"Your Body's Many Cries for Water"-------------------------------

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by darude, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. darude

    darude New Member

    "Your Body's Many Cries for Water"------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sometimes you read a book and it completely changes your perspective on things. Dr. Batmanghelidj's book, "Your Body's Many Cries for WATER" is one such example. When you have read it, you will see that a completely new paradigm in medicine has been born.

    The body is made up of 75% and the brain at least 85% and possibly as much as 90% water. If the body is to function at peak efficiency, it has to be hydrated. If it begins to suspect that water is in short supply, then it will pull out all the stops to protect itself, by producing symptoms to warn you. Of course, any kind of pain is an unwelcome gift, so instead of asking why we are experiencing it, we go to the doctor's to get something to alleviate it, to make it go away. Then lo and behold, it comes back somewhere else and so it goes on. Then we blame the stress in our lives and the aging process or the fact that such and such a disease runs in the family, as though we are helpless to find a cure and can only take palliative medicines to reduce the pain.

    Could it be that there is a very simple answer to much of the pain we experience? Could it be that the people who live in the developed world are very much dehydrated and that much of the pain we experience is directly related to this?

    Dr. Batmanghelidj argues that the minimum requirement the adult body needs to function at peak efficiency is four pints of water daily. When he says water, he means water alone and not water in tea, coffee and fizzy drinks, all of which are dehydrators. Do you drink that amount of water and how many people do you know who do? On the other hand how many people do you know who constantly drink tea or coffee, and how many children who drink only squash and fizzy drinks? The answer is a lot.

    I was particularly interested in his interpretation of chronic fatigue syndrome, which he also puts down to chronic dehydration and which he says can be improved significantly by cutting out tea, coffee, fizzy drinks, alcohol and sugar and drinking a minimum of eight large glasses of water a day. It was interesting to me that my own M.E. improved considerably after seeing a nutritionist, but at the same time as supplementing vitamins and minerals and substantially altering my diet, I began at that time to drink two to three pints of water a day. For many years before that, even well before I was ill, my intake of liquids was at the most six cups a day of which at least four would be tea and coffee.

    So was it the water that brought about the improvement as much as the food intake? Having read this book I think that the answer is probably "Yes".

    I decided to look at all the symptoms of M.E., along with the types of onsets of the illness, all of which vary for different individuals, in terms of this new paradigm, to see if each and every one could be explained satisfactorily in terms of dehydration.

    Let's look first at the onset. For some people, like me, there is a distinct beginning, generally after a virus, after which you simply do not get better, or you get better for a short time only to relapse later. What happens to the body when it gets a virus? First it is important that it closes down and makes you rest so that it can use all the body's resources to fight the infection.

    When you are ill you become very lethargic and you don't want to eat or drink very much at all. At the same time, if your body has a raised temperature, it begins to sweat to allow the body to cool and to get rid of some of the toxins. Thus you will see that the water content of the body will be much reduced. Because the presence of water makes the ATP, which is the "battery" of the cell, more efficient and gives you the energy to go about your normal life, it is important, when you are ill, that this efficiency is reduced to make you rest. Obviously this reduction in efficiency results in tiredness. Usually when the infection is over and your appetite comes back and you begin eating and drinking normally, your energy returns. So I ask myself, "Why may this not be the case in M.E.? Why does the energy not return?"

    When you talk to most people with any form of chronic fatigue syndrome, it is often the case that prior to having the illness they have been pushing themselves physically, mentally or emotionally. Often they have been through a period of stress. Could it be that over the months and possibly years prior to being laid up altogether with extreme fatigue, that they have been getting more and more dehydrated, and that when the illness is triggered, this is the last straw for the cells, which are already depleted in water, and so drastic measures have to be taken to prevent any further damage?

    Think about the types of people who get M.E. Usually they are the last people on earth you think will get such an illness, often fit, energetic high flyers who have enjoyed the challenges in life and have always pushed themselves to the limit, both at work and at play. Such people will expend a lot of physical or nervous energy. How many will grab food and drink on the run? A lot. How many will have drunk four pints of water daily? Very few I should think. And what about gradual onset M.E.? The type where you become more and more tired and are able to work less and less until you are finally laid up completely, unable to do very much at all. Is this a result of increasing dehydration, until the body feels it cannot afford to give you any more energy until you give it what it needs?

    The acute form of the illness has now set in, but you do not read the signals, you do not give the body what it needs, rest and plenty of water, and you begin to switch into nervous energy and make yourself do things, which in fact your body plainly tells you it cannot do. But of course, if you are like me, you think you are cleverer than your body and that mind over matter is all you need. Soon your body becomes so stressed that everything external becomes a stressor, people, events, noise, light, to name but a few, and life becomes unbearable as you roller coast into violent and frightening mood swings and experience emotions which previously have only escaped in dreams.

    So how is this related to water intake? Remember that the brain is 85-90% water and also the powerhouse of the body. If it is not getting enough water, then it is vital that it warns the body with ever stronger signals. At my worst I could not control my heartbeat, but when I cut out both tea and coffee, both dehydrators, this stopped within forty eight hours. Of course I put this cessation of this particular symptom down to cutting out caffeine, but what did I put in place of tea and coffee? Water and herbal tea.

    What is happening is that the brain uses electrical energy, which is driven by the constant flow of water in the body. Once the brain tissues become dehydrated, many of its functions become inefficient and show themselves in a variety of ways. The symptoms are often strange and frightening because they are different from what we have ever experienced before. We get even more anxious, which uses up even more of the energy that is in such short supply, and as the body activates, we run out of blood sugar and end up with either panic attacks or even passing out completely as the body becomes ever more vociferous in pointing out that things are not right. At this point the body has mobilised for a crisis situation.

    I well remember driving to a friend's house and running out of energy shortly before I arrived. I broke into a sweat, couldn't control my heartbeat, had several panic attacks and by the time I arrived a few minutes later I couldn't control my muscles and was so exhausted I could not even speak. Three hours later my husband arrived to drive me home and in the meantime I lay silently on a couch in a darkened room, unable to converse with my friend, wondering what had hit me, and feeling very scared. The stress of driving had been much greater than I had anticipated, and my adrenalin had obviously been triggered to get me there. Unfortunately it uses up energy at a fast rate of knots and when the energy is drawing to a close, the body speeds up the heart rate and eventually brings on a panic attack as a final attempt to bring the last vestiges of energy to help the body to cope. And what is the sign that the body is dehydrated? Is it not an extremely dry mouth?

    In an emergency the body feeds from itself by using cortisone to break down the raw materials to give it more energy, but once the body is dehydrated and the water supply not replenished, the body is in a constant readiness for fight or flight and is constantly using the bodily energy for what it deems an emergency. And so of course it does not recover and you go round in circles trying to find out what is wrong as it throws up one symptom after another.

    Think too about all the other brain symptoms you experience. Mental fogginess, no short term memory to speak of, absolutely no concentration, dizziness, violent headaches, lack of balance, poor temperature regulation, etcetera, etcetera. On its now very limited supplies the body needs to ration its energy to provide absolutely vital functions.

    One of the most important things it needs to do is to rid the body of toxins, because it is they that are making you ill. So apart from cutting down your energy so it can get to work on doing this and sending you ever worsening symptoms, when you do not listen, the body makes you sweat profusely, often with an unpleasant smell, to get rid of the poison in the system. Your skin is your largest organ of detoxification and it can get rid of a great deal, so view this positively when the sweat pours out!

    To aid your body at this time you need to clean up your diet. Cut out caffeine in the forms of tea, coffee, colas and chocolate, sugar, all refined foods, all preservatives and E numbers and alcohol, and use as much organic food as you possibly can. At the very least, the extra water you are now drinking will dilute the toxins and make it easier on your organs of elimination. The energy you will save by doing this can be then utilised to bring your other functions back into better working order.

    And by the way, if you feel faint either during or after a hot bath or shower, drink a glass of water before you take the plunge. All that is happening is that the water reserves in your body are not sufficient to deal with both the opening up of the capillaries, because of the effect of the hot water, and with reaching your brain at the same time.

    So now you begin to discover that you are having fun and games with your food. Certain foods, that you have never in the past had any problems with, start to throw up unpleasant reactions. They may produce head symptoms, or they may bring up rashes or unpleasant tingling or your stomach may feel bloated and you experience pain after eating. Eating can become a nightmare or at the least very restrictive.

    If your body knows that it has not enough water, it will begin to remind you by interfering with the process of digestion. In order to digest your food properly, you need plenty of water, although preferably not taken at the time of your meal, because it dilutes the stomach acid. If you drink at least half a pint of water half an hour before you eat, (or more if you are taking your main meal of the day,) the liquid passes straight through the stomach and into the intestine and then within half an hour it is secreted back into the stomach into the mucous barrier, which then can retain the sodium bicarbonate, which is needed to neutralise the acid as it tries to pass through the mucus. Dehydrated bodies have inefficient mucous layers and the acid can creep through and cause pain.

    I had a different problem in that my ridged finger nails and dry skin indicated I had low stomach acid, which meant my food was not being efficiently digested. Could this have been my body's protective mechanism because there was not enough water present to safely let enough acid into my stomach?

    And what about the allergies your body now seems to be producing? As fast as you deal with one, another appears. What is happening here? The appearance of an allergy is an indication that there is an increase in the production of histamine and increased histamine is an indicator that the regulation of water metabolism and its distribution in the body is not working properly. Histamine also has a role to play in the anti viral and anti bacterial activities of the immune system. If the body is dehydrated then excess histamine will be produced to cope with this, but it takes from its other role, which is the proper functioning of the immune system. So allergies increase and the body's ability to fight off infections decreases, a common pattern among those with M.E.

    So what do we do? Instead of increasing our water intake we go to the doctor's to get an anti-histamine, which can only give palliative treatment, and even then give us plenty of side effects, and our problem is not cured. By the way salt is a natural antihistamine. If you have allergies then you should take half a teaspoon of salt (three grams) daily along with your four pints of water. This will prevent excess histamine production.

    If you have asthma, then a glass of water and a pinch of salt as soon as you feel wheezy will stop the body from producing its histamine reaction. Remember that the lungs expel a lot of water in the breath and if the body is short of water it may well take the step to constrict the airways to prevent this happening. In his book, Dr. Batmanghelidj documents cases to show how many of his patients are off anti-histamines and inhalers simply by drinking water and then putting a pinch of salt on the tongue, both of which tell the body that it is safe not to constrict the airways as there is plenty of water and salt available. Salt breaks up any mucus that has collected and it can be easily expelled from the lungs.

    When I was a child I lived in a pit village. The pollution could be seen everywhere but I do not remember a single child in my class suffering from asthma. Could the meteoric rise in childhood asthma and allergies be due to the fact that children drink fizzy drinks all the time now and rarely touch water without some form of juice in it?

    So what about the pain that people with M.E. get in their joints, particularly if they try to exercise in any way? This pain could simply be an indication of joint dehydration. The cartilage, which protects the surface of the bones which rub together at a joint, is composed of a great deal of water. If the joint is well hydrated, then the friction between the bones is reduced to a minimum and the old cells can easily be replaced by the new ones. If the body is dehydrated, then the body has to prioritise what it uses the water for, and the cartilage may suffer. The body sends out a pain signal to warn us of the situation and to indicate that it cannot be exercised until it is fully hydrated, but we either grin and bear it, or, if it becomes too bad, we resort to pain killers. If we ignore the real cause, then the joint wears away and we end up with a badly deformed joint because of osteoarthritis and eventually we need a joint replacement.

    Let's look at the neck and back. How many of you have problems here? Remember that the discs between the vertebrae contain 75% water, stored in the disc core. Logically therefore you will see that 75% of the upper body weight is being supported by the water stored in the disc core. If the discs are dehydrated, they will flatten and the vertebrae will rub together causing not only pain but eventual degeneration of the spine. Drinking water will help to rehydrate the discs and lubricate the joints.

    One in three people with long term M.E. go on to develop heart problems of one kind or another, we are told. Every one of our billions of cells contains water and is surrounded by water. Water is essential for the cells' survival and they will do anything in their power to protect themselves. If there is not enough water then they will take measures to retain it. The production of cholesterol is one such measure.

    Cholesterol is a clay like substance which is poured into gaps in the cell membrane to prevent water from being drawn out through the process of osmosis. It is essential for the cells' well being. If the blood has too much viscosity, it will attract water out of the surrounding cells and if these cells feel they cannot afford to be dehydrated in this manner then they will protect against water loss by laying down deposits to prevent it. Once the cells are hydrated, the cholesterol defence systems are no longer necessary. Walking also activates the fat burning enzymes but as this is problematic for people with M.E., drinking more water becomes even more important to prevent deterioration in the circulatory system.

    One of the things which helped me enormously was lymphatic massage. When the immune system tries to deal with bacteria and viruses, the destroyed remains enter the lymph system to be ejected out of the body. Good circulation helps this, but of course, because very little walking can be done, the lymph glands become blocked and all the toxins stay there making you feel unwell. After a massage the circulation is stimulated and the body starts to discharge all the poisons your body has been holding.

    At this time you may feel as though you have been hit by a bus! Don't worry. It is only your body detoxifying and to help it discharge more effectively drink lots of water so that your kidneys can flush out the waste products. Most of my lymph glands were blocked, which was causing me muscle pain. With massage and drinking lots of water, along with understanding the detoxifying process, I am now free of all muscle pain and neither does it come back with exercise.

    So you may say to me, "But I run to the toilet enough already without drinking all this extra water." After the first day or so I found that I had no more frequent visits, although the amount of urine I pass is much more copious. In addition I am not waking up at one o'clock in the morning and again at four o' clock, and sometimes even more, needing to go to the toilet. At most I get up once but often not at all and I now sleep a good five hours before arousing, after which I soon settle down again. Why is this when I am drinking so much more?

    I believe that the bladder is irritated when the urine is strong, making you want to go more frequently, and also when your body contains so many toxins it is a sensible thing to get rid of them via the excretory systems as soon as possible. When your body dilutes those toxins with the water you drink, your body is happier to let them go in the natural way via the kidneys and the bladder. Your bladder can be allowed to fill up before it lets you know it wants to eliminate. So after an initial adjustment there was no problem for me.

    Another thing, which is good news, is that water is not only a natural diuretic, but also prevents you feeling hungry, as many of the body's cravings in terms of food, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, etcetera are really disguises for the body's thirst signals. I am amazed that, now I drink four pints of water daily, I can distinguish between hunger and thirst much more easily, and whereas at one time I drank very little of anything, because I never felt thirsty, now my body is quick to tell me when I am needing water. The net result is that you will lose weight over time without having to make an effort. As you begin to feel better you will gain more energy, begin to exercise more and maintain your ideal weight even more easily.

    Of course I am not saying that drink four pints of water a day and take half a teaspoon of salt is going to free you from M.E. You may have fifteen steps to take to begin to see a real difference in your health and thirty steps to become free of the illness. But if drinking water is ten, five or even two of those steps then you are on your way. If it relieves just one of your symptoms it is a bonus. My guess is that it will do much more than this.

    If you are prepared to trial this "treatment" do the following for a month and then let me know how you go on. Remember that like many natural treatments, you may undergo a healing crisis for a short time as the body detoxifies and begins to rid itself of toxins. As long as you understand this, then you will see this as a good thing and persevere. Your symptoms may include tiredness, sweating sometimes accompanied by body odour, nausea, dizziness, strong urine, spots, coated tongue, recurrence of a previous symptom and so on. They are usually short lived and indicate that the body is glad to rid itself of its toxins.

    My own healing crisis consisted of a spot at the corner of the mouth and a nasty tongue for twenty four hours but I have to accept that I was already ninety percent fit at the time. However, once when I was about forty percent fit I went on a detoxification diet in which I drank five pints of water daily, living initially on carrots and then introducing foods one or two at a time each day over the course of a week and then I experienced sickness and nausea for twenty four hours, but the difference after that was wonderful. I felt so light. Had I kept on the four or five pints of water instead of going back to two I realise now I could have improved even more rapidly than I did.

    The regimen is as follows:-

    Cut out all tea, coffee, sugar, chocolate, fizzy drinks, artificial sweeteners, refined foods like white flour and pasta, E numbers and preservatives and drink a minimum of four pints of water daily.

    The most important times are:-

    Half a pint half an hour before each meal and one pint before your main meal.

    Half a pint two and a half hours after each meal.

    Half a pint before you go to bed.

    Take three grams of salt (half a teaspoon) daily, as water is a natural diuretic. However, if you begin to retain water, reduce the salt intake and increase the water intake until any swelling disappears.

    Limit fresh orange juice to one glass daily because of its high potassium content. Potassium is very important to the body but too much encourages histamine production.

    Work on this regimen for a month and then briefly let me know how you have gone on. Include any increase in symptoms as well as decrease. Remember, if you get an increase at first, this should resolve itself quite quickly and is only a sign of a healing crisis, which is a healthy thing to be happening and shows that your body has the task of ridding you of toxins in hand.


    Please note:

    If you are very ill or ingest a lot of caffeine or sugar or you know that your body needs a lot of detoxification, it is much better to cut out the above gradually. If you have never drunk any water before, start with two or three glasses a day and when you have comfortably assimilated this gradually increase the amount. Then you will automatically begin to decrease the tea and coffee and you won't feel so much in need of a "sugar hit". This will minimise the release of toxins. If you are very weak this is most important. Your body needs kindness not hurt

  2. darude

    darude New Member

    As much as you can manage!!!!
  3. Tantallon

    Tantallon New Member

    but this info has made it much clearer to me. Thank you for posting it Darude, I really am going to have to increase my intake as the only water I drink is what's in a cup of tea or coffee.


  4. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    I've not had to use my cane as much, I've slept better, and I don't look like a fool as I stagger down the road.

    I thought it was better than water. Have I been doing the wrong thing?
  5. Mamalovinit

    Mamalovinit New Member

    BIG BAD headaches when I stop drinking water.

  6. sdown

    sdown New Member

    My pharmacist said gatorade is mainly sugar and does not help with electrolytes. My doctor said eat lots of soups high in sodium. I was diagnosed with Addison's disease which is adrenal gland exhaustion. One of the symptoms you have with this disease is your thirsty all the time. Now that Im on the proper medication the thirst factor has normalized. I add sea salt to my drinking water. In cases of severe dehydration due to a flu or infection I buy clear pedialyte. The pharmacist said pedialyte is excellent for deydration. Its available in different flavours but he said to avoid the sugar so I buy the plain one.
  7. dononagin

    dononagin New Member

    This is some awesome information here.. I'm impressed! Ok.. I'm going to put down my coffee cup and go get some water!!
  8. darude

    darude New Member

    My water again! Hopefull t get hydrated again
  9. tansy

    tansy New Member

    and getting better hydrated has helped many with these DDs.

    I am pleased to read the advice about increasing water intake gradually, like dietary changes, this seems to work best especially for those who are severely and/or long term ill. Many of us don't do well when sudden changes are made; they act like shocks to the body.

    In the summer of 2003 I took more natural sea salt but when the temps went high I ended up in a horrible mess, my potassium was dropping and I had all the signs of hyperthyroid episodes. I developed oedema too.

    Earlier this year I started taking Recuperation; just a small dose of these balanced electrolyte salts works for me. My sister, niece, and son, use balanced electrolyte salts in the hot weather especialy when physically active.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/24/2005]
  10. MaryCecelia

    MaryCecelia New Member

    Thanks for posting this helpful, interesting info. My 1st thought was that I lalready go to the bathroom too much, but I was glad to see that should change with drinking more water. I wouldn't have thought that, but your explanation sure makes sense.
  11. springlakeorphan

    springlakeorphan New Member

    Of all the info I have gotten from this board, this may be the best. It makes sence to me and is simple.Thank you! Mary
  12. darude

    darude New Member

    Goodd info
  13. quilp

    quilp New Member

    Thank you so much Darude; I have often heard that water is good for you, but the fact that you used your own experiences in showing what a difference water can make is fantastic. In fact Darude I have just decided to pour myself a glass of water !
    I would like to add that I drink warm water because I don't have to use my body's limited energy in heating it up.
    Thank you so much for sharing this information. I'm sure this will help a lot of people xxx
  14. morningsonshine

    morningsonshine New Member

    I figured out awhile ago that water really helped my heart palpitations, and energy level,

    But sometimes i forget to get enough.

    For those of you that use gatorade, but don't want the sugar, there is a bottled water out there called "Propel"
    It has added vitimins, and electrolites, but no sugar.

    Tastes good to!

  15. wish_to_be_healthy

    wish_to_be_healthy New Member


    Thanks for posting darude.

  16. evol_or_revert

    evol_or_revert New Member

    that was really good, lots of useful information in it.

    I never drunk coffee but last year I cut out all caffeine and only drink water now. It did help alot!


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