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Dehydration Essay

1354 words - 6 pages

Dehydration

Dehydration happens when the body loses too much fluid. This can occur when a person stops drinking water or if a person loses large amounts of fluid through diarrhea, urinating, vomiting, sweating, and breathing and humidified air leaves the body. In a normal day a person has to drink a significant amount of water to replace this routine loss (Wedro, 2010). Dehydration can make a person more susceptible to illness and viruses. In-sufficient water intake can make a person feel tired. Water can help a person with a weak immune system recover from colds and other illnesses. Staying hydrated can help improve mental and physical performance. Water increases energy levels, help ...view middle of the document...

Then the kidneys shift their load to the liver. If the liver has to do everything without the kidneys they will not work at full capacity. Drinking enough water every day is also the best treatment for water retention. If the body is given less water it thinks there is a shortage and will retain every drop. Water reserves are found in other spots of the body and will show up in swollen hands, feet, and legs. Also without water people will not maintain proper muscle tone. This can cause the sagging skin not shrink properly after weight loss. If the colon receives too little water it siphons what it needs from internal sources. This results in constipation. If a person stops drinking enough water the body fluids will be thrown out of balance. The body will not function properly without enough water and cannot metabolize stored fat efficiently (Colon Therapists, 2010).

Keeping hydrated is very important to maintain the human body. Drinking alcohol and caffeine can affect hydration levels in the body. As a normal function the kidneys reabsorb water into the body. Excessive alcohol intake inhibits the kidneys ability to reabsorb water. This increases water loss. Alcohol dehydrates the body because the body must pull water from the body to break down the alcohol. Too much alcohol decreases the production of the anti-diuretic hormone ADH. This produces the “hangover” feeling. Alcohol helps water loss by slowing the production of the anti-diuretic hormone called vasopressin. This acts on the kidneys by promoting the re-absorption of water and salt into the body. Vasopressin helps regulate the concentration of fluids in the body. This can interfere with its action to lead to increased loss of body fluid from urination. This contributes toward dehydration. Alcohol induced water loss can also lead to other mineral loss such as: magnesium, potassium, calcium, and zinc. These nutrients also help the maintenance of fluid balance and nerve and muscle action (Oliver, 2009).

Electrolytes are chemicals in the human body 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 helping regulate the heartbeat and muscle functions. Sodium and potassium are positive ions and chloride is a negative ion which is used for maintaining the fluid balance in the human body (Pearson Education, 2010).

There are several ways people can ensure they do not become dehydrated. People should drink at least eight, eight ounce glasses of water per day. They should drink more if they are more active. They should also drink more on a hot day because the body sweats more. They should also try to eat fruits and vegetables that contain higher water content such as watermelon. People need to drink...

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