Dehydration and its effect on your body

25 July, 2017

It is summer, we all get more active and so hotter and probably dehydrated so we wanted to talk about water this week. We recognise that dehydration seems unlikely in this weather but we wanted you all to be prepared for your summer in hotter climates.

Water and our general reluctance to drink it can present serious health problems. Within my practice I am staggered by how little water people drink and how they don’t see it as a health concern.

Let me explain:

Our bodies are made up of some 50 – 75% of water, the ratio depends partly on age, state of health and of course, the amount we drink.

To us, if we are comprised of a high proportion of something then it is obvious we need to replenish and maintain this level,

Think about it

You breathe water out

It helps you to clear toxins through urination and perspiration

Your body is lubricated with the help of water – life would be pretty miserable without membranes providing protective mucous and saliva

Temperature control is helped by water – this is why it is so important in fever and menopausal conditions

Sufficient water helps your skin stay plump and full rather than wrinkled and dry

Then there is the amount contained in individual body parts:

Our brains and hearts contain 73% - easy to see how confusion can set in if the brain is dehydrated

Lungs contain 83% water – it is essential to our breathing processes

Skin is made up of 64% water

Muscles and kidneys 79%

Even bones are 31% water

Can you still argue water is not important?

Perhaps now you can begin to see that many conditions can be related to dehydration?

Stress is a big diuretic. As our stress levels raise so do our histamine levels this ultimately can lead to allergies. Is it such a huge leap to suggest that some of the increase in allegories could be related to dehydration? We don’t think so.

When the body has insufficient water it will ration its supply to individual organs prioritising on key organs such as the heart and brain. This can be the first step towards the onset of illness.

To give you a few examples:

If you stomach does not receive enough water to dilute the acid you could become vulnerable to acid reflux, heartburn and other digestive disorders. Dr Batmanghelidj describes treating people with dyspeptic pain in an Iranian prison purely with water. They all responded positively – over 3000 people! Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology June 1983.

Headaches – a common symptom and frequently cured by a glass of water. Think about having a hangover, you have been dehydrated by the excess of alcohol in your system and surprise, surprise you get a hangover. Why is it that seasoned drinkers often recommend drinking water before and after an evening out? They know they need to maintain water levels in their body to reduce or avoid the hangover.

As I eluded to earlier stress increases histamine level which can lead to allergies and even asthma. Yet again, improving water intake can make a significant difference and even lead to elimination of symptoms.

I am not suggesting that you go and drink pint after pint of water after reading this article. In fact, for those of you that do not drink the suggested 1 – 2 litres of pure water a day I propose that you increase your intake gradually.

Are you thinking "I drink tea and coffee I am OK". Please be aware that tea and coffee are diuretics; this means they take water out of the body. For each tea or coffee you should ideally drink an equal amount of water. I suggest people limit their total tea and coffee consumption to two cups a day – because let’s face it they become a habit and you probably barley taste most of them!

If you are drinking more than two cups a day try reducing by one cup a day and taking a glass of water instead. Do this for a week. In the second week, reduce your tea and coffee by another cup and increase your water by another glass. Continue like this until you reach the recommended level.

I suggest this method because it will be easier to change habits gradually and you are more likely to sustain it this way. Generally, glugging down a pint of water is not a good idea you just flood the body with water it may not be used to. Sipping is far more effective and ensures a regular supply to the body.

Be aware of being well hydrated before you exercise, remember how much water you will lose through sweat. Have water with you during your exercise so you do not get dehydrated and feel the need to drink a huge amount in one go

If you are suffering hot flushes and sweating it is a good idea to increase your water intake to compensate for what you are losing through the flushes

If you have diarrhoea, sickness or blood loss your body will have lost vital fluid so get some water into you, it will help. The remedy China is a great addition to your first aid kit because it helps restore those vital electrolytes.

If you still feel resistant because of the lack of taste and flavour of water then we have some options for you.

Herbal and Fruit Teas offer a delicious alternative to tea and coffee

We have a great range of cordials to give the water a bit of extra flavour


You can try Kombucha, Cactus or Coconut water


Now summer is here you can keep a jug of water in the fridge and put slices of fruit in it to make it taste lovely




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