Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hydration, Water and Health

It is well known that as we age, the thirst drive decreases. Maintaining adequate fluid balance is an essential component of health at every stage of life. Age-related changes make older adults more vulnerable to shifts in water balance that can result in overhydration or, more frequently, dehydration.

Maintaining good hydration status has been shown to positively affect urolithiasis (kidney stones) and may be beneficial in treating urinary tract infection, constipation, hypertension, venous thromboembolism, fatal coronary heart disease, stroke, dental disease, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis , gallstone disease, mitral valve prolapse, and glaucoma. Local mild hypohydration or dehydration may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of several broncho-pulmonary disorders like exercise asthma or cystic fibrosis. In bladder and colon cancers, the evidence on hydration status' effects is inconsistent.