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August 15, 2010
Water is essential for digesting food. It is also important for getting rid of various toxic elements from the body, in the form of urine, sweat and fecal matter. It also helps to cushion our joints and prevents shocks in them. We must also remember that oxygen and nutrients are carried throughout our body by water. Water present in lymph (a fluid that is part of our immune system) helps the body to fight against various diseases. Water helps to regulate and maintain our body temperature. That explains why wet poultices are used to cure fevers.
Physiologically, dehydration, despite the name, does not simply mean loss of water, as water and solutes (mainly sodium) are usually lost in roughly equal quantities to how they exist in blood plasma. In hypotonic dehydration, intravascular water shifts to the extravascular space, exaggerating intravascular volume depletion for a given amount of total body water loss. Neurological complications can occur in hypotonic and hypertonic states. The former can lead to seizures, while the latter can lead to osmotic cerebral edema upon rapid rehydration.
Dehydration means your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should. This information is
about the medical condition for either removal of water through chemical or physical means. Dehydration can be caused by losing too much fluid, not drinking enough water or fluids, or both. Vomiting and diarrhea are common causes.Infants and children are more susceptible to dehydration than adults because of their smaller body weights and higher turnover of water and electrolytes. The elderly and those with illnesses are also at higher risk.
3 Dehydration is classified as mild, which symptoms include thirst, decreased urine volume, abnormally dark urine, unexplained tiredness, irritability, lack of tears when crying, headache, dry mouth, dizziness when standing due to orthostatic hypotension, and in some cases can cause insomnia. Blood tests may show hyperalbuminemia. Mild dehydration also has been shown to negatively impact people s moods. Experiments by the USDA's Agricultural Research Service has shown that dehydration is associated with confusion, fatigue, and negative moods. Mild dehydration, which includes water losses between 1% and 2%, observed in the experiment are comparable to mild dehydration experienced by people in their everyday lives.
In moderate to severe dehydration, there may be no urine output at all. Other symptoms in these states include lethargy or extreme sleepiness, seizures, sunken fontanel (soft spot) in infants, fainting, and sunken eyes. The symptoms become increasingly severe with greater water loss. One's heart and respiration rates begin to increase to compensate for decreased plasma volume and blood pressure, while body temperature may rise because of decreased sweating. At around 5% to 6% water loss, one may become groggy or sleepy, experience headaches or nausea, and may feel tingling in one's limbs (paresthesia). With 10% to 15% fluid loss, muscles may become spastic, skin may shrivel and wrinkle (decreased skin turgor), vision may dim, urination will be greatly reduced and may become painful, and delirium may begin. Losses greater than 15% are usually fatal.
Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract can lead to dehydration in various ways. Often, dehydration becomes the major problem in an otherwise self-limited illness. Fluid loss may even be severe enough to become life-threatening.Numerous studies have shown that for terminally ill patients who choose to die, deaths by terminal dehydration are generally peaceful and not associated with suffering, when supplemented with adequate pain medication. 4
There are three main types of dehydration: hypotonic(primarily a loss of electrolytes, sodium in particular), hypertonic(primarily a loss of water), and isotonic(equal loss of water and electrolytes).The most common type of dehydration is isotonic dehydration, which equates with hypovolemia and the distinction between them may be important when treating anyone suffering with dehydration. The most common symptoms may include headaches similar to that of a headache when suffering a hangover (which generally caused by alcohol consumption), Alcohol and caffeine are drugs that most of us consume regularly as part of our diet. Like all drugs, they have side effects, one of which is common to both a waterloss effect.It infers with optimal hydration, muscle cramps in the legs, and restricted visual capabilities. Both alcohol and caffeine affect the body's level of hydration in about the same way.
Both dehydrate the body by having a diuretic effect. That is, caffeine and alcohol both cause you to lose fluid from excessive urination after drinking them. This dehydration is actually what causes most of the symptoms of a hangover after overconsumption of alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates the body because the body must pull water from the body to break down the alcohol. Caffeine also requires water to metabolize. Thus both reduce hydration levels in the body. Alcohol, however, has the more severe dehydrating effect of the two compounds. Caffeine also increases urine production to be eliminated.
Dehydration symptoms generally become noticeable after 2% of one's normal water volume has been lost At first, the body experiences thirst and discomfort and in most cases, the skin becomes dry. Constipation follows and with athletes, the loss of performance of up to 30% and a rapid heart rate accompanied by an elevated body temperature.In people over age 50, the body s thirst sensation diminishes and continues diminishing with age. Many senior citizens suffer symptoms of dehydration. Dehydration along with hyperthermia results in seniors dying during extreme hot weather. 5
Electrolytes are the chemicals in the body which are required for regulating nerve and muscle function and other physiological functions. Sodium, Potassium, and Chloride are important electrolytes in the body. Sodium regulates the amount of water in the body. The movement of sodium results in the electric signals required for communication between different cells. Potassium is important for regulation of heartbeat and muscle functions. Sodium and potassium are positive ions whereas Chloride is negative ion which is used for maintaining the fluid balance in the body.
Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract can lead to dehydration in various ways. Often, dehydration becomes the major problem in an otherwise self-limited illness. Fluid loss may even be severe enough to become life-threatening.Both alcohol and caffeine cause a diuretic effect on your body, meaning that they cause loss of fluid, sowhen you drink alcohol or drinks with caffeine, your body may well lose more liquid than it took in by those fluids. So it affects the hydrations level in your body negatively. Water is best for hydration.
Water, water, water! Drink 8 to 10 glasses a day as the bare minimum - drink more on warmer days and when exercising. Don't use thirst as an indicator for staying hydrated. If you wait until you're thirsty to drink, you're already dehydrated. Furthermore, drink more than until you thirst no more.Choose your
beverages wisely. Alcohol and caffeinated beverages such as coffee and some teas and soft drinks will only increase the effects of dehydration. Fill up on sports drinks when taking on athletic activities sports drinks replaces not only fluids lost when sweating but also important electrolytes thatare excreted when you sweat. Prepare for a sports activity by drinking about a pint of water 2 hours before. Continue to drink throughout the activity: 6 to 12 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. On those warmer days, take plenty of breaks from your daily activities to get in the shade and drink plenty of fluids.
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