Where better to see this life lesson then a rainy hike in and around the picturesque Lynn Canyon? With my parents in town (from Onscario) and Jake in tow, we decided to venture to North Van’s best kept secret. My parents took their time basking in the lush landscape that lines the entrance to one of the many heart-stopping rain forests our province houses. Giant hundred year old trees, a gorgeous view from the suspension bridge and some of the clearest blue-green water are just some of the gifts this place will give your eyes (and camera!). I should preface this story with the fact that I almost put this little hiking venture off after waking up with a cloudy mind and a sore body. The truth is I hadn’t slept well and (uncharacteristically) my legs were in constant spasm for most of the night. When I woke I felt as though I had walked in a desert most of the night, my body ached all over and my throat was bone dry.
It was then I realized that I hadn’t drunk enough water the day before. I am no stranger to dehydration, I have been a traveller for my entire life and have (unfortunately) been stuck in some sticky situations without fresh water. So, I recognized the feeling, but didn’t really know how effected my body as whole. What does it mean to feel dehydrated and what are the real effects? Well I did a bit of research and this is brief review of how important water is to your brain, body and overall health.
With two thirds of the earth’s surface covered by water and the human body consisting of 75 percent of it, it is evidently clear that water is one of the prime elements responsible for life on earth. Water circulates through the land just as it does through the human body, transporting, dissolving, replenishing nutrients and organic matter, while carrying away waste material. Further in the body, it regulates the activities of fluids, tissues, cells, lymph, blood and glandular secretions.
An average adult body contains 42 litres of water and with just a small loss of 2.7 litres he or she can suffer from dehydration, displaying symptoms of irritability, fatigue, nervousness, dizziness, weakness, headaches and consequently reach a state of pathology. Dr F. Batmanghelidj, in his book ‘your body’s many cries for water’, gives a wonderful essay on water and its vital role in the health of a water ‘starved’ society. He writes: “Since the ‘water’ we drink provides for cell function and its volume requirements, the decrease in our daily water intake affects the efficiency of cell activity……..as a result chronic dehydration causes symptoms that equal disease…”
Another important factor is the amount of water necessary for our body to function at its peak performance. Bearing in mind again that your body is about 75 percent water it is easy to understand that water must be your body’s most essential daily ingredient. Your body looses each day about 2-3 litters of water through elimination, urination, perspiration and respiration. However, this may increase during illness, high performance, exercise, pregnancy and nursing. The beverages most people choose to consume are often counter-productive in promoting hydration. Coffee, tea, alcohol, soft and sugary drinks are all diuretics and will cause not only the loss of water the are dissolved in, but they will also draw water the bodies reserves. In normal conditions your body needs to replace the fluids it has lost throughout the day. Most of fluids should be replaced by drinking pure water. The rest you should get from fruit, vegetables and their juices. Attention must be given that the elderly and children are meeting their daily requirements. Dry mouth is not the only indication of dehydration, in fact it is the last sign. You need to acquire the habit to drink water even when you think you don’t need it and eventually your true thirst mechanisms will be reawaken. Signs to look for that identify with dehydration are constipation, headaches, indigestion, weight gain, fluid retention, dark and pungent urine, and their associated pathologies colitis, kidney stones, bladder and urinary track infections to name only a few.
reason (not caused by an injury), before drawing any other conclusions, you should interpret this as the body’s cry for water and its attempt to remedy an unbalanced condition. Prescription pain medication suppresses the body’s primary signal of dehydration. Pain killers “short-circuit” the body’s emergency routes for water supply; they also sabotage proper waste elimination and sow the seeds of chronic illness.apparentThe problem worsens once the body has reached a certain pain threshold. In addition to jeopardizing the water-regulating mechanisms, these painkillers become ineffective because the brain takes over as a direct center for monitoring pain perpetuation (unless, of course, the body is properly hydrated again). If your body produces lasting pain for no
Taking analgesics or other pain-relieving medications such as antihistamines and antacids can cause irreversible damage in your body. They not only fail to address the real problem (which may be dehydration), but they also cut off the connection between the neurotransmitter, histamine, and its subordinate regulators, such as vasopressin, Renin-Angiotensin (RA), prostaglandin (PG), and kinins. Although the action of pain-killing drugs can relieve localized pain for a while, it also precludes your body from knowing the priority areas for water distribution. This can greatly confuse your body’s internal communications systems and spread chaos throughout the body. Antihistamines — oftentimes referred to as allergy drugs — effectively prevent the body’s histamines from ensuring balanced water distribution.
, neuralgia, migraine, and hangover headaches. They are necessary to alert the person to attend to the problem of a widespread or localized form of dehydration.fibromyalgia, in rheumatoid arthritis, angina, dyspepsia, low back problems, for examplefor essential metabolic activity and survival when facing such a shortage, as may occur during a drought. When histamine and its subordinate regulators for water intake and distribution move across pain-sensing nerves in the body, they trigger strong and continual pain. These pain signals may manifest, is neededAnother major indicator of dehydration in the body is pain. In response to an increasing shortage of water, the brain activates and stores the important neurotransmitter histamine, which directs certain subordinate water regulators to redistribute the amount of water that is in circulation. This system helps move water to areas where it
There is much more information out there about the effects of dehydration, I urge you to educate yourself and drink lots and remember that you have one body and it’s your responsibility to do your part so it can be there for you. Up Next…Practice yoga so you can remain active in physical sports as you age.
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