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Dehydration - Essay Example

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Water comprises approximately 60% of the human body weight. Approximately two-thirds of total body water can be found in the intracellular fluids while one-third is in the extracellular fluid. The extracellular…
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Download file to see previous pages It also serves as a medium for many chemical reactions, acting as either reactant or product (Wardlaw & Hampl, 2007; Jéquier & Constant, 2009). Water also has the important function of thermoregulation due to its high heat capacity. Temperature is not drastically reduced or increased which is important in maintaining the integrity of cells. Waste excretion is another function that is attributed to water’s property to easily dissolve many substances. Many waste products are water-soluble and hence, are easily transported to the excretory system. Being incompressible, water can also serve as lubricant of joints, and in the production of amniotic fluid, saliva, and bile. Saliva aids in digestion, bile is involved in fat metabolism and breakdown, while amniotic fluid serves as a shock absorber that protects the developing fetus (Wardlaw & Hampl, 2007).
In the body, water is important in the maintenance and continuation of the function of the circulatory system. Blood plasma, as it circulates in blood vessels, exchanges metabolic products, oxygen, nutrients and wastes with the interstitial fluid. Thus, dissolved substances in the plasma and interstitial fluid are similar, except that the plasma has more protein.
However, the extracellular fluid differs largely from the fluid encompassed within the cells. The maintenance of these differences in fluid composition is one way for the cells to regulate their individual activities, like growth and metabolic activities. Cellular morphology is maintained by keeping a balance between electrolytes, osmotica, and water.
The recommended water requirement for a healthy life has been published in many journal articles. Generally, these were based on intake levels that were expected to be nutritionally sufficient for health. It should be noted that water requirement is affected by climate, level of physical activity ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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