Everyone needs water, whether they’re in the prime of their life or they’re at the end of life. Even people receiving hospice care in the Cedar Rapids area can benefit from regular water, even in conditions where they’ve lost their appetite or aren’t interested in food.
The staff at Above and Beyond Home Health Care is also strong believers in the power of water – or at least aware of the problems that can occur from someone not having enough water. Even a few hours without fluids can cause minor dehydration, such as fatigue.
Over prolonged periods of time, too little water can cause or aggravate other health conditions, including failure of organs like kidneys, heat-related illnesses, dizziness, even shock or coma. It can affect other processes in the body as well, such as the electrolyte balance.
People are encouraged to make sure they regularly consume enough water, or at least food or drinks that contain water, such as coffee, tea or juices.
If you’re unsure how much water you should be drinking, contact your health care provider or perhaps a nutritionist or dietitian.
In the past, everyone was encouraged to drink eight full glasses of water throughout the day, regardless of internal or external temperature, activity level or other individual factors.
Now, the understanding is that the recommended amount can vary by person, although the Mayo Clinic says you can’t go wrong if you shoot for about 15.5 cups or 3.7 liters a day for men or 11.5 cups or 2.7 liters a day for women.
Beyond causing problems when someone doesn’t get enough water, there are some great advantages to having optimal amounts of water.
Because the human body is already 60 percent water, it can restore our balance; flush out our waste; regulate our body temperature, and lubricate and cushion our joints.
Since normal day-to-day living causes us to slowly lower our water level, like by sweating, crying, breathing, urinating, or bowel movements, regular water can make sure we’re constantly being recharged and refreshed.
There are other reasons that we can and should be celebrating water’s role in our world. World Water Day is an international gathering that commemorates the role that water plays in not only helping human and animal lives but sustaining communities. World Water Day, which takes place in early March, encourages us to pay attention to this vital fluid at a global level, especially if it will be considered an important but limited resource in the future.
Most of us are aware that petroleum products like oil and gas will be in demand in the future due to increasing human activity and population growth. But not everyone realizes that water will be just as valuable, perhaps more so.
This is actually taking place today, not the future. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 780 people worldwide already don’t have access to improved water sources, and 2.5 billion lack access to improved sanitation, especially countries in Africa, parts of southeast Asia and Eastern Asia. There are also some at-risk water systems in the U.S., especially in rural areas.
Celebrating The Kidney
Along with efforts to raise awareness of lack of water, springtime is an opportunity to think smaller, especially in terms of the role water can play in our vital organs, especially the kidney.
March is considered National Kidney Month, and March 8 is designated as World Kidney Day, an international effort designed to promote resources for kidney care on a global level.
Both efforts are designed to increase awareness about kidneys in general, offer assistance to people battling kidney diseases, and encourage people to get their kidneys checked as a precaution.
The National Kidney Foundation, which organizes and promotes the month, says that kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the U.S., and more than 590,000 people in the U.S. have some degree of kidney failure. A variety of diseases can affect kidneys, such as Chronic Kidney Disease, which affects 1 in 10 people worldwide and results in a gradual loss of kidney function.
When someone’s kidneys are working well, they help filter waste from the body and enhance blood by creating red blood cells. They also regulate many other processes, including regulating blood pressure.
How Home Care Can Help
Whether someone is on a home health care program or a hospice care program, the staff will likely encourage their patients to make sure they’re drinking regular amounts of water and that any possible kidney problems or even questions or concerns are properly checked out by a provider.
In the Cedar Rapids area, the staff at Above and Beyond Home Health Care is always eager to make sure people remember to drink water regularly. This can also include education for patients who haven’t necessarily learned why water is important and why they should make the effort to put effort into staying hydrated.