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    The Effects of Dehydration

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    Write about the effects of dehydration. Include answers to the following:

    o Why is water essential to health maintenance?
    o What are the functions of water in the body?
    o What happens to the body when it does not get the water it needs?
    o Compare and contrast how different electrolytes, sodium, potassium, and chloride function in the body.
    o What effects can alcohol and caffeine have on hydration levels in the body?
    o What steps can people take to ensure they do not become dehydrated?

    APA format please.

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    Solution Preview


    Interesting topic! One approach to help you will a paper like this one is to address each question from various sources, which can act as a tentative outline for your paper and from which you can draw for your final copy. This is the approach this response takes. I also attached one supporting article. I also attached two excellent APA resources to refer to for your final copy.

    Like all academic papers, the paper will include an Introduction (thesis or purpose statement), body (e.g. address the questions, which can be headings for organizing the paper), and Conclusion (restate thesis or purpose statement, and sum up main points). Let's take a closer look.


    1. Why is water essential to health maintenance?

    Water is essential to health maintenance and for preventing the diseases associated with dehydration, the lack of water in the body. It is essential because water has many important functions to play in the human body. We have all heard that we need to drink eight glasses of water to be healthy. It is also necessary for us to stay hydrated in very hot weather. For example, water plays a very important role in a person's nutrition. Drinking water helps increase your metabolism as well. It helps your food digest easier and quicker, and it helps your kidneys remove waste from your body, to name a few. (4) The purpose of this paper is to...

    2. What are the functions of water in the body?

    As mentioned above, water plays an important tole in the human body. Water aids the digestive system in breaking down and digesting food and it helps in absorbing various nutrients and minerals, for example. Water also helps to flush the bodily system of toxic substances that accumulate in our muscles, bones and tissues. It helps the kidneys to function normally and aids in all excretory functions. Water is also necessary for the functioning of the growth hormones, and because cells not only contain water but are also surrounded by water, water is essential for the good health of the cells of the human body. Conversely, dehydrated cells become shriveled and cannot function properly. In fact, the cells drive all the functions of the human body, meaning that water is essential to maintain cell health. Water also helps in weight reduction and breakdown of fat in the body, maintains proper muscle tone and prevents sagging skin.

    Similarly, the International Bottled Water Association (www.bottledwater.org) lists 13 functions of water in the body: Brain is 75% water / Moderate dehydration can cause headaches and dizziness, Water is required for expiration, Regulates body temperature, Carries nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body, Blood is 92% water, Moistens oxygen for breathing, Protects and cushions vital organs, Helps to convert food into energy, Helps body absorb nutrients, Removes waste, Bones are 22% water, Muscles are 75% water, and Cushions joints (3)

    3. What happens to the body when it does not get the water it needs?

    Clearly, drinking enough water is essential to good nutrition. There are many health problems associated with not consuming enough water. This includes excess body fat, poor muscle tone, problems digesting food properly, kidney problems, and even respiratory problems. What someone dismisses as arthritis can be the result of sore joints due to not enough water. Having sufficient water in your body also allows the blood to circulate better and it helps you remain cool while you sweat. (4)

    Dehydration can be defined as "the excessive loss of water from 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 (1) and result in many health issues such as:

    1. Water and Heartburn
    Heartburn is a signal of water shortage in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract. It is a major thirst signal of the human body. The use of antacids or tablet medications in the treatment of this pain does not correct dehydration, and the body continues to suffer as a result of its water shortage. Not recognizing heartburn as a sign of dehydration and treating it with antacids and pill medications can, in time, produce inflammation of the stomach and duodenum, hiatal hernia, ulceration, and eventually cancers in the gastrointestinal tract, including the liver and pancreas.

    2. Water and Arthritis
    Rheumatoid joint pain - arthritis - is a signal of water shortage in the painful joint. It can affect the young as well as the old. The use of pain-killers does not cure the problem, but exposes the person to further damage from pain ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution explains the effects of dehydration on a number of dimensions e.g. why is water essential, etc. Supplemented with an article on the effect of alcohol and caffeine on hydration.