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Vital Info to Understanding the Process of Rehydration

Vital Info to Understanding the Process of Rehydration

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Small Doses

The body absorbs water better when it is introduced steadily over time.  Drinking a gallon of water after spending a day in the hot sun is going to lead to more waste and potentially overwhelm systems in the body.  This particularly true when it comes to the kidneys.  Some people suggest that kidneys should be processing anywhere between 12-18 ounces of water per hour.

I don’t know if this is true or not, but introducing too much water in the system at once can cause it to go into overdrive, which can actually lead to kidney damage or even renal failure in some extreme cases.   The digestive system can also be thrown into chaos if too much water is ingested at one time after dehydration.

The best thing to do is to provide a steady supply of water that is consumed over time in order to allow the body to properly re-absorb fluids.  Otherwise, you may end up doing more harm than good while also wasting most of the excess water through urination.

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Sports Drinks

Sports drinks contain additives that are intended to replenish minerals and other nutrients that get lost through sweat.  However, many of them are also designed to make you thirsty so that you buy and drink more of their products.  Drinking a quart over the period of an hour is all you need to give the body an initial jolt back into rehydration.  Compliment additional fluid intake with water.

You can also make your own by mixing ½ teaspoon of salt with 6 teaspoons of sugar for every quart of water.  This will help the body to replace fluid that has been lost between and within cells.

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How Water is Lost

The best way to understand how to rehydrate the body is to see how it releases fluids in the first place.  The first way that the body produces water for sweat is by excreting it from the blood.  In fact, blood volume can decrease up to 25% during periods of exertion.  The body then releases water from spaces between cells to offset this reduction and provide additional fluid for sweat.  Finally, the body will release water that is within cells if necessary.  This is also where most of the water in the body is stored.

As you rehydrate yourself, the reverse happens.  The blood gets more water, then supplies are replenished in the spaces between cells before cells themselves get rehydrated.  While you will feel the effects of rehydration almost immediately, it can take hours for water to re-enter cells and levels to reach equilibrium.  Consequently, if you gulp a lot of water in one sitting, it may help to satisfy the need to replenish fluids in the blood and around cells, but fail to replenish fluid loss within cells.

This is where the sugar/salt mixture comes in to play.  This helps to unlock the membranes around cells  so that water gets reabsorbed.  However, it takes time.  So, even if you feel better and begin to perk up after being dehydrated, your cells will still be in the process of recharging depleted supplies long after you start drinking again.

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Urine is Misleading

The color of your urine can be a good indicator of when you are getting dehydrated as it gets darker when the body conserves water.  However, clear urine during rehydration is not necessarily an indicator that supplies have been replenished.  Frequent urination is not necessarily an indicator that your water levels are optimal after dehydration as well.

Remember that the body can only process so much water at any given point in time.  Any excess is removed through urination, and you can lose a lot of water before it is absorbed properly.  Think of how anti-freeze or coolant overflows from a radiator if you pour too much in at once.  It takes time for the water to enter the system and fill the internal chambers.  This is why the only way to really fill a radiator is to pour in fluid slowly.  The same happens with our bodies.  Frequent urination that appears clear may simply be a sign that you’re overflowing as opposed to absorbing water.

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Keep Cool

One of the best things that you can do to properly rehydrate yourself is to rest, remove excess clothing, take a shower and stay out of the heat.  This will reduce stress on the body, minimize continual sweating and allow the water that you are ingesting to properly work its way through the system.

Under normal circumstances, adults should be drinking between 8-10 glasses of water per day.  This can double or even triple when under periods of extreme exertion or exposure to high heat or intense sunlight.  However, it’s important to drink consistently throughout the day in order to maximize the body’s ability to reabsorb water.

Get into a cooler place, relax, and drink a couple of glasses of water per hour throughout the day in order to maximize the effectiveness of your rehydration efforts.  Remember that you may feel less thirsty, your eyes will be moist again, your nose will not feel dry and you will perk up after drinking a glass or two of water when you are dehydrated.  However, the body still needs time for water to work its way through the system and replenish depleted supplies.

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The Little-Known Dangers Associated With Feral Cat Bites

The Little-Known Dangers Associated With Feral Cat Bites

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Cat bites, particularly those from feral cats, are a lot more dangerous than most people think.  Cats and dog bites differ because cats carry different bacteria and microorganisms that can lead to serious infections and potentially life-threatening illnesses.  In fact, some estimates suggest that over 80% of bites from wild or stray cats lead to an infection.  Let’s look at some basic information about the risks and treatment options available if you or someone you know gets bitten.

Why Bites are Serious

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Cat bites are dangerous because their teeth are long and narrow, and they create deep puncture wounds where bacteria and other microorganisms are deposited.  Additionally, many bites occur on the hands or fingers, and nerve, cartilage and tendon damage is not uncommon.  There have been many cases in which victims lost the use of one of their fingers or part of their hand due to a strategically-placed cat bite. 

The deep wounds are why most bites will develop into infections as the bacteria are harder to remove from the shallower, wider ones caused by dogs.  While both are serious, cat bites are more-likely to lead to local as well as systemic infections that could develop into a life-threatening emergency.  As bacteria are harder to remove, infections can be difficult to treat and start to spread. 

Depending on the type of bacteria or other microorganism that is introduced into the body, infections can range from painful inflammation that lasts for a couple of weeks to nerve damage or tissue damage.  Some infections can travel through the bloodstream and start to impact other systems in the body.  However, serious, life-threatening infections tend to develop because victims either delayed treatment, received inappropriate initial care, or have suppressed immune systems.

What to do When Bitten

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The first thing to do is to either seek immediate medical care or thoroughly clean and disinfect the wound.  However, it’s important to remember that these will be puncture wounds of varying degrees of depth, and you need to get into the deepest parts possible and clean them out in order to minimize the chance of an infection developing.  This may involve needing to use a syringe and some betadine and peroxide in order to get the wound cleaned as thoroughly as possible.  It will also be a painful process for the patient as a little soapy rinse and ointment won’t be enough. 

If you have antibiotics available, think of administering a course just to be on the safe side.  If possible, get a tetanus booster in order to minimize your risk of exposure since cats are carriers.  If you can’t get to medical care right away, keep an eye on the wound.  After cleaning, apply some antibiotic ointment, place a dressing and secure it in place.  Check it at least twice a day and re-clean the wound with the syringe and antiseptic at least once a day. 

You also want to be on the lookout for smelly, pussy or discolored drainage, swelling, redness or an increase in the level of pain.  These are all signs of infection that need to be treated as quickly as possible.  Sometimes basic, general antibiotics such as amoxicillin or penicillin will work.  However, some forms of the bacteria will require other alternatives.

Only you can decide when to make the call to get medical treatment, but it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution in order to nip the problem in the bud as soon as possible.  During a survival situation, you may need to rely on your first aid kit and your ability to keep the wound clean.   Providing basic antibiotics and giving foods or supplements that can boost the immune system until you can get access to definitive care can also be helpful.

Cat Scratch Fever

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Cat scratch fever is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted through a scratch or a bite.  Common symptoms that usually begin to develop a few hours after exposure include blistering or bumps around the site of the bite and swollen lymph nodes.  Nodes will usually swell near the bite site before spreading throughout the body as the immune system kicks in to try and kill off the bacteria.  Fatigue, a low grade fever and sore throat are also common symptoms.

What makes cat scratch fever so dangerous is that it is hard to diagnose, and the infection can impact different parts of the body.  The brain is particularly susceptible to developing one of a few different life-threatening infections, diseases of the bone can develop over time, and the eyes may be impacted by the bacteria as well. 

Thankfully, cat scratch fever is rare, and most infections can be treated if appropriate medical care and antibiotics are available.  Another reason that this isn’t a much bigger problem is that we do a good job of population control in modern society.  When cat scratch fever may become a bigger problem is when the SHTF occurs and spaying, neutering or euthanizing stray cats stops happening.

This information is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the wide-range of problems that can stem from a feral cat bite.  Learn more about this potential threat as well as how to protect yourself if and when the SHTF and the cat population explodes out of control.  If you think rats are going to be a problem in an urban apocalypse, just wait and see what cats are capable of doing once they are able to freely be fruitful and multiply. 

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