HYDRATION FOR HEALING
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
Ó June 2016, 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.
Table Of Contents
What Does Hydrating The Body Involve?
The Many Roles Of Water In The Body
Identifying Dehydration Can Be Difficult
Dry Mouth, Dry Lips And/or Dry Skin
Dizziness, Fainting And Low Blood Pressure
Coffee Retention With Enemas
Fatigue And A Toxic Feeling
The need for enough water of the right kind is a very basic human need.
I repeatedly find that our clients can become quite ill or unbalanced simply due to mild dehydration. For example, we warn people to avoid all reverse osmosis water because it does not hydrate the body well.
However, some either do not listen or they are mislead into thinking that drinking this type of water will hydrate the body well.
1. Hydration can mean the state of being hydrated. It means the condition of being adequately nourished with, or saturated with water in the body. The body is about 55% water in adults, and up to 65% in young children.
2. The hydration ability of a drinking water or other beverage refers to its ability to be utilized properly by a body. This is a very special quality of a drinking water that is not often discussed.
THEMES OF THIS ARTICLE
1. Hydration is a critical health factor. It is critical because many health problems occur when the body is not well-hydrated.
2. Hydration is very tricky. It is tricky because it is:
A. Rather esoteric. I do not understand why some drinking water hydrates the body better than others, and I have not read or heard of any clear understanding of this quality.
B. Largely individual. There are some generalizations. For example, in general, reverse osmosis water does not hydrate the body well. Spring water is usually good, and municipal tap water is often very good. However, beyond this, hydration is often very personal or individual.
C. It is difficult or impossible to predict ahead of time. The only exceptions are the generalizations above about reverse osmosis water, spring water and tap water.
D. It can change at any time. A water can work for a person for a while. Then, all of a sudden, it can stop hydrating the body and the person will become dehydrated if he or she does not change the brand or type of drinking water.
WHAT DOES HYDRATING THE BODY INVOLVE?
Hydrating the body has to do with how well the body utilizes and holds on to drinking water. It is independent of the mineral nutrition the water provides, or the pH of the water, the purity of the water, or other qualities of drinking water.
In other words, the ability to hydrate the body is a unique quality of drinking water, and one that is not often considered.
This is confusing, since a type of water that is very pure, for example, such as distilled or reverse osmosis water, may not and often does not hydrate the body very well.
THE MANY ROLES OF WATER IN THE BODY
These are many. Among the most important are:
1. Promoting circulation of the blood, lymph and other fluids.
2. Promoting proper elimination through the kidneys, bowel, skin, and lungs.
3. Transport of many chemicals throughout the body.
4. Preserving the proper electrical balance in the body.
5. Preserving the proper osmotic balance and relationships in the cells, interstitial fluid, other tissues and the blood.
6. Allowing the heart, kidneys and many other organs to function properly.
Dehydration is difficult to identify! It is often not revealed on blood tests, x-rays, hair mineral tests, or other types of tests.
Here are the best ways I know to identify dehydration. None of the tests below are definitive, but they can help determine if you are dehydrated:
1. Dark-colored urine. Urine should be almost clear, or just a slightly yellowish color. If you are taking B-complex vitamins, it may be a brighter yellow. However, if you are dehydrated, it may be a darker yellow color.
2. Symptoms (these are listed in the section below). This is often the best way to identify dehydration.
3. The skin test. Sit comfortably and hold one of your arms out in front of your body. With the other hand, carefully grab the skin above your wrist between your thumb and second finger. Now gently pull the skin upward away from the body. It should extend away from the arm.
Now suddenly let go of the skin. It should promptly snap back to the surface of the arm. If it moves back slowly, it generally means you are dehydrated.
4. Feeling better hydrated. Some people notice that when they drink water, suddenly they feel energy moving down their legs to their feet. Then they feel energy moving to the toes. Finally they feel energy moving along the bottom of the feet toward the heels. If you are sensitive enough, this is what it feels like to rehydrate the body properly with water.
Dehydration can cause an amazing number of symptoms, including several very serious conditions. Here are some of the most important symptoms:
Diabetes. There is a strong correlation between high blood sugar and dehydration. Many Type 2 diabetics are dehydrated. The most common cause for this is drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages, although some certainly eat sugar, as well.
When the hydration is corrected, the blood sugar level often decreases easily and quickly. I believe that if all diabetics were properly hydrated, many would no longer require medication and would have many fewer complications of their illness. To understand the mechanism as to why dehydration can cause diabetes, please read Diabetes on this website.
Seizures. This is the other serious health condition that is often strongly and directly related to dehydration. This was a surprise, and I have not read about it elsewhere.
We have several cases of children, in particular, who remain seizure-free as long as they are well-hydrated. However, the seizures return as soon as the children or adults become even slightly dehydrated. Proper hydration, in this case, seems to normalize the electrical activity of the brain.
Remember, it is not easy to identify dehydration, and it is not easy to correct it, in some cases. (We also had to correct the diet and lifestyle, in all cases).
In the cases I am referring to, the clients were taking medication, but it was not working. We tried a number of different brands of water to correct the hydration until the problem was solved. Municipal tap water is sometimes the best, even if it contains chlorine, fluoride and other toxic chemicals.
Seizures that occur in the evening, at night, or early in the morning are more likely due to dehydration because many people do not like to drink water at night. For more, please read Seizures on this website.
Constipation. Proper hydration, along with eating lots of cooked vegetables, is very important to prevent constipation.
Dry mouth, dry lips and/or dry skin.
Headaches. Headaches can have many causes, but a simple one is dehydration.
Back pain in the area of the kidneys. Another common condition, especially if one is on a nutritional balancing program, is pain in the lower back over the area of the kidneys. This may go away quickly when one drinks water.
Leg cramps. These are very common when one is dehydrated.
Muscle tightness. This is also a common symptom in children and adults that can be due to a degree of dehydration.
Dizziness, Fainting, And Low Blood Pressure. Just recently, a prominent general in the US army collapsed at a hearing. Later it was reported that he was dehydrated, most likely from drinking a lot of coffee.
Copper toxicity is made worse by dehydration, I believe. Perhaps it is due to adrenal stress, which often worsens copper imbalance. Another common symptom of dehydration is fatigue and a feeling of toxicity. A bad taste in the mouth or perhaps even bad breath may also be subtle signs to dehydration.
Coffee Retention With Enemas. Another symptom is that when one does coffee enemas, the coffee solution remains in the body and cannot be expelled. This is because the body is using the enema to help rehydrate the body.
Kidney stones may also develop in those who do not drink enough water.
Fatigue and a toxic feeling. Another common condition is a feeling of fatigue and toxicity. This will often subside immediately when one drinks more water.
These are really quite simple, although they are not all always easy to correct. They are:
1. Drinking an incorrect type of water. For example, reverse osmosis water does not hydrate the body well. Some people can get away with drinking reverse osmosis water, but most cannot without becoming at least somewhat dehydrated. Interestingly, tap water is one of the best to hydrate the body in most cases.
2. Not drinking enough water. Most adults need about 3 liters or 3 quarts daily.
3. Consuming sugars, fruit, caffeine, or alcohol. However, one cup of caffeinated coffee or caffeinated tea daily is okay. More than this, however, or eating any sweets, tend to dehydrate the body. The exact mechanisms for this vary, but the effect is the same for all of them.
4. At times, the body needs a particular type of water. This is the most difficult situation. It is fortunately not common, but it does occur. I assist people who are in this situation in which the standard types of water we suggest are not properly hydrating the body.
MECHANISMS OF DEHYDRATION
The possible ways the body becomes dehydrated are:
1. Simply not enough water intake.
2. Too much excretion through the kidneys and urine. Substances that may cause this are diuretics, and may include caffeine, sugar and alcohol.
3. Loss through the skin (sweating) or the lungs (out-gassing of water vapor). For example, fever or sun exposure will increase water loss through sweating and out-gassing through the lungs.
4. Kidney disease causing diuresis.
5. Low anti-diuretic hormone.
6. Possibly low aldosterone and adrenal exhaustion.
7. Other. Diarrhea, fevers
Three factors are essential for proper hydration:
1. The correct type of drinking water. The best types of water to adequately hydrate the human body today are usually natural spring waters, and carbon-only filtered tap water. Other types usually do not work as well, no matter what anyone claims.
Reverse osmosis does not hydrate the body well. I am not sure why, but this is the case. To avoid dehydration, please avoid reverse osmosis water or any beverage prepared with reverse osmosis water. These include “purified water”, “drinking water”, and many beverages such as bottled teas, sodas, designer waters, sparkling waters or others that are made with reverse osmosis water. This may be listed on the label, but not necessarily.
AVOID brands of water such as Dasani Water and Agua Fina, which are prepared by reverse osmosis. Also, avoid water machines at supermarkets and health food stores, and most water stores, which also use reverse osmosis.
The problem with reverse osmosis water cannot be fixed, to my knowledge, by boiling it, adding minerals to it, or anything else that I have seen. I wish this were not so. The plastic membrane apparently damages the water in a subtle way that is not easy to repair.
For much more on which water to drink and why, read Water For Drinking on this website.
2. The right amount of drinking water. Adults need about three liters or three quarts every single day of drinking water. Children need proportionately less.
One may make mild teas with this water, but no other beverages are acceptable as substitutes for three quarts of drinking water daily.
Do not add sweeteners or even lemon or other fruits to this water, as all contain some sugars and other minerals that can interfere with the hydrating effect of the water.
3. AVOID THE DEHYDRATION DIET. It includes any sweets, anything with caffeine (although one cup of coffee or tea is okay), and any alcohol. It also includes a few medical drugs, as well. Here are more details:
Sugary foods and beverages of all kinds. Sugars may dehydrate the body because sugar has an osmotic effect on the body tissues. Sugars include all honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, ALL FRUIT, fruit juices, too much carrot juice, soda pop, sports drinks such as Gatorade and Recharge, Vitamin Water, and lemonade.
It also includes a lot of milk, and non-dairy milks
such as almond, hemp, soy or other milks.
These are too sweet for most people.
Also, do not add to your food or beverages sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, cane juice, or even lemon or lime other natural sweeteners except a little stevia.
Also, stay far away from diet soda and the non-caloric or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, Splenda, Saccharin, Equal and others. A little Xylitol is not as bad, but is not recommended, either.
Caffeine. Caffeine has a diuretic effect. Common sources include soda pop, energy drinks, and coffees or tea if one has more than one cup daily. Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical similar to caffeine that might dehydrate the body if eaten in large quantities.
Alcohol in all forms. Alcohol can definitely dehydrate the body. I believe it also works by an osmotic mechanism.
Many people quench their thirst with beer, but it makes one urinate a lot, so it does not really hydrate the body. Often the most contaminated alcohol products are wine and sweetened wine coolers.
Some prescription and over-the-counter medications. The most obvious are diuretics. These include thiazides, spironolactone, and others. Many over-the-counter drugs contain some sugars or caffeine. A few contain a large quantity of caffeine including some aspirin preparations, and others.
Other factors that can contribute to dehydration. These are living in a warm or dry climate, doing a lot of physical labor or vigorous exercise, especially out of doors or in the sun, sunbathing, taking saunas, or even just spending time out of doors in the sunshine.
Talking a lot also increases the need for drinking water.
HOW TO DRINK THREE QUARTS OF WATER DAILY
Rule #1. Drink one quart of water, or close to it, before breakfast. Once you are in the habit, this is easier than it may sound. When you wake up, sit comfortably in the living room, perhaps watch the TV or read, and drink a quart-size bottle of warm water before you have breakfast and preferably before even dressing or showering. This will make a great deal of difference.
Drinking water early in the morning is excellent to start your day for other reasons, as well. It often will induce a bowel movement, especially if the water is warm or hot. It will also enable you to begin your day in a peaceful rather than a rushed manner. It also allows you to catch up on the news, perhaps, and settle down before rushing off to work or school. It might mean getting up earlier, but that is not a bad idea as long as you go to bed early enough to obtain 9 full hours of sleep or even more.
Rule #2. Bring water with you wherever you go. Carry small plastic bottles in the car, in your briefcase, or on your person when going to work, to school, on social outings, shopping and everywhere else. Ideally, keep a stock of small, convenient spring water bottles in your car, preferably in a cooler if your car will become very hot during the day.
Also, keep these at your desk at work, or wherever you spend your day. If you are at home, do the same thing, keeping bottles of drinking water prominently positioned in the house where you can see them and you are reminded to drink.
Rule #3. Do not skip your water breaks. And do not make excuses why you are too busy, distracted or other reasons to forget drinking water. Set timers every hour, if needed, or do whatever it takes so you are not distracted or become lazy about this.
THE TIME FACTOR
It is very important to realize that once one begins a regimen to rehydrate the body, it will take up to two weeks, or even a little longer, to fully rehydrate the body. Please keep this in mind because symptoms may not go away in a day or two. This does not mean your rehydration program is not working.
However, if you don’t feel at least somewhat better in a week, or at most two weeks, then your regimen is not working for some reason. Possibly, your new brand or type of water is not working, or the cause of your symptoms is not dehydration.