Doctors claim simply drinking more water would reduce pressure on GP surgeries as dehydration cases soar

A survey of GPs revealed that up to one in five patient consultations could be prevented if people simply hydrated properly.

Doctors are being overrun by patients who are simply dehydrated but do not recognise the symptoms.

A poll found 21% of GP consultations were on complaints of fatigue and tiredness – often caused by not drinking enough water.

Official guidelines suggest adults should drink between 1.6 and two litres of water a day.

But just 4% of the 300 GPs quizzed said they believed their patients were aware of how to hydrate properly.

Research suggests that many people drink just one glass of water – or even less – each day.

Gps said that while many complain they are unable to get an appointment to see their GP, their time is being taken up by a problem that can easily be resolved.

Dr Roger Henderson, a GP and adviser to the Natural Hydration Council, said: “I see many people in my surgery who are feeling tired all the time.

“There are, of course, several reasons that could be causing this, but a surprisingly common cause is that they are dehydrated.

“Many of my patients do not drink enough fluid each day and only believe they are dehydrated when they start to feel thirsty.

“Yet other symptoms of dehydration appear before this, including fatigue and tiredness, headaches and poor concentration.

“When people start to ensure they are staying fully hydrated, they are often surprised at how much better they feel, both physically and mentally.

“It is, therefore, vital that drinking enough water becomes part of our daily routine.

“What this study shows is that as well as contributing hugely to the nation feeling tired all the time, dehydration and its effects is adding to the numbers of people trying to get a GP appointment at a time when the NHS is under immense pressure.”