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Part I: Exam Preparation > Fluid and Electrolyte and Acid/Base Balance

Chapter 2. Fluid and Electrolyte and Acid/Base Balance

Cells maintain a balance, or homeostasis, by transference of fluid and electrolytes in and out of the cell. This fluid constantly bathes the cell. Although fluid and electrolyte balance and acid/base balance are separate entities, they directly relate to one another. For example, dehydration results in a decrease in the pH or metabolic acidosis, whereas overhydration results in an increase in the pH or metabolic alkalosis. To understand how this happens, let’s review the basics of fluid movement across the cell membrane.

Water and small particles constantly move in and out of the semipermeable membrane in the cell through active transport and osmosis. This process transports nutrients, hormones, proteins, and other molecules into the cell. It also aids in the movement of waste products out of the cell for excretion from the body. Along with other functions, fluid also assists with body temperature regulation. When the client has an infection resulting in an elevated temperature, he tends to perspire. This loss of body fluid can lead to dehydration. Dehydration occurs when there is more fluid output than fluid intake.


  

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