What is surrounded by water but is dying of dehydration? Is it someone stuck on an ocean raft or… is it most of us with headaches, fatigue and mental fog? DEHYDRATION is the most often missed diagnosis and relates to almost every symptom human’s suffer with.
With only a drop of 2% in total body water volume, you could experience any of the following symptoms: thirst, dry skin, constipation, muscle weakness, high or low blood pressure, hot flashes, extreme fatigue, headaches, dizziness, mental fogginess, swelling, dry mouth, impaired vision, decreased sweating, insomnia and depression.
In fact, dehydration can often cause symptoms that are mistaken for allergies, asthma, acid reflux, colitis, arthritis and constipation because histamine is released in overabundance when your cells are thirsty.
Sound like the symptoms from your life story? Rather than re-hydrate you first, then observe what symptoms self-correct, many are given life sentences of hypothyroidism, heart problems, hormone imbalance, menopause and more. HYDRATION should always be the initial solution regardless of the name given a bunch of symptoms and here’s why:
Dehydration affects the brain, heart, nerves, reproduction, muscles and emotions! The medical definition of dehydration is “loss of blood volume and loss of tissue water resulting in loss of total body water.” This means that simply drinking more water can never be enough.
Four things are needed for hydration of the human body to occur. If even one is missing -you’ll suffer. Additionally, an overworked and under-functioning digestive system has difficulty keeping your body hydrated. Correcting your digestive system must be addressed soon after re-hydration occurs. (look to future blog articles for how to do this)
Step one: Track the water you drink for one week to make sure you’re getting the daily MINIMUM, which is equal to half your body weight in ounces. More water must be added during hot summer months, when you exercise and when you’re under high levels of stress. Less water is needed if one is confined to bed, a wheelchair or during winter months.
Eating food with high water content, like watermelon, cucumbers, celery and good quality milk, can aid in keeping hydrated. You can’t count drinking coffee, black or green tea, soft drinks, juice or beer as your water content and in fact, these dehydrate you.
Step two: Eat rocks. Minerals are simply rocks in a smaller form and are also called electrolytes. Your cells have pumps that regulate what comes in or goes out and these are run by minerals. Consuming minerals is faster than drinking plain water at re-hydrating you because they control where water will go. If you have super tight, sore muscles, chances are great that you need more minerals every day.
Although not very common, drinking too much water will create a low relative amount of minerals and bad things happen when this occurs.
Jennifer Strange died in January 2007 by drinking 2 gallons of water in a day for a radio contest in California while trying to win a Wii for her children. She reported having a real bad headache then died within a short time. The coroner said her death was from water intoxication. The electrolyte balance was so low in comparison to the water she drank, that she drown her inner body. Her cells were flooded and most likely collapsed resulting in her death.
To make sure you have enough electrolytes, I recommend you put a cucumber, grape, lemon, lime or mint leaves in your water to boost the electrolyte content. It perks the taste too! (Gatorade is NOT a good source of electrolytes) A mineral supplement could also be taken, or some sea salt added occasionally to the water you drink.
Also, many people drink reverse osmosis water or purified water which is clean, but devoid of electrolytes. Spring water is a good water choice for good electrolyte content usually or you need to just get in the habit of adding minerals to your diet.
Step Three: Eat enough good fat daily. Your cell walls are made of lipids or fat molecules and need to be kept strong and secure to protect the inner parts- just like a balloon skin keeps its inner air from escaping. Let’s say you do get enough daily water and minerals, if your cell walls are weak and leak— you will get dehydrated.
Good fat sources are avocado’s, coconut oil, cod oil, eggs and cheese. Eating several types a day is best. I recommend 30% of your daily diet be good fat sources.
Step Four: Motion of the body is needed for hydration to occur. Motion contributes to all chemical reactions within the human body and you can’t function normally without motion. Internal motion is called metabolism and is also a key factor in staying hydrated. In addition to getting daily exercise, try increasing the number of steps you take a day to 12,000 to boost your activity level.
Because your body is made up of close to 80% water, hydration is required for all essential functions including absorbing nutrients, creating hormones, producing hydroelectric energy in the brain, blood composition, and aids in proteins and enzymes working right.
Drinking enough daily water, eating rocks or minerals, eating enough good fats and moving each day will re-hydrate you and lessen many of your health symptoms.
When Your Body Works, Your Life Works!
1. Mange K, Matsuura D, Cizman B, et al. (November 1997). “Language guiding therapy: the case of dehydration versus volume depletion”. Ann. Intern. Med. 127 (9): 848–53. PMID 9382413.
2. “Dehydration Affects Mood, Not Just Motor Skills / November 23, 2009 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service”. Ars.usda.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-09.