Dehydration's Impact On Our Health
This is a great article on hydration and its importance for our health from a fellow health pioneer Dr. Mark Sircus. Read it well and follow the advice. If we take this advice and use it well, it can dramatically improve our health. As you will see in the article, as many as 3 out of every 4 Americans are regularly dehydrated. One sign of whether you are or not is to look at the color of your urine. It should always be as clear as water. If it has even a hint of color you are dehydrated even if you do not think so. A good rule of thumb is to determine your body-weight in kilos and drink that number of fluid ounces every day. If you weigh yourself in pounds just divide the pounds in half and drink that number of fluid ounces every day. Get used to carrying a water bottle around with you and refill it frequently throughout the day. I recommend a stainless steel or glass bottle rather than plastic although if you can not access filtered water at work and do not want to carry all of your water to work with you, you can filter tap water with a Berkey portable water filter. Of course the quality of water you drink is also very important. For the last ten years I have used a Berkey gravity fed water filter and I would not be without it. You can even use stream or rainwater in it. Check out the article following this introduction!
Most people do not look at water as a nutrient but it is, and it is the most important one. We can live for a few months without food but will last only about 10 days without water. Next to the air we breathe water is the most important element. Every life-giving and healing process that happens inside our body happens with water. Most experts insist that the majority of Americans are chronically under-hydrated and should drink more water, and the reasons behind their insistence are solid.
Dr. Charles Peterson of NIH says dehydration is mainly a problem among Americans suffering from other illnesses, such as diabetes, or those who undergo extreme exertion, but this is not really true. Anyone can suffer from dehydration and the facts seem to point to the fact that most people suffer from mild dehydration at one time or another. Though everyone understands the vital importance of water, it is impossible to find solid information about dehydration statistics. On the Internet the consensus is that 75 percent of Americans are dehydrated but medical science does not weigh in on this statistic.
We can assume that dehydration is a real problem, especially for those who believe that beverages like coffee and sodas can substitute for pure drinking water. Eating and drinking the wrong foods will lead to dehydration. Foods such as fruits and vegetables are supposed to provide 20 percent of our water intake – junk foods do little to help us remain fully hydrated. 
Thus under normal circumstances many of us flirt with mild dehydration over sustained periods. This is where things start to go wrong and doctors routinely make matters worse by not only failing to recognize dehydration but also by prescribing medicines that further depress water levels in the body and blood.
According to a study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, more than 70% of preschool children never drink plain water. Pediatric medicine does not pay attention enough to dehydration that occurs when acute diseases strike  and children can pay with their life for this if doctors then go ahead and administer vaccines when the blood is compromised. One of the most common lawsuits in pediatric emergency room medicine is overlooking dehydration; this tells us of a gaping hole in pediatric medicine that need not be there.
Shortness of breath is a common symptom of dehydration and when someone experiences this he merely has to drink several glasses of water to feel the body’s almost instant response to hydration. Add some sodium bicarbonate and the response is even greater.
The first objective sign of dehydration is seen in the vital signs, in an increase of the pulse rate between 10% and 15%. The body tries to maintain cardiac output (the amount of blood that is pumped by the heart to the body); and if the amount of fluid in the intravascular space is decreased, the body has to increase the heart rate, which causes blood vessels to constrict to maintain blood pressure. Other common symptoms of dehydration may include nausea, fatigue, headaches, dry mouth and reduced mental acuity.
Symptoms of moderate to severe dehydration include:
- Low blood pressure
- Severe muscle contractions in the arms, legs, stomach, and back
- A bloated stomach
- Heart failure
- Sunken fontanelle– soft spot on a head
- Sunken dry eyes, with few or no tears
- Skin losing its firmness and becoming wrinkled
- Lack of elasticity of the skin (when a bit of skin lifted up stays folded and takes a long time to go back to its normal position)
- Rapid and deep breathing, faster than normal
- Fast, weak pulse
Dehydration, the simple lack of sufficient quantities of water affects cell life profoundly. Water shortages in different parts of the body will manifest different signs and symptoms (cries of thirst), but we normally do not think to treat the cause of the problem with water. It is almost blasphemy among contemporary physicians to think that water can cause or cure diseases.
Drinking enough water is crucial and when we don’t drink enough, the first sign of that is darkening urine. The color of urine in a dehydrated person will be dark yellow to orange. The more hydrated we are the lighter the color of our urine. Any dark color at all in the urine could indicate a water deficiency.
Mild dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3%. One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study. Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers. Drinking five glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45% and the risk of bladder cancer by 50%.
Dehydration is an underappreciated etiology in many diseases. Most doctors fail to understand – or refuse to consider – that water plays such a huge part in disease states probably because it is too common of a substance. Water is the first thing we should take as a medicine but physicians rarely prescribe water, and you’ll never hear of a pharmaceutical company recommending it, yet water can prevent and cure many common conditions because intake of sufficient amounts of it is a basic or underlying cause of disease.
From the perspective of Dr. F. Batmanghelidj , the famous water doctor, most so-called incurable diseases are nothing but labels given to various stages of chronic dehydration. In my work Natural Allopathic Medicine water is the most primary medicine and before one embarks on more radical medical approaches, full hydration with the best water one can manage is a good idea. According to Batmanghelidj, water can relieve a broad range of medical conditions. By simply adjusting our fluid and mineral intakes we can treat and prevent dozens of diseases and avoid costly prescription drugs, surgery and other medical procedures and tests.
Cells are more vulnerable to chemical poisoning when in a dehydrated state. One overlooked factor in metabolic syndrome and inflammation is dehydration. When you do not drink enough water inflammation feels worse because it gets worse. Certainly dehydration is a contributing and complicating factor in diabetes.
When for any reason the body cannot deliver the necessary nutrients to the cells and carry away metabolic wastes, we set up the conditions for disease. Dehydration leads to damage from deterioration, because the transporting of nutrients and wastes is diminished and even cut off at strategic points in the body. One of the first protocols for a patient in the emergency room is an intravenous saline solution. Emergency room doctors are well aware that dehydration, second only to oxygen deprivation, robs life fastest.
Protoplasm, the basic material of living cells, is made of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, salts, and similar elements combined with water. Water acts as a solvent, transporting, combining, and chemically breaking down these substances. A cell exchanges elements with the rest of the body by electrolysis, and in a normal case, minerals and micro-elements pass through the cell membrane to the nucleus by electro-osmosis. The body needs electrolytes (minerals like sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate) for its basic functions.
The cells are made of water and they live in a water solution. Our blood is mostly water and serves to dissolve, process, and transport nutrients and eliminate waste materials. When dehydrated the blood becomes thick and saturated and is unable to flow freely. The excess of toxins must then be stored within the interstitial space surrounding the cells, pending elimination for life to continue, and over time this space begins to resemble a toxic waste site – an acidic medium. Since the cells cannot have the proper oxygenation and nutrition they begin to change in form and function in order to survive.
Dr. Sang Whang, author of the Reverse Aging, says the aging process is basically the accumulation of acidic wastes built up within the body. He says, “The nutrients that we deliver to our cells burn with oxygen and become acidic wastes after giving energy to our body. The body tries its best to get rid of these acidic wastes through urine and perspiration. Unfortunately, our lifestyle, diet and environment prevent our body to get rid of all the wastes that it generates. Gradually, these leftover acidic wastes accumulate somewhere within our body. Since acid coagulates blood, the blood circulation near the waste areas becomes poor, causing all kinds of degenerative diseases to develop...”
When the blood becomes concentrated and acidic, as in dehydration, then abrasions and tears are produced in the arterial system. L-lactic acidosis is thought to arise from poor tissue perfusion due to dehydration or endotoxaemia with subsequent anaerobic glycolysis and decreased hepatic clearance of L-lactate. We must look beyond what allopathic medicine thinks and see that the body makes more cholesterol in part as a reaction to chronic dehydration, a condition where the body is trying to fix these abrasions and tears that are produced in the arterial system. Cholesterol actually saves people’s lives because it acts as a bandage – a waterproof bandage – that the body has designed.
The body manifests dehydration in the form of pain with the location of the pain being the point or points where dehydration is most settled. Tests consistently reveal that chronic pain patients suffer from chronic dehydration. A significant number of these patients also have a lower than normal venous blood plasma pH. A person with low venous plasma pH has what is termed acid blood. Acid blood is typically dark in color due to low oxygen content. [Note: The body does whatever is necessary to maintain its blood pH within a narrow window – 7.35-7.45. If this level is not maintained, it is a serious medical emergency.
Painful joints are often a signal of water shortage, thus the use of painkillers does not cure the problem but instead exposes the person to further damage from these pain medications. Intake of water and small amounts of mineral salts will address this problem especially if that mineral is magnesium.
Dr. Norman Shealy says, “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency” and that, “magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient.”The benefits of drinking water are amplified immensely with water high in magnesium and bicarbonates.
Like water we need magnesium every day. When magnesium is present in water, life and health are enhanced. One of the main benefits of drinking plenty of magnesium-rich water is to prevent heart disease and stroke. Full hydration is essential to help prevent clogging of arteries in the heart and brain and when waters are rich in magnesium, water becomes the primary treatment for hypertension. Full hydration with water and magnesium is crucial in treating high blood pressure without using diuretics or other pharmaceutical medications.
Mark Sircus Ac., OMD
Director International Medical Veritas Association
I hope you liked the article!