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Dehydration. Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Published on September 20, 2010

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Dehydration is one of the most overlooked and basic causes of disease.

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 tohelp us remain fully hydrated. [1]

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 [2] 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.

You have the power to open the door for a better health and understanding of your body! Here is the Key

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
  • Fainting
  • Severe muscle contractions in the arms, legs, stomach, and back
  • Convulsions
  • 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 [3], 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. Bysimplyadjusting 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.

Dehydrated Cells

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 microelements 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 poortissue perfusion due to dehydration or endotoxaemiawith subsequent anaerobic glycolysis and decreasedhepatic 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.

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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. Fullhydration 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.

[1] iceberg lettuce 96%
squash, cooked. 90%
cantaloupe, raw, 90%
2% milk 89%
apple, raw 86%
cottage cheese 76%
potato, baked 75%
macaroni, cooked 66%
turkey, roasted 62%
steak, cooked 50%
cheese, cheddar 37%
bread, white 36%
peanuts, dry roasted 2%

[2] Children and adults easily lose too much fluid from: Vomiting or diarrhea,excessive urine output, such as with uncontrolled diabetes or diuretic use,excessive sweating (for example, from exercise),fever. You might not drink enough fluids because of: nausea, loss of appetite due to illness,sore throat or mouth sores. Dehydration in sick children is often a combination of both – refusing to eat or drink anything while also losing fluid from vomiting, diarrhea, or fever.

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Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine

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comments

For questions pertaining to your own personal health issues or for specific dosing of Dr. Sircus's protocol items please seek a consultation or visit our knowledge base to see if your question may have been answered previously.
  • Robyn

    Help please. My daughter was over VAXXED, HPV, Depo, Grey Lips and Skin, told she has Lyme and then told she doesn’t, told she has EBV, Hair falling out, Nauseous all the time, wakes up with high anxiety and heart palps…. I am pretty sure she isn’t absorbing any nutrients and pretty sure the water isn’t getting into her cells, toxic in uranium and has MTHFR……HTMA shows copper toxic and low Ferritin and too much bad Iron and not enough good Iron No friends, family and horrible ins, how do I help my daughter????

  • Hi there to every body, it’s my first visit of this blog; this weblog contains amazing and truly good
    information in favor of readers.

  • Lisa

    I read an article years ago that attributed dehydration as being responsible for approximately 25% of visits to the doctor, this is probably a conservative number. I told a friend today that we could probably solve the current doctor shortage by promoting hydration awareness and installing more public drinking fountains. It seems to me that there are less drinking fountains in public areas than there used to be.

  • M. Smith

    Fantastic article, very informative..I am one of the coffee drinkers, soda. and no water intake..just dont like the ” no taste” of water. Since i read your article i am going to start working on replacing the other beverages with some nice cold water. Thank you for your extensuve insught into.. water

  • Water Bottle Infusers

    This is an excellent article. Personally i use a nice water bottle that keeps my hydrated. It is called an infuser water bottle. It is much like the one seen here: http://waterbottleinfusers.com/miu-color-18-5-ounce-glass-bottle-infuser/

  • Carolyn Brunelle

    Dehydration is one of the most overlooked cause of maladies affecting the population. I totally agree with special mention of older citizens. Hubby and I in your late 60’s very aware of the need and applaud this article. Thank You!!!!

  • JJ

    Great Article! For a wonderful water bottle see http://www.InfuserWaterBottles.com. You can see why it is an interesting bottle by visiting the site

  • m

    Great post Dr. Sircus. I stand as a testamentary to one of the things that changed my life, water. I first read about this from Dr. F.Batmanghelidj and his fan site http://www.watercure2.com and to this day there is nothing that comes close to how I feel when I drink water and how I feel when I don’t. I discovered that adding some drops of concentrace mineral solution also makes a difference in ones health. Keep drinking !!!

  • cialis bathtub ads

    I believe that avoiding prepared foods is the first step to lose weight. They will often taste very good, but prepared foods currently have very little vitamins and minerals, making you feed on more to have enough vitality to get throughout the day. If you’re constantly ingesting these foods, transitioning to whole grains and other complex carbohydrates will make you to have more vigor while feeding on less. Thanks alot : ) for your blog post.

  • allegra versus claritin

    I believe avoiding prepared foods is a first step to help lose weight. They could taste beneficial, but refined foods possess very little vitamins and minerals, making you feed on more only to have enough vitality to get throughout the day. If you’re constantly having these foods, changing to grain and other complex carbohydrates will let you have more power while feeding on less. Thanks alot : ) for your blog post.

  • Roy Wall

    I have been to my doctors here in UK several times complaining of chronic dehydration but they just tell me no such condition exists. But I know better. When I used to drink alcohol, 20 years ago, I had to rehydrate with about 3-4 pints of water or else suffer a nasty dehydration headache the next morning. I noticed that some other people were also like this, whereas others seem to find drinking beer a HYDRATING experience!

    On two occasions, under normal conditions, I was found to be dehydrated using some electronic device to measure dehydration.

  • Thanks for this authoritative one!

  • Nice. Thanks for putting up this. It is always cool to see someone help out the public.

  • Thanks for your article, I wonder what leads people to overlook water as a solution ? What happened to simply feeling thirsty ?

  • What you are talking about can be found in this book “Diseases of Unknown Origin, The Abandoned Theory” by Dr. Simon. I have read the book several times in 2005 and it is exactly what chronic water deficiency syndrome is all about. You can find the book at Amazon.com.

  • kathy

    I was just out working, building a greenhouse. I began to feel all weak and tired, much more so than I should this early in the day. Came in the house and drank whole quart jar of water with a quarter teaspoon of magnesium chloride in it, and immediately felt much better. Then I came in to read some Email and cool off and found this post discussing dehydration. . . the very thing I was just suffering from. Very interesting and now I know why I felt so weak and strange. I always enjoy these posts. Please keep up the good work and best wishes to you.

  • Aldon Maleckas

    Air Force desert survival training states that you do not conserve water if in a desert survival condition. Right from the beginning you must drink to maintain your body’s desired water level The longer you maintain your body’s desired water level, the longer you survive. You do not ration your water as we see in the movies.
    You can obtain an idea if you are near this desired level by drinking a glass of water (8-12 oz.). If you do not urinate in 30-60 minutes, you are not at the desired level.

    • Candy

      Having been chronically dehydrated for many years due to short bowel syndrome, I have suffered from arthritis of the knees and ankle. I am now being treated with infusions and this causes my arthritis to worsen. The pain is extremely bad with my knees feeling unstable with an improvement after a day or so, only for it to recur when I have my next bi-weekly infusion.