by Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© July 2018, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc. 


All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.


Dehydration is an important problem today, especially, I find, among Type 2 diabetics, and even Type 1 diabetics.  It also occurs in people who get seizures, especially those that occur during the night or early in the morning (when one has not had enough water).

However, dehydration is also common in the general population.  It is a largely hidden health problem, but one that is causing diabetes, in some cases, stress on the kidneys, and occasionally kidney stones, seizures, and many other problems such as impaired circulation.




The causes are:

1. Not drinking enough water.  Most adults need at least two (2) quarts daily of drinking water and they are best hydrated at 3 quarts.  More is generally not needed.  If a person must drink more, usually there is a problem with the type of water the person is drinking, and this needs to be corrected.

Children have this problem much less, for some reason.  Perhaps they are less sensitive to the type of water they drink, or perhaps it is some other reason.

Teenagers, however, are often dehydrated from not drinking enough water.  They are just too busy and forget to stop and drink water throughout the day.

Many adults also simply do not drink enough water all day long.


2. Drinking reverse osmosis or RO water.  This is very common, as this is the water sold in supermarkets as “purified water”, or “drinking water”.  Sadly, some water sold in the section of the markets where spring water is sold is made by reverse osmosis, and priced much too high.


3. Ingesting ANY sugars or sweets, including fruits, juices, coconut water, Gatorade, Recharge, sports drinks, sweetened teas or sweetened coffees, etc.


4. Ingesting ANY caffeine or theobromine.


5. Ingesting ANY alcohol.


6. Drinking other types of water that do not hydrate the body sufficiently.  This is less common, but definitely occurs now and then.  At times, some people need a particular type of water to be well-hydrated, such as a particular brand of spring water, or perhaps distilled water.  If the person drinks a different kind of water, the person dehydrates, no matter how much they drink.  I do not understand the mechanism for this, but it is an observation I have made.


7. Possibly, eating too much carbohydrate, which turns to sugar inside the body as it is digested.


Combinations.  Even worse, many people combine several of the dehydration diet causes above.  Some ignore water and drink too much coffee, tea, fruit juices, soda pop, coconut water, or other sugary beverages.  Many also put sugar in their coffee or tea, which also combines two of the reasons for dehydration mentioned above.  Some also drink RO water that is sweetened with juice or sweet tea.  In addition, many overeat on carbohydrates, adding to the problem of coffee, alcohol, sugar and juices.




This is not easy.  It is not usually obvious from the tension of the skin, or on blood tests, for example.  Here are some indicators:


1. Dryness of the mouth and mucus membranes.

2. A need to drink a lot of water – often more than 3 quarts daily - to feel satisfied.

3. Perhaps dryness of the skin, but not always.

4. Fatigue, especially fatigue that improves when one drinks some water.

5. Brain fog.

6. Muscle cramps.

7. Dark-colored urine or not very much urine.

8. Constipation.

9. Pain over the kidneys, which are in the low back on either side of the back.

10. Bad breath.

11. Moodiness.

12. Other symptoms such as headaches, aches and pains, chills and even depression that go away when one drinks more water.

13. Diabetes, or elevated blood sugar.  This sounds odd, but high blood sugar and dehydration are often found together.  The reason is that when the body becomes dehydrated, it may retain some excess sugar in the blood to help retain water in the blood to prevent a worse situation of dehydration that could cause blood clots, low blood pressure, or other problems.

14. Seizures, in some cases.  For some reason, dehydration often causes seizures in those who are prone to seizures.  In other words, dehydration can be a trigger for seizures.  They usually occur during the night or early in the morning because this is when most people are the least well hydrated.




Coffee is one of the most popular beverages that can cause dehydration when taken in excess – usually 2-3 cups daily or more.  The stronger the coffee, the worse the problem. 

Interestingly, many diabetics love their coffee.  This may have to do with a diabetic personality type.  Like one who enjoys “stepping on the gas” in the car, diabetics tend to like to drive themselves hard, and coffee and sugar helps them do this.

However, coffee, especially coffee with sugar, tends to dehydrate them, and this easily leads to a diabetic condition, as explained above.  It is hard to many of them to quit the coffee because then they feel exhausted, which is their real metabolic condition.

The problem is only made worse if they overeat on carbohydrates or sweets, as many do.




1. Eat mainly cooked vegetables, not carbohydrates or any other food such as fruits, meat, or other.

2. Drink mainly pure water, and nothing else.  Carry water with you, ideally, so you have it at all times, and drink at least 2 and preferably 3 quarts daily, but not with meals.  One cup of coffee or tea is fine. 

3. Avoid all fruit juices, and limit vegetable juice to 10-12 ounces daily of mainly carrot juice, perhaps with a little greens in it.  While this is very sweet, it is a rather small amount that most people can tolerate.

4. Skip alcohol and soda pop completely, as these are poisons.  Diet soda is also very bad for the body, although I don’t know all the reasons for this.  It may be the aspartame or other artificial sweeteners, or it may be the combination with caffeine and other chemicals found in these beverages.

5. If you drink bottled or spring water, which is excellent, be sure to read the label carefully.  Do not buy any bottled water made by reverse osmosis or RO.

For example, do not buy Dasani brand water or Aqua Fina.  These are among the most common brands of RO water at the supermarkets of America.  Also, do not drink the water from the water machines at the supermarkets or the water stores.  It does not matter if the water is “pure”, it is not healthful because it does not hydrate the body well.  Some of the fancier “designer waters” are also made with reverse osmosis water and are best avoided, no matter what claims are made for them.

6. If you seem to need more coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate or other caffeine-containing foods or beverages to have enough energy, your body is out of balance and you need a development program.  Just using stimulants is never the answer and leads to more health problems.


For more on this subject of hydration, please read the articles entitled Diabetes, Hydration and Common Diets on this website.



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