Elderly Need To Drink More Water


Dehydration is one of the most frequent causes ofhospitalization among people over the age of 65.

An article in Nurse Practitioner concluded that “Dehydrationis the most common fluid and electrolyte disturbance amongthe elderly population today.”

Water is important to all bodily processes say medicalexperts. Water carries nutrients, hormones, and diseasefighting cells and antibodies to and from body organsthrough the bloodstream. Water carries carbon dioxide andwaste products to the lungs, intestinal tract and kidneys tobe excreted.

Hypertension, circulation disorders, kidney stones,arthritis, indigestion and constipation are all commondisorders found in elderly people that can be directly, orindirectly, caused in inadequate water intake. Over the ageof 65 thirst diminishes and a person is not likely to drinkwithout consciously thinking about it.

A lack of water aids kidney stone development since thereisn’t adequate water for kidneys to flush out stone formingminerals.

A lack of water causes sodium levels in the body to rise.When not enough water is ingested, the body holds water.This causes fluid buildup and sodium retention. Salt drawswater out of the tissues, increasing dehydration. This canresult in confusion, excitability, and a host of otherproblems to which older people are prone to, especiallyincreased blood pressure.

Water is important for digestion and absorption of food.Digestive symptoms such as nausea can be indicative of theneed for more water. Constipation, a frequent complaint ofelderly Americans is commonly caused by inadequate waterintake, says a California nutrition expert.

Joint and muscle stiffness occur as a result of not enoughwater for lubrication.

Without adequate water, there is stress on thecardiovascular system. Blood becomes thicker so the heartworks harder and circulation is slowed. Many elderly peoplealready have a sluggish circulation.

When circulation is sluggish the brain doesn’t receiveenough oxygen resulting in headaches, dizziness, fatigue,and a loss of mental alertness. A reduction of only 4 to 5percent in body water will result in a 20 to 30 percent workperformance.

Postmenopausal women taking estrogen supplements need to beaware that estrogen acts as a salt retainer. Water isneeded to remove the excess salt from the body.

Some common signs of an inadequate water intake areconstipation, dark yellow urine, and dry, sticky mouthcaused by decreased salivary gland function says a Harvardphysiologist. Everyone needs a minimum of eight 8-ounceglasses of water spaced evenly throughout the day.

For more information on the importance of water in the body:


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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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