Mild to moderate dehydration is commonly defined as 2-6% of body weight loss through fluid.
Certain conditions such as vomiting and diarrhea, heavy sweating, or lack of food and fluid intake can lead to inadequate levels of fluid and electrolytes within our bodies. This is called dehydration.
Our bodies require the correct internal balance of water and electrolytes to function correctly and remain healthy. Every day we lose fluid and electrolytes via urine, sweat, saliva, and other bodily fluids. Usually, a normal, healthy diet will serve to replace our lost electrolytes and fluid
WE LOSE FLUID AND ELECTROLYTES IN FOUR MAJOR WAYS:
Water accounts for a large percentage of our total body weight: 70% in infants, 60% in men, 55% in women, and 45% in the older population (> 65 years of age).
Water has several important functions in the body:
Electrolytes (such as sodium, potassium, and chloride) are dissolved in the water in our body.
Water and electrolytes move around the body constantly to maintain the correct balance. This allows the body to perform normal functions correctly.
The amount of water and electrolytes in our body at any one time is controlled by how much fluid we consume and how much fluid we lose daily.
The most rapid and effective way to manage mild to moderate dehydration is to activate the Sodium- Glucose Co-Transporter (or pump) located in the intestinal mucosa (enterocytes) of the small intestine. These special cells activate when they encounter the correct ratio of sodium and glucose in water. This causes the body to absorb these molecules and rapidly absorb water in the process.
This image illustrates how it works: