There's compelling medical evidence that many chronic and degenerative diseases have their roots in a single, but almost universal bad habit... we simply don't drink enough water!
If you're saying..."If this is true, why haven't I heard about it?" Well, it could be that the drug companies haven't figured how to make money on good old H20! Until they do, you won't be seeing any million-dollar "Drink more water!" ads on primetime TV.
Two common misconceptions about water that get us into trouble...
#1 - "Other fluids can supply the water needs of the body."
NOT TRUE! Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics and the result of drinking them causes a NET LOSS of water. 6 ounces of Coke will cause your body to flush 10 ounces of water. The same is true of tea, beer, and mixed drinks.
In that same vein... milk and juices are viewed by the body as FOOD instead of water... so they don't contribute to the bodies' water-needs.
#2 - "The sensation of thirst is the ONLY indicator of a need for water."
NOT TRUE! Most people think that if they don't have "dry mouth", then they're getting enough water. The truth is, eating is such a high priority for the body, that saliva is still produced... even if the rest of the body is already dehydrated.
Before we get into the next section... "Health Problems Caused By Dehydration"... we need to connect a couple of important dots... otherwise you won't understand WHY these particular health problems are dehydration related.
Our bodes' defense system evolved in a very different environment from the one in which we now live. For many thousands of years, water wasn't available 24/7... by simply turning a tap. To survive periods of water scarcity, the body developed a prioritized list of organs that got water first. When water became scarce, the organs that weren't moment-by-moment critical to life got water only AFTER the organs that WERE critical had plenty.
Explaining HOW the body accomplishes this "Allocation of Resources" is outside the scope of this article. But understanding that this allocation DOES take place allows us to make sense of the following list of seemingly unrelated symptoms.
Health Problems Caused By Dehydration...
#1 - Asthma
Asthma is caused by the drought-management system in our body... trying to cope with dehydration by releasing the neurotransmitter "histamine" into our lungs. Histamine causes the bronchioles to constrict... which conserves the water that naturally evaporates when we exhale, thus protecting the sensitive tissue in our lungs. Instead of using an antihistamine... which only masks the REAL problem, the solution is to drink at least eight 8-oz glasses of pure water every day.
#2 - Allergies
When we're dehydrated, more histamine is produced... which causes a reaction to irritants such as dust and pollen. Again, the solution is as simple as keeping the body well hydrated.
#3 - High Blood Pressure
When the body is dehydrated, the actual volume of water is reduced. As a result, capillaries close down and blood vessels contract. This tightening leads to a rise in blood pressure. And because the cells themselves have lost much of their water supply, the system pressurizes in an attempt to force more water into the cells.
Chronic dehydration = high blood pressure = strokes.
#4 - High cholesterol
High cholesterol is an indicator of early drought-management by our body. Cholesterol is a clay-like material that is poured in the gaps of some cell membranes in order to safeguard them against losing their vital water content to the osmotically more powerful blood circulating in the vicinity.
A necessary compound...
Cholesterol, apart from being used to manufacture nerve cell membranes and hormones, is also used as a "shield" against water taxation of other vital cells that would normally exchange water through the cell membrane.
Do you know how much pure water you should drink every day?
For an adult, one/half your body weight in ounces. (Example - I weigh 148 pounds, which means I should drink 74 oz. of water every 24 hours. (That's a little over a half gallon.)
Credit - Most of this information was condensed from the book "Water for Health, for Healing, for Life" by DR F. Batmanhelidj
Next - Health Strategy #4 You Gotta Get Some Sunshine!