Understand extracellular water to keep your health in check

Extracellular Water

The InBody 720 can be found at Proactive Health Labs in Santa Monica and Sherman Oaks.

By Pauline J. Jose, MD and pH health care professionals

What is extracellular water?

Extracellular water is body water that is not inside the cells. Water found inside the cells is called “intracellular water.”  Add the water inside the cells and the water outside the cells, and you get your “total body water.”  

Why should you pay attention to extracellular water?

An increase in extracellular water (or the water outside your cells) can cause excess weight and swelling in your limbs.  It can be an early sign of an imbalance in your body. Such imbalances may include hormone, protein, sodium, potassium, magnesium and pH. As a result of these imbalances, you can develop hypertension, decreased mental alertness, nausea, dizziness, headaches, fatigue and shortness of breath.

How can you measure extracellular water ranges?

The best way to measure extracellular water is to divide your extracellular water by your total body water (ECW/TBW). The number you receive will represent the ratio of extracellular water to your total body water. Between 20 and 85 years old, a normal ratio is generally between 0.36 to 0.39. In certain diseased states, the ratio will exceed 0.40.  Accurate measurement of your extracellular water can be obtained with the InBody 720 here at pH Labs.

Is there any relationship between extracellular water and body fat?

Yes.  Researchers believe that increased extracellular water is a key element in increased body fat. This is because an increase in body fat is accompanied by an increase in extracellular water as well. In other words, body fat lacks adequate amounts of intracellular water.

How do you achieve optimal extracellular water?

Be proactive about your health and take steps to ensure that your organs are functioning optimally. Certain routine lab tests can generally identify an organ that is not functioning at its best.  A balanced diet and regular physical activity also helps.  

Read more about the benefits of understanding your body composition, including total body water ratio, here.  Schedule your appointment online or by calling our Santa Monica location at 855-PHLABS1.

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.

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