Drinking Fluids

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The amount of fluid that someone needs to take varies depending on your size, depending on your weight, and depending on how much you burn off. You could have a patient that’s very sedentary that will be able to do well with three to four glasses of water a day. On the other hand, if you have a patient that’s very active, that’s burning off a lot of sweat and burning off a lot of energy on a daily basis, they would need anywhere from eight to 10 glasses a day in order to maintain their hydration. Overhydration can lead to diarrhea. So you have to be very careful, especially if you are over hydrating with very osmotic fluids such as sports drinks and fluids with a lot of sugar. Those can definitely cause an acute diarrhea in many patients. So there’s a balance in terms of when you should drink a lot and when you shouldn’t. If a patient already has diarrhea and they’re losing a lot of their fluids, those are patients that definitely need to up their baseline fluid intake in order to, number one, maintain the amount of fluid that they need on a regular basis and number two, in order to make up for all the losses that they’re having with the diarrhea. So those are patients that need to drink more fluids with electrolytes in order to make up for that. On the other hand, if a patient is not having diarrhea and they overdo their soft drinks or sports drinks or drinks with a lot of sugar, those are patients that can have something called Dumping Syndrome where they subsequently get a significant amount of osmotic diarrhea.

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