WATER consists of one part oxygen and two parts hydrogen. The brain contains the most – 85%. Although the brain is 1/50th of the total body weight (which is 75% water), it receives 20% of the blood circulation. Water is vital to the brain, as well as to the rest of the body. Each day 2-2½ litres of water must enter the digestive tract, with the salivary, gastric, intestinal, and accessory gland secretions contributing another six to seven litres. Out of that total, only about 150 ml. is lost in fecal wastes. The rest is needed by the body in order to function.
Water is necessary to produce chemical reactions – called hydrolysis – in the body . In the cell membrane, the osmotic flow of water generates “hydroelectric” energy that is converted and stored in energy pools in the form of ATP and GTP. Water also forms structure, pattern, and shape suggestive of adhesive material bonding cells together and developing the stickiness of “ice” at higher body temperatures. Products manufactured by the brain cells are transported on “waterways” to all parts of the body. Proteins and enzymes become more efficient in the presence of water.
The elemental order of importance to the body are oxygen, water, sodium, and potassium. The absorption of sodium and chloride ions is the most important factor promoting water movement. Sodium is required for survival. 27% of the body’s sodium is stored in the bones in the form of crystals, which give bones their hardness. A sodium deficiency is a contributing factor to osteoporosis. During periods of dehydration, sodium is removed from the bones to maintain normal levels in the blood. Prescribing a salt-free diet to the elderly, especially, compounds an already aggravated situation. Most problems would be solved simply by adding more water to the diet rather than less salt. With an increase in consumption of water, sodium intake does not pose a problem. Low salt diets will eventually contribute to a build-up of acidity in some cells, causing DNA damage, a precursor to disease. In other words, dehydration contributes to disease. The body is not able to flush out toxin buildup and, without water, nutrients have no way of moving to where they should go and are eventually eliminated as waste. All this causes the whole system to become sluggish.
Another benefit to the drinking of water, rather than reducing a moderate salt intake, is the effect on HTN (hypertension). With dehydration, the body instructs the kidneys to conserve sodium that is concentrated in the tissues, forcing it to retain water that would normally be used for perspiration and urination. This condition is called water retension or edema. When this happens, the body has to apply greater force to move water to needed areas. That increased force or pressure is called hypertension. Since the body does not have a water reserve to draw upon, like a camel, it must operate a priority distribution system. When there is not enough water, 66% of it must be taken from within the cells, 26% from outside the cells, and 8% from water held in the vascular bed. All of this rapid compensation to conserve water forces blood vessels to close their lumen (cavity or channel), causing a rise in tension recognized as HTN. Diuretics are usually prescribed for this condition – which begins a circular disorder.
Salt is necessary to keep water in the tissues, yet, when HTN is diagnosed, a salt-restricted diet is also advised, accompanying the diuretic prescription. Diuretics move what little water that is left out of the body; and, since salt is also forbidden, the situation is aggravated by each supposed solution. First it is diuretics, then, as the condition worsens, it is beta blockers, then a calcium blocker, and finally bypass surgery. It is an established pattern unless the patient can find a better solution for himself. Water consumption is just too simple and cheap for the medical profession to accept since pharmaceuticals have been the only solution taught for over fifty years. But just what did people do before these companies came into prominence? In time, the persistent patient will find that his need for these drugs diminishes and the results will be self-evident.
Some valuable research has shown that, sometimes, those suffering from ulcers may be dehydrated. The stomach produces hydrochloric acid. The lining of the stomach remains unaffected by this acid if the tissues are well hydrated. The pancreas produces a watery bicarbonate solution which neutralizes the acid before it passes into the intestines. When there is not enough water for the pancreas to neutralize the acid, a muscle spasm is stimulated between the stomach and the duodenum, producing pain. The resulting cramping is often misdiagnosed as pancreatitis. This pain ceases when several glasses of water are taken, followed by a wait of about twenty minutes. The pain never occurred if water was taken prior to a meal. This method gradually eliminated the need for ulcer medication in 3000 cases of dyspeptic pain (June 1983, Journal of Clinical Gastroenterolog).
In addition, many of the patients in the study also had asthma, which cleared up after increasing their consumption of water. This prompted further study, revealing that asthma sufferers were chronically dehydrated. Studies showed that 94% of asthma patients found relief in drinking a large amount of water at the first sign of breathing problems; and, when they maintained an adequate water intake, asthma-like symptoms disappeared completely. What happens is another domino effect.
The lung tissues constrict when fluid is reduced, causing histamine to be released in the lungs and bronchials. This causes them to requisition water from other tissues. If histamine is unsuccessful in obtaining more water, the lungs constrict. If they remain constricted for a long period of time, chronic inflammation results. When this happens, antihistamines are prescribed, providing temporary relief. The problem remains; and, in time, with a chronic lack of water, cells in the lungs are destroyed, reducing lung capacity even further. This problem is solved only with the ingestion of water. Water is the cheapest medication. Other fluids, especially those containing caffeine, are counterproductive because they have diuretic properties that increase the dehydration process.
High levels of potassium in the body can also stimulate more than the usual amount of histamine production. When there is a water shortage in the body, the body begins to retain salt. A salt shortage in areas where there is supposed to be salt is a major contributor to asthma attacks. Salt is a natural antihistamine. But it is only effective when balanced with sufficient water intake. Histamine is an agent that, apart from its water regulatory role, has a responsibility in antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-foreign substance defence systems in the body. In a dehydrated state, histamine activity becomes exaggerated and is released in enormous amounts. Pain is the body’s way of saying that too much histamine has been released into an area. It has been shown that histamine production reduces when there is an increase in water intake. Chronic pain is a sign of chronic dehydration.
Water is needed in the lungs to keep air passages moist and to prevent them from drying up when the air goes in and out. In the first stages of asthma, mucus is secreted to protect the tissues from drying out. As time passes with no water intake, the mucus that is being secreted stays put, preventing normal passage of air through the airways. Sodium is a natural mucus-breaker and is normally secreted to dispose of mucus buildup. This is why phlegm tastes salty. A pinch of salt on the tongue, AFTER drinking water, fools the brain into thinking that much more salt has arrived in the body. It is then that the brain sends the message to relax the bronchioles. Asthmatics have an increase in histamine content of their lung tissues that regulates the bronchial muscle contraction. Since one of the sites for water loss through evaporation is in the lungs, bronchial constriction produced by histamine means less water evaporation during the act of breathing. This is a simple natural maneuver to preserve water in the body.
The average intake of water in a 24-hour period from liquids is 1600 ml.; from food is 700 ml.; and from metabolic water is 200 ml. The average output of water in a 24-hour period from urine is 1500 ml.; from sweat is 500 ml.; from exhaled air is 300 ml.; and from feces is 200 ml. This is normal balance but does not leave any room for anything out of the ordinary to occur. The standard advice to drink six to eight glasses of water per day is rarely followed. This is the absolute minimum amount of water that the body requires without any stresses added. Alcoholic beverages, caffeine drinks, or even fruit juices are often counted in with the required liquids. However, sodas, coffee, and teas cannot count as valid water intake because they contain caffeine. As stated previously, caffeine has diuretic properties that cause the body to lose even more water.
Dehydration is produced by the habitual intake of caffeine and alcohol, which causes more water to be pumped into the waterways of the nervous system. This means that more blood circulation has to be brought alongside the nerves. This process involves the release of histamine from the cells in the lining that cover the nerves causing inflammation that will eventually damage the nerves at a faster rate than can be repaired. The resulting physiological symptoms are of MS (multiple sclerosis).
Stimulants affect the central nervous system. At the same time, they also act as dehydrating agents because of their diuretic effects on the kidneys. The constant use of caffeinated drinks or alcohol deprives the body of its capacity in forming “hydroelectric” energy and depletes the ATP stored factor in the brain and body, which is a contributing factor to shorter lifespans and chronic fatigue. Excess caffeine will also exhaust the heart muscle because of continual overstimulation and will inhibit an important enzyme system – PDE (phospho-di-esterase) – that is involved in learning and memory developments.
Many painful disorders can be corrected with adequate water intake, including dyspeptic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis, angina, back pain, intermittent leg pains, migraines, and colitis. Morning sickness is a thirst signal of both the mother and the fetus. A dry mouth is the very last sign of dehydration. The body can suffer dehydration, even when the mouth is still fairly moist. Worse still, in the elderly, the mouth will obviously be dry; and, yet, thirst will not be recognized or satisfied.
The synovial fluid found in joints, bursae, and tendon sheaths is primarily water. As the synovial fluid is reduced, the histamine levels rise in compensation and pain is produced, eventually leading to chronic arthritis, bursitis, and tendonitis. Low back pain is also a signal that water reserves are low since 75% of the weight of the upper part of the body is supported by the water volume stored in the disc core, while only 25% is supported by the fibrous materials around the disc. As soon as dehydration sets in, all parts of the body begin to suffer, especialy the intervertebral discs and their joints. The fifth lumbar disc is affected 95% of the time. Rarely, if at all, is dehydration recognized as the cause of these symptoms. Instead, drugs are prescribed.
Chronic constipation is relieved with an increase in water. In order for the fiber to be effective, large amounts of water must be taken with it. Eight to ten glasses of filtered water are now being recommended, with two to three liters advocated. The best times to consume water is ½ hour before each meal and 2 ½ hours after each meal. It is also a good idea to add two more glasses of water around the time of the heaviest meal and before going to bed. However, thirst should always be satisfied at all times. If dehydration is allowed to continue, the body is unable to function properly, causing stress to the system. The endocrine system malfunctions and hormone balance is disrupted. The lymphatic fluids become thicker, causing stress to the immune system and generalized loss of tissue oxygenation. Water is constantly flushing out the bladder and urinary tract, eliminating bacteria that otherwise stay and breed.