Every morning, the first thing I do or before I eat anything is to drink a glass of water. Ever since I read the book Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, by Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, several years ago, I make sure that I drink lots of water to avoid dehydration and to stay healthy. Our body needs water to flush out toxins as well as to keep the system flexible, lubricated and running smoothly. But on some days when I am very busy, I either forget or don’t take time to drink enough water. The busyness of life gets in the way of doing what is good.
Getting my two kids to drink water is also a challenge.
“I am not thirsty,” they often respond to my request of drinking water, though I can tell from their dry mouth and dark colored urine that they clearly are dehydrated.
There are so many choices of drinks out there. Soda, juice or sugar drinks are all so much more attractive for kids than plain water.
I see dehydration as a common thread to our health problems as the result of our busy life and modern lifestyle.
Dehydration is mainly caused by not drinking enough water to replenish liquids lost from breathing, sweating and urination. Vomiting, diarrhea, blood loss and other illnesses and diseases can also cause dehydration.
What are the signs and symptoms of dehydration? Thirst, dry mouth, dark colored urine, dry skin, skin flushing, fatigue or weakness are some of the initial signs and symptoms of mild dehydration, when the body has lost about 2 percent of its total fluid. When the total fluid loss reaches 5 percent, the following signs and symptoms of dehydration can appear: decreased urination, increased heart rate, increased body temperature, extreme fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, nausea, tingling of the limbs, etc. When the body reaches 10 percent fluid loss, it can cause severe dehydration with symptoms such as muscle spasms, racing pulse, dim vision, painful urination, confusion, difficulty breathing, seizures, chest and abdominal pain and unconsciousness. Ten percent fluid loss and above can be fatal.
The average person loses between two and three liters of water a day through breath, perspiration and urine. For our body to function properly, we ought to drink at least eight glasses of water.
Don’t wait till you feel thirsty to drink water. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
According to Dr. Batmaghelidj, a dry mouth is not a reliable indicator of dehydration. The body signals its water shortage by producing pain. Dehydration actually produces pain and many degenerative diseases, including asthma, arthritis, hypertension, angina, adult-onset diabetes, lupus and multiple sclerosis.
If you suffer pain or other illness due to dehydration, don’t expect your doctors to find the cause. What doctors usually do is to give you medication to kill the pain and treat the symptoms, not to find the cause of the problem and eliminate it.
Dr. Batmaghelidj’s message to the world is, “You are not sick, you are thirsty. Don’t treat thirst with medication.”
Healthy living starts with something as simple as drinking enough water. Our health is dependent on the quality and quantity of the water we drink.
Water has the power to heal the body and to sustain life.
Please do not let the busyness of life and the modern lifestyle get in your way of tapping into the healing and life-sustaining power of water every day.