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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Spring 2022

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Celebrating 50 years of MSWA | Our commitment to research | New technology taking the pressure off | Water, life, the universe and everything!

NURSING WATER, LIFE, THE

NURSING WATER, LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING! – PART 1 Water is the true essence of life. To achieve and stay in optimal If you are living in a hot climate, So what are the take away points? For your body to operate at its maximum efficiency, you need to ensure that you stay well hydrated by drinking water and consuming moisture-rich foods. Amazingly, up to 60 per cent of the adult human body is made up of water. Drinking enough water keeps your: / skin and hair looking its best, / helps prevent disease and illness, and / improves your overall health and wellbeing. health, you need to ensure you drink enough water daily. Most people feel thirsty regularly, prompting them to intake an adequate amount of liquid, but others do not feel thirst reliably. A good guide for water intake is eight to 10 glasses (250ml) of water per day. This includes all drinks except those containing caffeine (such as coffee, tea and cola). Of course, this depends on your age and sex and medical condition. This might sound like an alarming amount of water to consume, but remember that we also take in around 1000ml of additional fluid daily through food, based on a normal balanced diet. like we do in Australia, or when you exercise, you will need to increase your water intake. It is important to discuss with your GP or specialist what amount is adequate for you, depending on any underlying conditions. We must consume enough fluid to replace the amount our bodies lose each day, which is usually around two litres. Of this, 1.5 litres is eliminated through urine, with the remainder lost due to perspiration and water vapour through breathing. What can I do for myself? / Pay attention to how much water you are consuming. Is your body prompting you to drink enough? Or do you need to be more conscious of your intake? / For men, it is recommended to consume a total of 2.5 litres per day For women, it is recommended to consume a total of 2.0 litres per day / Watch out for signs and symptoms of dehydration; the chart opposite gives a good indication on what to look out for. ROCHELLE BROWN MSWA NEUROLOGICAL LIAISON NURSE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Am I drinking enough water? Use this urine colour chart to assess how hydrated you are. It is important to drink plenty of water each day to stay healthy. 1 to 3: Hydrated Pale, odourless and plentiful urine is often an indication that you are well hydrated. Keep drinking at the same rate. 4 to 6: Mildly dehydrated Slightly darker yellow urine can indicate that you need to drink more water. Drink a glass of water now. 7 to 8: Dehydrated Even darker yellow urine is often an indication that you are dehydrated. Drink 2-3 glasses of water now. In this series, our upcoming articles will focus on ‘The role water plays in our lives’. We will expand on each of these roles as listed below: / Saliva production / Assisting your body to / Temperature regulation absorb nutrients / Protecting tissues and joints / Impact on individuals with continence challenges / Removing waste products / Making up for the fluid loss / Preventing constipation from certain medications / Assisting the digestion of food What can change the colour of my urine? Certain foods, medications and vitamin supplements may change your urine colour even if you are hydrated. Sources: Kidney Australia - Drink water instead factsheet Armstrong et al.; Urinary indices of hydration status; Int J Sport Nutr. (1994) Armstrong et al.; Urinary indices during dehydration, exercise and rehydration; Int J Sport Nutr. (1998) www.healthdirect.gov.au Important The colours on this chart should only be used as a guide and should not replace the advice of a health professional. Speak to your doctor if you are worried about the colour of your urine, the amount of water you drink or dehydration. 26 27

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