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Regulation of Water Intake and Output

Introduction

Water is one of an essential nutrient that our body requires. Our bodies obtain water from foods, beverages, and metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Among the bodies chemical components water is the most abundant comprising of 60% of body weight. Therefore, water being essential it requires a lot of regulation. According to Amos Weld, one of the main functions of water is that it acts as a solvent where major chemical reactions occur. Another function of water in our bodies is it maintains the intercellular and extracellular solute concentrations, (Weld, 2001).

Regulation of intake and output

Thirst is one of the body mechanisms that control water intake and output in our bodies. Thirst causes a sensation that brings a desire to drink water (Mark, L. et al, 1981). The major role of water regulation in our bodies is done by the hypothalamus. According to Mark, L. et al (1981) hypothalamus has a capacity to sense a decrease in an amount of water in the blood and vice versa. The hypothalamus responds by secreting ADH hormones which are transported through blood vessels to the kidney where it will make the walls of the collecting ducts more permeable to water. Water will then be absorbed back into bloodstream.

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According to Benjamin Cummings (2001), our body maintains a balance of water intake and output by a series of negative feedback loops involving the endocrine system and autonomic nervous.

When there is excess water in our bodies, it will be lost through sweat. Skin is one of the largest body organs that loses water through sweat. Water also is lost through expiration of air from lungs. When one breath in and out warm moist air comes out and water is lost. Water it lost through faecal production where excess water is mixed with faeces in the large intestines, (Marcler, 2004).