Approximate effect of changes in daily fluid intake on blood volume. Note that blood volume remains relatively constant in the normal range of daily fluid intakes.
Thus, the renal-body fluid feedback mechanism operates to prevent continuous accumulation of salt and water in the body during increased salt and water intake. As long as kidney function is normal and the pressure diuresis mechanism is operating effectively, large changes in salt and water intake can be accommodated with only slight changes in blood volume, extracellular fluid volume, cardiac output, and arterial pressure.
The opposite sequence of events occurs when fluid intake falls below normal. In this case, there is a tendency toward decreased blood volume and extracellular fluid volume, as well as reduced arterial pressure. Even a small decrease in blood pressure causes a large decrease in urine output, thereby allowing fluid balance to be maintained with minimal changes in blood pressure, blood volume, or extracellular fluid volume. The effectiveness of this mechanism in preventing large changes in blood volume is demonstrated in Figure 29-13, which shows that changes in blood volume are almost imperceptible despite large variations in daily intake of water and electrolytes, except when intake becomes so low that it is not sufficient to make up for fluid losses caused by evaporation or other inescapable losses.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.