Rushden dietitian talks fluids as she shares more of her knowledge on how to look after yourself during lockdown

Lack of fluid and dehydration can contribute to conditions including constipation, headaches and pressure ulcers
Drinking plenty of fluids is important, especially during hot weatherDrinking plenty of fluids is important, especially during hot weather
Drinking plenty of fluids is important, especially during hot weather

An expert on diet and nutrition has shared more of her knowledge about how to eat well and look after yourself during lockdown.

Dr Mabel Blades of Rushden is a registered dietitian and nutritionist with a PhD in diet and diabetes.

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She has her own business, Nutrition and Dietetic Services, after working in the NHS for many years and now does consultancy as well as writing books.

Dr Blades, who is also a governor at Kettering General Hospital, has been sharing her knowledge with the Northants Telegraph in recent weeks, helping us make good use of the food in our cupboards and offering advice on getting a balanced diet despite the lockdown restrictions.

This week she is focusing on fluids and hydration.

Dr Blades said: "Fluid is essential for life and in the UK drinks provide 70 to 80 per cent of our water needs and the rest from foods like soups and watery fruit like melons.

"Most men, are advised to take 2000ml and women 1600ml liquid per day.

"During hot weather more is needed."

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Lack of fluid and dehydration is well known to contribute to conditions including:

- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) which can contribute to renal, bladder and prostate infections as well as kidney stones

- Headaches, confusion and dizziness which can lead to falls

- Constipation as well as worsening of symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and diverticular disease

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- Pressure ulcers and a lack of healing of these and other wounds

People of any age can become dehydrated, but some groups and individuals are particularly at risk, including:

- babies and young children specially during hot weather or suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting

- older people as they may become less aware of the sensation of thirst and many also restrict their fluid intake due to mobility issues like rheumatoid arthritis which causes pain on movement and hampers the journey to the toilet, especially at night

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- those involved in exercise like cycling, running and horse-riding, especially in hot weather

- anyone employed in physical activity such as building work or gardening, again especially in hot conditions whether as a regular occupation or occasional activity

- those with uncontrolled diabetes and polyuria, high output stomas, issues with alcoholism or some commonly used illegal substances

Accident and emergency departments often see people with dehydration and urinary tract infections and the resulting confusion, falls and other issues so prevention is important.

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If you have a question relating to food, nutrition and eating well during lockdown, email your question to [email protected] and we will put it to Dr Blades.

To read Dr Blades' article on eggs, click hereAnd to read her first article on how to eat well during lockdown, click here

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