ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Water and the Human Body

Updated on March 13, 2015

Water is a liquid that is transparent and odorless. It is made up of hydrogen and oxygen (H2O). Water is so very important for the human body. Without it, life would not exist. The human body is made up of mostly water. In fact, it's about 95% water. It is for this reason that it should not be taken for granted.

Functions of Water

Water serves so many functions for the human body. Just a few of them are listed below.

  • regulates body temperature
  • assists in the transport of oxygen to the cells of the body
  • flushes the kidneys removing waste products from the body
  • lubricates the joints
  • helps to regulate body weight


When Things go Wrong: Dehydration

Dehydration is a condition in which the body is lacking sufficient water, meaning that it has lost more water than it has received. Water loss is an almost constant occurrence. Our bodies are losing water everyday as well as every minute. We lose water through almost everything that we do. For instance, we lose water every time we:

  • exhale
  • urinate
  • defecate
  • vomit
  • sweat

This doesn't sound like a lot, but our bodies are constantly releasing water through our pores, so in other words, we are sweating non-stop. Even when we are sedentary, we are still sweating. You are unable to notice it because it evaporates almost immediately.

There are such things that will cause the body to lose water at a faster rate. They include caffeine, alcohol, diuretics and certain medications. If these things are ingested, the consumption of water must be increased in order to avoid symptoms of dehydration.

Subtle Symptoms of Dehydration

There are many symptoms of dehydration, but most of them are so subtle that a lot of people don't even notice them until they become severe. A few examples include:

  • thirst or dryness of the mouth
  • chapped lips
  • headache
  • pain in joints and/or muscles
  • constipation
  • a strong odor upon urination as well as dark-colored urine

By the time you experience any of these symptoms, you are already in the beginning stages of dehydration. At this point, it is in your best interest to get drinking as quickly as possible to avoid further complications.

One thing worth mentioning is that not everyone with dark-colored urine is experiencing dehydration. There are certain vitamins and medications that will cause the urine to be darker in color as well.

Severe Symptoms of Dehydration

If left untreated, dehydration can become more severe. Some of those symptoms include:

  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • neck pain
  • colitis
  • high blood pressure
  • arthritis
  • depression
  • asthma
  • muscle cramps
  • low back pain
  • chronic fatigue
  • varicose veins
  • obesity

As you can see, there are numerous conditions that may occur from the lack of water in the body.

Poll

Have you or someone you know ever suffered from symptoms of dehydration?

See results

How Much Water Should You Drink?

The amount of water that should be consumed is different for everyone. A good rule to follow is to divide your weight by 2, and that is how many ounces of water you should be drinking each day.

Can Too Much Water Be Consumed?

You may ask if it is possible for you to ingest too much water, and the answer is "yes". It is possible for a person to drink too much water, It is called "water intoxication" and it causes the cells in the body to swell or plump up to their fullest capacity. When this swelling occurs, a number of manifestations may result. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • seizures
  • coma
  • irregular heartbeat
  • fluttering eyelids
  • fluid in the lungs

If adequate treatment is not provided quickly, death will occur.

Treatment for Water Intoxication

Generally, there is no home remedy for water intoxication other than to stop the intake of water. Theoretically, if you were able to get the person to ingest a few teaspoons of salt, it probably wouldn't hurt, but the best treatment is to get them to a hospital or medical facility as soon as possible. This facility will most likely start an IV and administer a hypertonic saline solution drip.

Recovery from Water Intoxication

Recovery from water intoxication is dependent upon the length of time it took for the person to get treated. If the cells internal damage is not too bad or if they haven't had too much swelling, then recovery time should only take a few days.

The Key is to Drink in Moderation

We need water in order to survive, so the key to getting an adequate supply of water to the body each and every day is to drink in moderation. The kidneys are our filtering system; and they have the ability to do this at a rate of about 15 liters each day. It is for this reason that, unless you sit and gulp water by the gallons, you are extremely unlikely to experience water intoxication.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)