, actually it was during winter hiking, so not sure if it works in summer.
    can anyone verify this or correct this?
    Last edited by yonkers; 06-17-2007 at 10:57 PM. Reason: sp
    mike

  2. #2
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    Yup, that's one of the ways. Best to check yourself when you're home and well-hydrated so you have a basis for comparison. When you pinch and gently pull up on the skin, it springs back easily (this changes slowly as you age as skin looses elasticity, but it's all relative). If the skin maintains a little 'tent', and then slowly goes back to normal it's usually a sign of dehydration.

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    Senior Member bcskier's Avatar
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    Monitor the color of your urine to gauge the level of hydration. Easier to do in winter. The darker it is the more dehydrated you are.

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    Senior Member Pete_Hickey's Avatar
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    The skin-pinch thing is also an age test. The older you are, the longer it takes to return.
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcskier
    Monitor the color of your urine to gauge the level of hydration. Easier to do in winter. The darker it is the more dehydrated you are.
    And if you don't go at all, you are probably dehydrated!
    Tom Rankin
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    Senior Member rhihn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete_Hickey
    The skin-pinch thing is also an age test. The older you are, the longer it takes to return.
    I pinched my skin yesterday and I'm still waiting for it to return.
    Dick

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    Senior Member Artex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcskier
    Monitor the color of your urine to gauge the level of hydration. Easier to do in winter. The darker it is the more dehydrated you are.
    I second that. If it's clear, you're in the clear. If it's yellow, drink up. If it's red, see a doctor.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jmegillon149's Avatar
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    the pinch test isn't so much on the wrist, but the knuckles. The urine color is good, as is going in general.

    As far as pre-hike/everyday health goes, I recently purchased a scale that monitors body fat and hydration level. (probably) Not going to bring it on the trail - but being well hydrated day to day will help you be hydrated on the trail.
    "In that cool mountain air on an Appalachian Trail, Life is better there"
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    Adopted trail: Zeacliff

  9. #9
    Senior Member Dugan's Avatar
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    Works for dogs and cats as well. Their skin is looser so either get familiar with how it normall snaps back, or ask your vet what the normal rate should be.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Whiteman's Avatar
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    Other Use for Pinch Test

    The pinch test a good way to identify aliens as well. If the skin changes color or breaks off in scales, you are an alien.

    If you haven't peed in a few hours you might have a great bladder, but you are probably also dehydrating. If you haven't gone in about 8 hours, you might want to consider an IV infusion.
    -David

    41/46, 48/48, 66/67, 109/115 (and closing fast)

  11. #11
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitelief
    If you haven't peed in a few hours you might have a great bladder, but you are probably also dehydrating. If you haven't gone in about 8 hours, you might want to consider an IV infusion.
    Another way of looking at the same:

    You should pee out a minimum of .5-1 liter per day. (More is ok too.) So if you don't pee at least several times a day, you aren't drinking enough. Also while the color of one's urine is also a good indicator, certain foods can give a dark color which can falsely suggest dehydration.

    Doug

  12. #12
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul
    ... certain foods can give a dark color which can falsely suggest dehydration.
    I think certain vitamins (B family?) can give it a bright yellow color also. Since I take vitamins in the AM, by noon this affect is gone. YMMV.

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    Senior Member Rick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Rooney
    I think certain vitamins (B family?) can give it a bright yellow color also. Since I take vitamins in the AM, by noon this affect is gone. YMMV.
    I do remember taking a large does (100mg or so) of Niacin to get that bright red skin flush, I did it once on a Friday AM, so an old boss could see I was not feeling well, to get out early (sick) to go backpacking for the weekend
    Rick

  14. #14
    Member adkpooh's Avatar
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    taking a large does (100mg or so) of Niacin to get that bright red skin flush, I did it once on a Friday AM, so an old boss could see I was not feeling well, to get out early (sick) to go backpacking for the weekend
    Heh...heh....heh...nice...
    No matter where you go...there you are....

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