The Science of Nutrition

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Dehydration Assignment

SCI 241 The Science of Nutrition

Ann Harris
Axia College of University of Phoenix
Tiffany Dube, Faculty
July 13, 2008


When the body loses excessive amounts of water and electrolytes (potassium and sodium), and your body doesn’t have enough water to normally function, it is called dehydration; there are three different types of dehydration mild (no more than 5% water loss) moderate dehydration (5-10% water loss) severe dehydration (10-15% water loss) there are different causes of dehydration, such as alcohol consumption, high blood sugar, vomiting, heat exhaustion (body’s core temperature increases), taking certain drugs, infections, and simply just not drinking enough water. When the body is dehydrated the electrolytes are thrown off balance and this causes some of the body’s systems and organs not to function properly. Jule Klotter states, “ In dehydration, cell membranes become less permeable, hampering the flow of hormones and nutrients into the cell and preventing waste products, such as antidioxidants that cause cellular damage from flowing out” (Klotter, 2001). Histamine is activated when the body is in need of water; the histamines activate the prostagladins, kinins and vasopressin in an effort to redistribute water in the priority that it is needed. (Klotter, 2001). Medical assistance is required to treat severe dehydration, (because the electrolytes that were depleted need to be replaced in the body), however if the dehydration is not severe it can be treated at home, by increasing fluid intake.

Symptoms of dehydration

Some symptoms of dehydration are headaches, dark urine (accompanied by an odor), weakness, dry nose and mouth, vomiting, diarrhea. With infants and toddlers the symptoms are, no tears when crying, inability to urinate. High fever, listlessness, irritability and sunken abdomen, cheekbone and eyes, may be vomiting and diarrhea. In the elderly that are suffering dehydration,...
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