Dehydration Effects Essay

1397 words - 6 pages

Dehydration Effects

Dehydration is the “excessive loss of water resulting in depletion of body fluids” (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2006, p. 282). When the body goes through dehydration there can be many symptoms. Some of these symptoms can include: feelings of nausea, light-headedness, and feeling dizzy. Dehydration can cause symptoms to show more rapidly than any other vitamin deficiency. With other vitamin deficiencies, days or weeks can pass before symptoms are felt by the body (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2006). Symptoms can be seen when dehydrated after only an hour of activity on a hot day.
Water is essential to health maintenance because the human body is more than half water. The ...view middle of the document...

An example of water regulating body temperature is “when body temperature starts to rise, the blood vessels in the skin dilate, causing blood to flow close to the surface where it can release some of the heat to the surrounding air” (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2006, p. 283).
Since the body does not permanently store water it must constantly be replaced. When the body does not obtain the water that it needs dehydration can set in. Any changes in the amount of water in the body can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Water is so important to the human body that it is possible to survive without food for up to eight weeks, but without consuming any water, the human body can only survive a few days. When water levels are too low, there is an effect on the body’s ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Waste removal is also affected when the body does not have enough water. Some of the early symptoms of dehydration include: headache, fatigue, thirst, dry eyes and mouth, and loss of appetite. Some of the later symptoms can include: nausea, confusion, difficulty concentrating, and disorientation (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2006). The most common time for dehydration to occur is during exercise. This is because during exercise the body losses water through sweat.
To help avoid dehydration it is important to drink water on a regular basis. During exercise, it is important to take breaks at regular intervals to replace the water that has been lost because of sweating. The daily recommended amount of water for men is 3.7 liters and 2.7 liters a day for women. This number can be affected by multiple factors. Diet, activity level, and environmental temperature are some of the factors that can change the daily recommended amount of water for people. The minor symptoms of dehydration will go away quickly after replacing the lost water but if left untreated medical attention may be necessary. While it may be difficult to consume too much water, overhydrating can be as dangerous as dehydrating. Water toxicity can be the result of consuming too much water. Some of the early symptoms of water toxicity can be similar to dehydration. Nausea, muscle cramps, disorientation, and confusion are just some of the symptoms of water toxicity. “To help prevent water toxicity it is recommended that beverages containing dilute solutions of sodium as well as sugar, such as sports beverages, be used to replace water losses when exercise continues for more than an hour” (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2006, p. 287).
Electrolytes are important because they help maintain acid-base in the body. Electrolytes are “substances that separate in water to form positively and negatively charged ions that conduct an electrical current” (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2006, p. 287). The three key electrolytes in the body are sodium, potassium, and chloride. It is important to control the amount of sodium excreted from the body because sodium helps to regulate blood pressure. If the body...

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