I hated water. I never drank it, I filled up with soda, juice, gatorade, anything but water. There were months upon months where I’d avoid drinking any water at all. I knew it was terrible, but I did it anyways. It amazes me how many people outright refuse to drink water to this day, not knowing all of the damage they may be causing to their bodies. In addition to not drinking the appropriate amount of water per day, the drinks we are choosing instead such as soda, juice, or alcohol are known to dehydrate further. Obvious signs of dehydration include; dry mouth, dizziness, and headaches. However, when we deprive our body of hydration for long periods of time our bodies start suffering from Chronic Dehydration. The effects of this are dire. There are many ailments that can be caused by, or made worse by dehydration and yet, CBS reports that according to doctors 75% of people are in a chronic state of dehydration. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult loses up to ten cups of water per day just be living, breathing, and functioning, if not replaced this dehydration can cause a variety of medical problems.
Weight Gain and Skin: Our bodies are made up of water, it needs water to function. When water is restricted it causes our bodies to ration water, according to Change Your Water, Change Your Life author, Dr. Dave Carpenter. In the bodies rationing response, it holds onto the water it gets, causing you to retain water and in turn, weight. In addition, the body responds to the lack of water by retaining toxins in fat cells, the toxins cannot be released until the body is adequately hydrated. According to an article from Examiner, the body’s inability to remove toxins due to dehydration causes skin issues such as premature wrinkling and acne.
Infections in Organs: I suffered from chronic kidney pain, and bladder infections. When dramatically increased my water intake, the pain in my kidneys and the bladder infections subsided dramatically. It is commonly known that the purpose of organs such as the liver, kidney and bladder are to expel harmful toxins. However, when the body is dehydrated these organs cannot perform this essential function, leaving you susceptible to infection and pain.
Brain Function: One of the worst effects of dehydration is on the brain. I can tell I am dehydrated when I start losing my ability to focus, something feels off, and I have a hard time concentrating. According to an article in Psychology Today, Why Your Brain Needs Water, our brains depend on proper hydration to function properly. Lack of focus, and impaired short and long term memory recall are all affected when dehydrated.
Anxiety: I, and most people in my family suffer from anxiety, one of the easiest ways I have found to help curb anxiety is to simply stay hydrated. Because dehydration causes adverse effects such as racing heart, light headedness, and dizziness as well as a lowered ability to concentrate which mimic symptoms of anxiety, I have found that when I start feeling symptoms of anxiety, a few glasses of water can drastically improve the symptoms.
Besides the above symptoms of dehydration, lack of water can mimic many other illness such as arthritis, acid reflux, allergies, asthma, and digestive disorders. Staying hydrated can drastically improve your health and wellbeing.
Sources: www.cbs.com , www.mayoclinic.org ,
Gowin, Joshua. “Why Your Brain Needs Water” Psychology Today . October 15th, 2010
Carpenter, Dave. Change Your Water, Change Your Life . Path To Health Publishing, 2010