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94 CHAPTER 24: WATER, ELECTROLYTE, AND ACID-BASE BALANCE Chapter Overview Introduction The most important unifying concept of anatomy and physiology is homeostasis. In this chapter, Prof. Saladin explores aspects of homeostasis related to water, electrolytes, and pH. Cell function is clearly linked to cell form but cell shape in animal cells often relies heavily on osmotic balance. Enzymes and other proteins are most often very sensitive to these parameters and their optima parallel normal values of the parameters. For this reason, most living things have elaborate safeguards to maintain pH within a narrow range. Key Concepts Here are some concepts of which students should have a better understanding after reading this chapter: the distribution of water among the fluid compartments; sources of water and modes of water loss; control of water intake and output in addition to disorders related to fluid imbalances; the importance of the maintenance and the means of regulation of specific electrolyte concentrations (i.e., sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, and phosphates); the causes of inappropriate fluid accumulations in particular areas; pH homeostasis through chemical buffers and the respiratory and urinary systems; the causes and effects of alkalosis and acidosis including compensation mechanisms; and the means of fluid replacement. Topics for Discussion 1. Discuss the symptoms related to dehydration in a hot desert such as skin redness, disorientation, and cessation of conscious sweating. 2. Have students look into the ACE-inhibiting drugs to be able to explain their effects on hypertension. 3. Have the students discuss the effect of bulimia on the potassium balance. 4. Why is alcohol bad to drink if you are stuck out in a desert? Antidiuretic hormone (i.e., ADH) will not be produced in sufficient amounts to limit additional water loss. The best thing to do with the alcohol is to use it to start signal fires at night! 5.
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This note was uploaded on 02/09/2012 for the course BIO 102 taught by Professor William during the Spring '11 term at Harvard.

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