Expert Advice

Ask the Expert: Can Dehydration Cause Chest Pain?

Ask the Expert: Can Dehydration Cause Chest Pain?

Every part of our bodies is made of water and needs water to survive. That fact isn’t new to most of us. If you’ve ever been dehydrated, you know how it feels when you’re running on empty.

By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already somewhat dehydrated. Your mouth feels dry and you’re not going to the bathroom as much as usual; when you do, your pee looks dark.

Can Dehydration Cause Chest Pain?

If you're dehydrated, you might get a headache, start cramping and feel dizzy. In some cases, dehydration can cause chest pain. Our expert, Dr. Joshua Thurman, explains why: 

“Water is critical for your heart health because your heart is constantly working, pumping about 2,000 gallons of blood a day. Because the heart compensates for dehydration by pumping faster, dehydration can force the heart to work harder. Sometimes you can feel the heart beating faster (“palpitations”). For people with heart disease, harder work for the heart can cause chest pain.”

For those of us who consider ourselves “normal”, keeping  “heart-healthy” is pretty simple, adds Dr. Thurman: 

“By staying hydrated – that is, by drinking more water than you are losing – you are helping your heart do its job.”

It’s so easy to lose track of time, and how much water you need, when you’re working or out having fun.

Make it easy with a smart water bottle that formulates what you need, when you need it. Make every sip count on the road to a better you.  You’ll feel great and your heart will be thankful!



Dr. Joshua Thurman, MD is a board-certified nephrologist and Professor of Medicine specializing in renal medical diseases and hypertension at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and his undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He has been in practice for more than 22 years.

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