Regulation Of Fluid Compartment

denuded, as occurs with extensive burns, the rate of evaporation can increase as much as 10-fold, to 3 to 5 L/day. For this reason, burn victims must be given large amounts of fluid, usually intravenously, to balance fluid loss.

Insensible water loss through the respiratory tract averages about 300 to 400 ml/day. As air enters the respiratory tract, it becomes saturated with moisture, to a vapor pressure of about 47 mm Hg, before it is expelled. Because the vapor pressure of the inspired air is usually less than 47 mm Hg, water is continuously lost through the lungs with respiration. In cold weather, the atmospheric vapor pressure decreases to nearly 0, causing an even greater loss of water from the lungs as the temperature decreases. This explains the dry feeling in the respiratory passages in cold weather.

Fluid Loss in Sweat. The amount of water lost by sweating is highly variable, depending on physical activity and environmental temperature. The volume of sweat normally is about 100 ml/day, but in very hot weather or during heavy exercise, water loss in sweat occasionally increases to 1 to 2 L/hour. This would rapidly deplete the body fluids if intake were not also increased by activating the thirst mechanism discussed in Chapter 29.

Summary Body Fluid Regulation
Summary of body fluid regulation, including the major body fluid compartments and the membranes that separate these compartments. The values shown are for an average 70-kilogram person.

20 L/day in a person who has been drinking tremendous amounts of water.

This variability of intake is also true for most of the electrolytes of the body, such as sodium, chloride, and potassium. In some people, sodium intake may be as low as 20 mEq/day, whereas in others, sodium intake may be as high as 300 to 500 mEq/day.The kidneys are faced with the task of adjusting the excretion rate of water and electrolytes to match precisely the intake of these substances, as well as compensating for excessive losses of fluids and electrolytes that occur in certain disease states. In Chapters 26 through 30, we discuss the mechanisms that allow the kidneys to perform these remarkable tasks.

Water Loss in Feces. Only a small amount of water (100 ml/day) normally is lost in the feces. This can increase to several liters a day in people with severe diarrhea. For this reason, severe diarrhea can be life threatening if not corrected within a few days.

Water Loss by the Kidneys. The remaining water loss from the body occurs in the urine excreted by the kidneys. There are multiple mechanisms that control the rate of urine excretion. In fact, the most important means by which the body maintains a balance between water intake and output, as well as a balance between intake and output of most electrolytes in the body, is by controlling the rates at which the kidneys excrete these substances. For example, urine volume can be as low as 0.5 L/day in a dehydrated person or as high as

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

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.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment