March 12, 2011

077 Are Your Cells Thirsty? [23 August 2010]

A newborn is 75% water by weight; a young adult less than 60%; and seniors even lower. The reason isn’t that we need less water as we age but that our thirst sensation weakens so we drink less. A dry mouth is the last sign of dehydration, so we can’t depend on our thirst to indicate our need for water. In his 1992 book (3rd edn. 2008) “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” F. Batmanghelidj, MD makes the argument that many of our diseases are at least partly the result of what he calls “unintentional chronic dehydration”. See

Here are but a few of our bodies’ many cries for water:
• morning sickness in early pregnancy – sign of thirst
• chronic pain – dehydration increases intensity of pain signals
• peptic ulcers, gastritis and “heartburn” – are relieved quickly with water
• rheumatoid arthritis pain – dehydrated joints are painful
• back and neck pain – vertebral discs require hydration
• headaches including migraines – may be caused by dehydration
• stress and depression – hydration increases ability to cope with stress
• chronic fatigue – often responds well to hydration
• high blood pressure – sodium retention is a reaction to dehydration
• high cholesterol – is a result of dehydration
• asthma and allergies – dehydration activates histamine
• memory loss – dehydrated brain cells can’t function normally
• overweight – dehydration contributes to both fat gain and water retention
• wrinkles & aging skin – well hydrated skin looks and feels healthy

It appears that there isn’t much that being dehydrated can’t make worse or that drinking more water could improve. Perhaps the glass of water we use to take our pills, whether prescription or supplements, is doing us more good than the pills!? Puts a new meaning to the phrase “drink to your health”!

This article is intended for educational purposes only; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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