Phu Pham 002815421 Water Imbalance When we talk about water imbalance, it is necessary to first know of water’s tendency to move from high concentration to low concentration. This property of water is influenced by three conditions: isotonic, hypertonic, and hypotonic. Isotonic condition exists when the concentration of the solute is the same as the concentration inside the cell. Because the concentrations are the same on both sides, there is no movement of water.
In hypertonic, however, the concentration of solute is greater on the outside than on the inside, water moves outside of the cell until concentration on both sides reach equilibrium. Because water moves outside, this causes the cell to shrink. In hypotonic solution, the concentration of solute is greater on the inside than on the outside, water is drawn inside the cell to reach equilibrium while busting the cell opened.Inside the human body, there are many solutes that together make up blood and other solution necessary for life such as sodium, calcium, potassium, water… These ions are called electrolytes, a vital key in maintaining the homeostasis. Serious electrolytes usually associated with sodium, potassium, and calcium. Other electrolytes disturbances are less common. A sodium imbalance occurs when there is too little or too much sodium in the bloodstream. Hyponatremia happens when there is too little sodium, and hypernatremia occurs when there is too much sodium.
In normal activity, sodium is absorbed by the kidney to regulate water levels in the body. But when there is a water imbalance, such that of too much or too little of water, the body either gets rid of or absorbs too much sodium. Regular symptoms includes: muscle cramps, confusion, restlessness, agitation, tissue swelling, depression, lack of coordination, seizures, and more seriously coma. Hypernatremia, a condition when there is more sodium ions on the outside than the inside of the cells, causes fluid to be pulled from the cells of the brain resulting in cell shrinkage. This is the primary cause of neurological symptoms.
Hyponatremia is a condition when there is more sodium ion on the inside than the outside of the cells. Osmotic movement of water into the brain cell may increase the brain size above normal. This can lead to seizures and other severe neurological effects. Therefore, the maintaining of electrolytes is very important in order for the cells to last. Any imbalance in the concentration of water inside the body will directly affect the concentration of solutes (electrolytes) in the blood and cause severe damage.
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