Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Common Fluid Balance Disorders

The amount of fluid input must be more or less similar to the amount of fluid that leaves the human body. The state of normal fluid balance is otherwise called euvolemia. Our body requires water to function properly. Human beings are made up mostly of water, and to keep our bodies in the best shape, we need to replenish the fluid we lose when we undertake physiological activities (urination, sweating and respiration).

To meet the RDI, women should drink 1 to 2 liters of water a day while men should try to drink 2 to 3 liters to keep their body’s fluid balance at its best. Our food intake will contribute to roughly 0.5-1 liters of water daily while protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism will add another 0.25-0.4 liters.

Common Fluid Balance Disorders

1) Dehydration
This occurs when the output of fluid is far greater than the intake. This will stimulate the patient to consume fluids and thus lead the patient to increase intake of water. If the patient is unable to do so, the condition will worsen.

A drop in water intake, diuretics, vomiting, diarrhea, profuse sweating, fever and excessive heat can cause dehydration. This causes the water inside our cells to move to the blood. If dehydration were to continue, the tissues of the body would begin to dry up and cause the cells to malfunction. The human brain cells are very susceptible to dehydration, and this can even lead to a coma if the condition is left unchecked.

For mild dehydration, one can simply increase the intake of water until the problem is resolved. If the patient has medium to severe dehydration, sodium and potassium needs to be replenished. Energy drinks can be taken to improve the patient’s condition in this situation. Should hospitalization be required, a fluid balance chart will be necessary to monitor the fluid input and output of the patient.

2) Overhydration
This occurs when there is an excess amount of body fluid wherein the intake exceeds the fluid output. As long as the patient’s pituitary glands, heart and kidneys function properly, this should not be a problem. However, if one or more of the mentioned organs are compromised, the will be less output produced, and in time the problem may intensify as a result. People with these problems have to keep their water and salt intake at a minimum.

Overhydration treatment will depend on the cause of the problem itself. Limiting fluid should only be done when your doctor requests you to do so. Diuretics increase the urine output and may be given by your physician if he or she sees that it is needed.

How to Assess Fluid Balance
Fluid balance can be checked through clinical assessment, reviewing fluid balance charts or through blood chemistry. Through clinical assessment, the physician will be able to observe the patient for signs of dehydration or over-hydration by checking the vital signs and conducting a physical evaluation. Aside from keeping a chart to monitor the intake and output of fluids, a doctor may decide to analyze the blood chemistry of a patient. The sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, chloride or blood/urea nitrogen levels will be checked in this case, for irregularities that may implicate the condition.

If you notice a significant deficit in your fluid output or experience signs of severe dehydration, consult your physician as soon as possible. Normal fluid balance keeps your body in the perfect working condition – be sure to replenish your fluid intake regularly to stay fit and healthy.

Carolina Monroe Written by: Carolina
Way To Be Healthy Updated at: 10:39 PM


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