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The Systemic Effects of Dehydration

Did you know that the human body is made up majorly of water? Did you know that every vital organ in your body is made up of more than 50% water? So can you imagine what would happen if we went without it? According to Mitchell and others (1945), the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles, and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.

Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in. This can happen due to various reasons such as excessive sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, and not drinking enough fluids. Dehydration can have severe negative effects on the body's major systems, including the nervous, lymphatic, digestive, circulatory, and respiratory systems. In this blog post, we will discuss how dehydration impacts these systems.

The Nervous System

The brain is made up of 75% water, and dehydration can cause a significant decrease in the volume of the brain cells. This can lead to headaches, dizziness, and confusion. Severe dehydration can also cause seizures and even coma.

  • Headaches: Dehydration can cause headaches due to reduced blood flow and oxygen to the brain.

  • Dizziness: Dehydration can cause dizziness and lightheadedness due to reduced blood pressure and blood flow to the brain.

  • Confusion: Dehydration can cause confusion and difficulty concentrating, as the brain requires adequate hydration to function properly.

  • Seizures: Severe dehydration can lead to seizures, as the brain may not receive sufficient oxygen and nutrients to function normally.

  • Coma: In severe cases, dehydration can lead to a coma, a state of unconsciousness in which the brain is unable to function properly.

  • Nerve damage: Chronic dehydration can cause damage to the nerves, leading to tingling, numbness, and other neurological symptoms.

The Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is responsible for transporting white blood cells and other immune cells throughout the body. Dehydration can reduce the volume of the lymphatic fluid, making it difficult for the immune system to function effectively. This can increase the risk of infections and illnesses.