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The two thirds of the human body is water. Human body needs to control its body fluid levels, in order to function properly. There is always a balance in body fluids when the amount of fluid consumed is the same to the excreted amount. Dehydration is a physiological condition that occurs when the amount of fluid intake is less, when compared to the expelled fluid. Dehydration leads to problems in organ operation, especially after it causes chemical imbalance. Although dehydration does not have serious effects in most mature persons, it slows down their level of performance, and it is deadly in children (Densley, 2005). In their daily activities, human beings encounter the hostile environments and vigorous activities that make them lose the fluids in their blood system to external environment leading to dehydration. This paper shall address the causes of dehydration, symptoms, diagnosing dehydration, prevention of dehydration and its treatment.
Causes of Dehydration
Batmanghelidg (2003) argues that most outdoor human activities cause dehydration, especially when they participate robustly, lose water and forget to balance the body fluid through taking in more water. Some of the activities that lead to losing of water include sweating, diarrhea and dieting as discussed below.
Environment in which an individual works in or is located plays a major role in loss of body water through sweating. Sweating is a process designed to cool the body heat. There several factors which lead to sweating. Some might be genetic, stress, types of food consumed, types of activities that one engages in and the environment. For instance, when one is staying in a very hot environment, the body will struggle to cool itself through sweating. Moreover, if one works in hot environmental conditions, it is easy for such persons to sweat and loss their body fluid. The situation is always worse, if such persons fail to consume fluids or liquids to replace the lost of water through sweating. Thus, working or staying in hot environments without replacing the lost body fluid leads to dehydration.
Diarrhea is another cause of dehydration in human beings. When an individual develops diarrhea, such people are at risk of dehydrating. The diarrheal process involves excretion of so much body fluid. Each time a person diarrheas, the large volume of body water is lost. This is worse in children, and is the explanation to why children die when they diarrhea. Therefore, parents should seek medical attention immediately after their children exhibit diarrheal symptoms. It is also important for people suffering from diarrhea to seek the immediate medical attention (Batmanghelidg, 2003). Vomiting is also a primary factor that contributes to the loss of body fluid. Vomiting makes human body lose water, and at the same time, the body is unable to take in fluids. This is because the nausea makes the body resist fluids, as any attempts to intake the fluids result to vomiting. Thus, vomiting is a major contributor of body dehydration.
Moreover, the act of dieting can debilitate water from the body. Modern human beings value bodies with that are less fatty. Science has proven that people with fatty bodies are most likely to develop the heart-related complications. An individual may employ several approaches that may make them lose the body weight: by the natural activities or engaging chemical processes. Consequently, dieters supplement their dieting through engaging in vigorous activities that may lead to the loss of water or others try self-denial, whereby, they skip meals and consumption of water for many days. The worse of this category of dieters is when they employ chemical aid in losing their body weight. Usage of supplements, like laxatives or diuretics, is a quicker means of losing the body weight. However, this mode of losing weight depletes the water reserves in the body. This makes the body thinner and lighter than before, but it does not burn the fats only causing dehydration (Densley, 2005).
Symptoms of Dehydration
Symptoms of dehydration extend from the lack of tears when crying or even happy occasioned with gloomy eyes. Apart from thirst, one may also lack or have low volumes of urine, which will be dark yellow, especially in case of rigorous or modest dehydration. Sometimes, a child may experience diarrhea, nausea, dry or sticky lips and loss of appetite. Infants may grow small spots on their heads. Alongside these conditions, the children may also develop fast heartbeats, with some signs of slowness or they are extra quiescent and dizzy. This mainly occurs with the fall of blood pressure. Another symptom of dehydration is the growth of chest pains. The children may also have dry skin, feeble and several muscle contractions apart from the dry lips. Batmanghelidg (2003) posits that a dehydrated child may also exhibit fatigue and development of negative feelings of irritation.
Healthcare officers may conduct clinical analysis to determine the dehydration rates. The diagnosis may involve evaluation of the mental status of the patient, which determines whether the patient is dizzy or alert; this is achievable through measuring the muscle tones. The health practitioner may also check for fever through evaluating the body temperature (McKenzie, Nutt & Mercer, 2009). Another diagnosis will be on the skin to see how turgid or flaccid the skin is. Turgid skin shows low loss of water through sweating, as flaccid skin will demonstrate excessive loss of water. This may also include evaluation of the tongue and mouth, where the mouth may be sticky or dry to show the water loss. For children, the diagnosis may be during the regular clinical checks or when taken to hospital as adults the diagnosis may include laboratory tests.
Most of the times doctors and media have advised the citizens that prevention is better than cure. Prevention is much cheaper, when compared to the treatment of any given situation. Moreover, prevention is 100% guarantee to reduction of the risk of damaging body organs and the loss of life (McKenzie, Nutt & Mercer, 2009). The basic preventive act is the practice of maintenance of the body fluids. Therefore, they should try their level best to avoid exercises that lead to the loss of body fluids for example; the patient should avoid taking fluids that have caffeine, because they trigger more dehydration and increase the level of urination. Additionally, individuals may schedule their activities in cooler weather and shaded environments. As for the individuals working in hot environments, they should try to replace the lost fluid through taking rehydration fluids.
Caretakers too should encourage the patients to take in fluids, especially when they are children or infants. It is also important to seek medical attention, once individuals realize that their bodies are losing water and are resisting to intake fluids. Thus, individuals should not wait, until they notice the symptoms, because symptoms come when the condition is severe and hazardous to life and body organs.
Dehydration is very serious in children and the elderly. Therefore, caretakers should seek an immediate medical attention, when they realize the children and the elderly are losing body fluids. Doctors recommend treatment to dehydration depending on how severe the condition is. Dehydration may be moderate, severe or mild, depending on the volumes of body fluids or water lost (McKenzie, Nutt & Mercer, 2009). When much water is lost, it is severe dehydration this may be hazardous to life as well as moderate, when the modest amount of water is lost. On the other hand, Mild dehydration occurs when the body loses little volumes of water. Mild dehydration demands for the normal fluid intake at regular time to restore the lost liquid. This also reduces the rate of nausea and ensuring that the body retains the consumed fluid. Children with diarrheal and nausea problems will take oral rehydrated solution (ORS). The moderate and severe dehydration demand admission to hospital and at times the services. The doctors need to diagnose the problem and oversee the electrolyte restoration. Thus, athletes and other people who engage in vigorous activities need to take electrolyte solutions during and after their exercises to maintain the fluid balance (McKenzie, Nutt & Mercer, 2009). Failure to seek the medical attention may result into the permanent failure of body organs like the kidney and brain or hypovolemic shock, in case of chronic dehydration. These conditions are very serious, because they may lead to the loss of human life.
Dehydration is very dangerous in children. Chronic dehydration is dangerous to human life. Children are at risk of losing their lives or damaging their brains, in case they develop this condition. One cannot measure how severe dehydration is by observation. Adults may not realize minor dehydration or thirst, while children lose so much body fluid through diarrhea. Consequently, parents should contact the medical officers, in case their children exhibit the signs of dehydration or once they notice that their children are at risk of losing body fluids without signs of restocking the fluid. Moreover, to function properly, human body needs water. Loss of bodily fluids and water, or dehydration reduces the performance and productivity of an individual. Athletes and other group of people should drink more water and consume fluids, if they wish to have high performances. While at home, caretakers of the sick children who have developed nausea and diarrhea should encourage them to consume more water. Lastly, it is very important for anybody who exhibits nausea and cannot consume fluids to see a doctor.
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