Dehydration can be the cause of SOOOOO many symptoms. If you asked me how essential hydration is to health, I would say it’s probably the number one thing you need to take care of before you look for other causes. It sounds too simple.
And you may be thinking – I drink enough water. I DO have some of the symptoms she mentioned, but I definitely drink enough water.
WELL, you may be drinking enough. But the question is, are you actually absorbing it? I had a conversation with a patient last week about this – she had started drinking the amount of water I had recommended – half her weight in ounces. But the problem was, it didn’t look like she was absorbing it. She was urinating every 30-45 minutes. This is like pouring water through a sieve. We don’t keep any of it.
Here is a great analogy. You have a wilted plant. The soil is dry. You water it. All the water runs right through the soil and out of the pot. It retains little to none of the water you gave it. The soil was dehydrated.
Second scenario is you have a wilted plant. The soil has some moisture to it. You water the plant and the soil retains ALL of the water. Within about 30 minutes the plant has perked up. This perky plant is what happens to you when you can actually absorb the water you drink. It boosts your energy in a noticeable way within minutes.
When you are dehydrated, your cells have a hard time absorbing water. So even if you’re drinking enough, you can’t benefit from your water drinking efforts.
Ten plus years ago I had a new patient. She had all the symptoms I mentioned above. Exhausted. Constipated. Headaches. Brain fog. Aches and pains all over. I asked her a bunch of questions. Turned out her water intake was abysmal. I ordered labs and asked her to start drinking water and recommended some minerals and a homeopathic to get her cells absorbing water again.
She came in a few weeks later. She told me she was so embarrassed – all her symptoms had resolved. She couldn’t believe that after all these other doctors visits no one had figured out the problem was that she just wasn’t drinking water!
So how would you know this to be true? Google tenting. Pinch the skin between your thumb and index finger. If it “tents” you are dehydrated. And even if you are older and think it’s normal for your skin to do this, it isn’t. It may snap back more slowly, but it should not stay there. And if you’re younger, it should snap back so fast you don’t even see any formation in your skin at all. A sign I notice in myself is pickled fingers. The tips of my fingers look like I’ve taken a long bath, when that is absolutely not the case. You may notice frequent urination or any of the symptoms I mentioned above. Your sleep and your blood sugar regulation will suffer. Your metabolism will suffer. Absorption of nutrients will suffer and elimination of cellular waste. The more dehydrated you are, the more difficult it will be for all biological actions to occur. So don’t skip addressing it when you don’t feel great.
Have a Happy Hallowe’en! One thing to remember is that if you’re hydrated, you won’t be so tempted by sugar today…or any other day for that matter!