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  • Hypovolemia


    Hypovolemia is a state of decreased blood volume; more specifically, decrease in volume of blood plasma. It is thus the intravascular component of volume contraction (or loss of blood volume due to things such as bleeding or dehydration), but, as it also is the most essential one, hypovolemia and volume contraction are sometimes used synonymously. Hypovolemia is characterized by sodium depletion, and thus is distinct from (although often overlapping with) dehydration, excessive loss of body water.

  • Thirst


    Thirst (1886), by William-Adolphe BouguereauThirst is the craving for fluids, resulting in the basic instinct of animals to drink. It is an essential mechanism involved in fluid balance. It arises from a lack of fluids or an increase in the concentration of certain osmolites, such as salt. If the water volume of the body falls below a certain threshold or the osmolite concentration becomes too high, the brain signals thirst. Continuous dehydration can cause many problems, but is most often associated with renal problems and neurological problems such as seizures. Excessive thirst, known as polydipsia, along with excessive urination, known as polyuria, may be an indication of diabetes mellitus or diabetes insipidus. There are receptors and other systems in the body that detect a decreased volume or an increased osmolite concentration. They signal to the central nervous system, where central processing succeeds. Some sources, therefore, distinguish "extracellular thirst" from "intracellular thirst", where extracellular thirst is thirst generated by decreased volume and intracellular thirst is thirst generated by increased osmolite concentration.

  • High-altitude cerebral edema


    High-altitude cerebral edema (HACE) is a medical condition in which the brain swells with fluid because of the physiological effects of traveling to a high altitude. It generally appears in patients who have acute mountain sickness and involves disorientation, lethargy, and nausea among other symptoms. It occurs when the body fails to acclimatize while ascending to a high altitude. It appears to be a vasogenic edema (fluid penetration of the blood–brain barrier), although cytotoxic edema (cellular retention of fluids) may play a role as well. Individuals with the condition must immediately descend to a lower altitude or coma and death can occur. Patients are usually given supplemental oxygen and dexamethasone as well. HACE can be prevented by ascending to heights slowly to allow the body more time to acclimatize. Acetazolamide also helps prevent the condition. Untreated patients usually die within 48 hours. Those who receive treatment may take weeks to fully recover. It is a rare condition, occurring in less than one percent of people who ascend to . First described in 1913, little was known about the cause of the condition until MRI studies were performed in the 1990s.

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