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The Effects of Dehydration

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    Water is an essential part to maintaining a healthy body and weight. Without the proper intake of water, the body becomes dehydrated and it begins to pull it from other places including from your blood. “This causes the closing of some smaller vessels (capillaries), making your blood thicker, more susceptible to clotting, and harder to pump through your system. This can have serious implications in hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Recent studies have also linked the lack of water to headaches, arthritis, and heartburn. (TheraGear 2001)

    An estimated 60 percent of our body weight is made up of water. Water helps to decrease fat because it suppresses the appetite. Water keeps the body hydrated. The body can maintain for a number of weeks without food but after just a few days without water could prove to be fatal. Water is used for the digestion of food, for food to be transported through the body, it helps with the elimination of waste, for the circulation of blood, it also serves as a lubricant for joints and other internal organs, and it ultimately helps regulate the body’s temperature.

    If the body begins to receive less hydration from water, not only will the person become dehydrated but it will begin to effect them mentally. The brain won’t work properly, the person will become groggy, slow, and feel extremely tired. Muscle tone will be lost, leaving the person feeling weak and sluggish. Unfortunately, when we sweat or have a bowel movement, electrolytes are lost, and not keeping a balance of electrolytes will eventually affect the amount of water in your body, blood acidity, muscle action, and other important processes.

    Electrolytes regulate the body’s fluid intake. There are three types of electrolytes; sodium, potassium, and chloride. Electrolytes are present in the human body, and the balance of the electrolytes in our bodies is essential for normal function of our cells and our organs. Common electrolytes that are measured by doctors with blood testing. The electrolyte sodium, “controlling the secretions help regulate blood pressure. ” (Organic Facts, 2010), but when ingested in excess, like over oing meals with salt, sodium can be very dangerous to a person’s blood pressure. Typically, “Our diet today is high in salt (sodium chloride) and low in potassium. The reason for this is that we eat a lot of processed foods, which are high in sodium and chloride, and too few fresh unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fresh meats, which are high in potassium. ” Proper intake of water will prevent the person from retaining too much sodium and diluting the sodium that has been consumed throughout the day.

    Another important in electrolyte is potassium. The proper level of potassium is essential for normal cell function. Potassium regulates the body’s heartbeat and the function of its muscles. Major increases or decreaes of potassium can affect the nervous system, and tremendously increases the chances of arrhythmias which can induce fatal heart problems. Along with potassium, and sodium, chloride plays a key factor in the body’s daily functioning. Chloride helps the body maintain a normal balance of fluids.

    When there is a significant increase ofr decrease in chloride in the body it can have a fatal outcome. Increased chloride can be detected in diarrhea, various kidney diseases, and in overactivity of the thyroid. Decreased chloride happens when the person sweats, urinates, and can also be lost in stomach secretions, it is considered an extreme loss in chloride when excessing sweating, and vomiting. The sudden loss or decrease can affect the body in a bad way, Water keeps the body hydrated and helps regulate the electrolytes sodium, otassium and chloride.

    Overall, the body needs electrolytes in order to function properly, but the proper intake in necessary. There are daily activities and drinks that can decrease electrolytes and induce dehydration, one being caffeine. “Together, potassium and sodium (positively charged ions) create nerve impulses which dictate thought, movement and responses. Sodium exists outside the cell and concentrated potassium exists inside the cell. When nerve cells are stimulated, sodium passes into the cell and a negative electrical charge is created.

    The electrical travels to a muscle cell which causes the muscle to contract. To maintain healthy intracellular charges, muscle contraction and fluid balance, a diet high in potassium is highly recommended. Fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, beans, whole milk and meat can help achieve a potassium-rich diet. Sodium and chloride react together in blood cells which trigger a sodium concentration. This concentration causes sensations of thirst in the body and causes us to drink. Within 24 hours, the sodium and excess water is secreted and the body is returned to its normal state.

    A diet high in sodium and chloride can lead to hypertension and decreased kidney and heart function. ” (The effects of dehydration) Caffiene should be drank in moderation. Caffeine is a stimulate of the cardiac muscle and central nervous system. When caffeine is consumed in excessive amounts it can cause stomach issues, insomia, nervousness, and dehydration. “Caffeine affects the kidneys by acting as a diuretic, which increases urine production and therefore increases loss of water from the body.

    Numerous studies have provided evidence linking this loss of fluid with high levels of caffeine consumption, often 600 milligrams or more per day. ” (Health and Wellness 2003) Along with caffeine, alcohol can dehydrate a body tremendously. When alcohol is consumed it acts as a diuretic and it decreases the anti-diuretic hormone. Drinking alcohol causes the body to lost water through urination and sweating. Dehydration due to alcohol intake can cause a loss of needed nutrients and minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc.

    Dehydration from alcohol, caffeine or any other reason can be prevented. Preventing the body from getting dehydrated is important. Drinkin eight glasses of water daily will help espeiallybefore and after outdoor activities. The body will let warm a person of dehydration, know the signs, listen to those signs and hydrate the body accordingly. Caffiene should be avoided a much as possible, along with the intake of alcohol. Another thing to avoid are salt tablets, which do not hydrate the body, but they increase sodium levels in the blood and create chemical imbalances.

    Water is essential to day to day living, and proper intake of it can reduce the probability of getting dehydrated. Dehydration is a loss of fluids and electrolytes, like sodium, potassium and chloride. Maintianing proper balances of electrolytes, and fluids promotes a healthy body.

    References

    What effects can alcohol and caffiene have on hydration. (2010). Retrieved November 17, 2010 from Live strong foundation : http://www. livestrong. com/?article/?112391-effects-can-alcohocaffeine/ ?#ixzz15gemayv. Water is important. (2000).

    Retrieved November 17, 2010 from TheraGear, Health and Fitness News: http://www. theragear. com/?article/?water. php. The effect of caffiene on hydration and bone loss. (2001). Retrieved November 17, 2010 from TheraGear, health and wellness: http://www. sheknows. com/?health-and-wellness/?articles/?3576/? the-effects-of-caffeine-on-hydration-and-bone-loss. The Effects of Dehydration: Avoiding Dehydration and Its Negative Effect on the Body . (2009). Retrieved November 17, 2010 from TheraGear, Avoiding Dehydration: http://www. suite101. com/?content/?the-effects-of-dehydration-a148119.

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