Blood Osmolality Test: A Brief History
The first time I heard about blood osmolality test was when my father told me that one of his colleagues had been killed during a robbery. My dad was talking about a fellow doctor who worked at the hospital where he worked. When the robber shot him, it caused his heart to stop beating. His body was found several hours later with two bullets in him and no pulse.
This case made me realize how dangerous it could be if someone didn’t pay attention to their own safety.
I learned more about this type of testing from other sources. One day while watching TV, I saw a news report on a man who died after being run over by his car. Apparently, the driver did not notice that he had hit another person until he stopped moving and then tried to restart the engine.
Another time, I watched a movie called “Crazy Stupid Love” which featured a character named John Cusack. During the course of the film, he was driving home from work when he got into an accident involving a truck and crashed his car. At first, he thought there were no injuries because there wasn’t any blood coming out of his nose or mouth. However, upon further examination of his face and neck area, it became apparent that something was seriously wrong with him.
Upon researching this topic, I learned that he was suffering from cerebral hypoxia, which is a shortage of oxygen to the brain. Without this important supply of blood, all of the organs and tissue are unable to perform properly. This can ultimately lead to death or permanent brain damage if immediate medical attention is not obtained.
Blood osmolality testing is used to test how much water is inside the blood sample you provide to your physician or hospital. If the sample has too much water, it is considered to be dilute. If there is too little water, then it is considered to be concentrated. This process of measuring how much water is contained within your blood sample is referred to as Hydration Status.
It is important for everyone to know about because your body needs a certain amount of water every day in order to stay healthy.
Blood Osmolality Test: What You Need to Know
1. Obesity is a Leading Cause of Unhealthy Hydration Status
A person’s hydration status is not determined by what they drink or eat. Instead, their body weight and size is what ultimately makes the biggest difference in this situation. Someone who is obese will naturally have a lower hydration status than someone who is lean and in good shape.
2. Your Weight is Not the Only Factor that Determines Your Hydration Status
If you are overweight, then you may have a poor hydration status. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that someone who is not overweight has a good hydration status. That person could be drinking lots of water but still have a low hydration status if they have a physical job and lots of stress in their life.
3. How Your Body Handles Food and Water is Also Important
Just because you are drinking lots of water does not mean that your body will be able to hold onto it. Your digestive system is responsible for breaking down the nutrients in the food you eat and turning them into a form that your body can use. However, if it isn’t working properly, this vital process won’t take place and the water you drink will not be as beneficial.
4. Environmental Factors Can Make a Difference, Too
The climate where you live can also affect your hydration status. For example, if you live somewhere where the air is very dry, your body will work harder to compensate. This can lead to a loss of water through higher respiration rates and increased temperature which results in sweating. However, if you drink enough water to compensate for this loss, you may be at risk of having the opposite problem of being overweight.
The Importance of Maintaining the Right Hydration Status
A good hydration status is important because it helps to keep all of your organs functioning properly. Your heart needs water in order to pump blood to all of your vital organs, including your brain. When you suffer from dehydration, your brain will be the first organ to suffer. If this goes untreated for an extended period of time, it can ultimately lead to death.
How to Achieve and Maintain the Right Hydration Status
If you do not have the right hydration status, there are several things that you can do in order to fix this problem. If you are overweight, then you should start out by eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise. This alone could help to bring your hydration status back into the healthy range.
If you have the right weight but you feel like you don’t ever seem to be able to hold onto water, there are some over-the-counter supplements that can help. However, make sure to consult your physician before taking any of these just in case they won’t mix well with other medications that you are taking or if you have a preexisting medical condition.
Finally, if you live in an arid area or you have a job that requires you to be physically active and outdoors a lot, then you should definitely stay hydrated. Be sure to carry water with you at all times and drink even if you don’t feel thirsty.
How to Get More Water in Your Diet
Drinking enough water is a great way to achieve the right hydration status. However, if you aren’t drinking water and you are still having issues with being dehydrated, then you may need to look at your diet and see where you can add more water-rich foods. Some foods that are high in water include:
Peppers (all kinds)
You should try to eat a diet that is rich in these kinds of foods and if you aren’t already, you should consider switching to a healthier lifestyle. This includes eating more whole grains, lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Cutting back on the amount of processed foods you eat and eliminating foods that are high in fat, sugar or salt will go a long way in helping you to achieve the right hydration level.
One thing to remember is that even if you are achieving the right hydration level for your body, this does not mean that you cannot become dehydrated. A great example of this would be during exercising or engaging in physical activities in hot weather. It is important to make sure that you are still drinking water during these types of activities because you will become dehydrated quicker than normal.
Sources & references used in this article:
The role of blood osmolality and volume in regulating vasopressin secretion in the rat by FL Dunn, TJ Brennan, AE Nelson… – The Journal of clinical …, 1973 – Am Soc Clin Investig
The interaction of blood osmolality and blood volume in regulating plasma vasopressin in man by GL ROBERTSON, S ATHAR – The Journal of Clinical …, 1976 – academic.oup.com
The effects of blood osmolality changes on cat carotid body chemoreceptors in vivo by R Gallego, C Belmonte – Pflügers Archiv, 1979 – Springer