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Free «Dehydration» Essay Sample

Importance of Water in Health Maintenance

Water is a basic component when it comes to enhancing the state of human health. The essence of water in the health maintenance cannot be overemphasised due to the numerous efforts made in this field. Water supports as an essential body fluid enhances functionality of human mental, physical, and biological aspects (Patrick & Adrian, 2005). Insufficient supply to the body would therefore lead to the occurrence of significant failure of these potential human body functions. For instance water is known to suppress individual appetites and assists in the metabolism of stored fats. In addition, other physical functions supported by water include the maintenance of muscle tone and functional ability through contraction (Patrick & Adrian, 2005).

Functions of Water in the Body

Water serves as a lubricant during ingestion and egestion functions. This explains the causation of constipation with regard to egestion. In addition, it forms a component of human saliva supporting ingestion and digestion functions (Patrick & Adrian, 2005).

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Water provides a medium in which critical body metabolism functions occur. Water assists in supporting functions of the synovial fluid by keeping body joints supple (Patrick & Adrian, 2005). Water also assists in the maintenance of normal and optimum body temperatures which is essential in promoting other body functions. The body temperature is essentially meant to revolve around 37°C with small variations going by context.


How Electrolytes Function in the Body

Sodium, potassium and chloride form the most important electrolytes in the human body system. "Blood Pressure and volume are maintained by the characteristics of sodium as the major cation in extracellular fluid" (Grodner, Long, & De Young, 2004). In addition other key functions of sodium include nerve impulses transmission and regulation of required levels of body fluids.

Chloride provides the major anion component usually found on the body cells' external membrane (Patrick & Adrian, 2005). Chloride is capable of permeating the cell membrane hence enables the achievement of needed osmotic balance.

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This essentially regulates the hydration of the body fluids. Through this function it is also able to prevent the loss of potassium ions which are critical during osmotic regulation (Patrick & Adrian, 2005). The critical balance of chloride anions in the body is important in supporting key body functions.


Potassium levels in the body are essentially maintained through established external balance and distribution mechanism. The elimination of potassium normally occurs via the renal tubules, human stool and sweat. "Although the extracellular fluid contains about 10% of total body potassium, less than 1% is located in the body plasma" (Osorio & Linas, n.d). Therefore the distribution of potassium as an extracellular fluid and body plasma leads to the regulation of hydration levels in the body.

Effects of Alcohol and Caffeine on Hydration Levels

These are substance, which are essentially classified as diuretics hence they potentially affect the hydration levels of the body. Alcohol affects net loss hydration levels by slowing rehydration capacity while subsequently increasing urination levels (Patrick & Adrian, 2005). On the other hand, the intake of excessive amounts of caffeine increases the urination levels leading to a significant loss of hydration.

Effects of Dehydration

The normal body capacity entails 70% of water (Patrick & Adrian, 2005). This amount supports core functions of the body which consequently in the reduction of water levels in the body. Some of the effects are as follows:

ü  Dehydration normally results in the causation of arthritis since water plays a role in body joints.

ü  Dehydration results in the signs of headaches which are normally a sign of critical dehydration.

ü  Dehydration is associated with the occurrence of high blood pressure incidents due to the function of water and salts in maintaining hydration levels (Patrick & Adrian, 2005).

ü  It also causes the occurrence of low energy levels and decreased physical activity due to the role it plays with regard to muscle activity.


ü  It leads to causation of constipation, and in advanced cases it could lead to colitis or pain in the large gut (Patrick & Adrian, 2005).

Steps People take to Avoid Dehydration

In a bid to avoid dehydration it is common practice to take the required amounts of body fluids on a daily basis. These fluids include water, juices, milk, and so on. The target is usually to fulfil the recommended levels of 8 ounces of water on a daily basis (Patrick & Adrian, 2005). People suffering from constipation take large amounts of fluids to alleviate symptoms of constipation in the human body system.


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