I excerpted parts of this article with permission from the Mesothelioma info site. I felt it was really good information. Click here for the whole article
Dehydration occurs when the body is losing more fluids than it is taking in, with the result being a diminished ability for organs to carry out their normal functions. Being dehydrated means more than just losing fluid; it also means not having enough electrolytes, the minerals and ions that are carried in body fluids and that are so important for proper functioning of the body. Good hydration plays an important role in good health generally, but also in preventing cancer and in recovering comfortably from treatment for mesothelioma and other types of cancers.
Electrolytes are mineral ions, meaning minerals that have an electrical charge. They are dissolved in bodily fluids and are transported throughout the body where they play important roles in various functions of the body. Examples of electrolytes include potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium. You get electrolytes from your food and some of the fluids you drink.
Dehydration can cause an electrolyte imbalance, which can lead to a number of complications if not reversed. In cancer patients, a particular type of electrolyte imbalance is very serious: hypercalcemia. This is an excessive amount of calcium in the blood, and it can become an emergency situation. Hypercalcemia is a risk in cancer patients, particularly in lung cancer patients. Symptoms include vomiting, constipation, stomach pain, fatigue, lethargy, confusion, dry mouth, irregular heartbeat, and coma.
Any general type of electrolyte imbalance in cancer patients may cause symptoms such as muscle spasms, numbness, weakness, confusion and lethargy, twitching muscles, changes in blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and convulsions. It may also cause bone and nervous system disorders and seizures.
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