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"Dehydration" is often used in clinical practice to indicate the combined loss of both water and sodium. Many physiologists would have preferred the term to be used to indicate pure water loss. However, patients never lose only water. Likewise, the term "re-hydration" is never used by clinician to mean giving patients pure water. Miscommunication between clinicians does not occur because detailed laboratory data such as serum electrolytes, creatinine, blood urea nitrogen and glucose levels as well as the type of fluids used to "re-hydrate" are always included in their conversation.

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