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Fluids and Electrolytes

2 Pages

Course Code
NUTR 1010
Laura E Forbes

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Fluids and Electrolytes  Fluid consists of molecules that are far enough apart that they can slide past each other (50-70% of our bodies consist of fluid)  Most of our body’s fluid is INTRACELLULAR (found inside of our cells)  The rest is EXTRACELLULAR fluid, which can be found between the tiny gaps surrounding cells, as well as in our blood (plasma) and digestive secretions  Body fluids are made out of water and electrolytes  charged particles dissolved in water (aka ions). Essentially, they are dissolved mineral salts  Whether the electrolytes’ charge is positive or negative dictates its function  What do fluids do?  Dissolve and Transport  Transports all water soluble nutrients (e.g. carbs, amino acids, medications) which are unable to be transported by proteins  Accounts for blood volume Allows us to maintain a healthy blood pressure which makes blood transport of oxygen, nutrients, hormones, etc. possible. (This is why low blood pressure causes fainting)  Helps maintain healthy body temperature (water keeps us cool)  Sweating and Vasodilation When the body overheats, it pumps blood towards the surface of the skin (which causes a flushed complexion); Opens blood vessels to transport blood easier (vasodilation) -Sweating cools the body through a transfer of energy (heat moves from the body’s centre to the surface of the skin in the form of moisture which then evaporates with the encouragement of vasodilation)  Fluids protect us!  Cerebrospinal fluid cushions the brain and spinal chord preventing frequent concussion -Amniotic fluid in pregnant women protects the fetus  What do Electrolytes do?  Regulate fluid balance through osmosis  Process of diffusion (think steeping tea) -Cell membranes hinder regulation between intra and extracellular fluid. Therefore, osmosis occurs in order to maintain parity between them  Allow our nerves to work  We need K+ and Na+ in order to transmit energy through our axons onward to our nervous system  Allow our muscles to contract  This is done through an influx of calcium ions within muscle cells  How do we lose fluids?  Urine, feces, vomiting, and INSENSIBLE loss such as evaporation, sweating and breathing  Loss of fluid normally triggers THIRST, a message sent to us from the hypothalamus when our electrolyte concentration, blood volume, and oral m
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