Spokane Naturopathic Medicine | Doctor Lindsay Donahue
January 20th, 2018
It’s time to reach your health potential.

Are you Chronically Dehydrated?


How to Know if You Are Chronically Dehydrated

The conversation usually goes something like this:

“How much water do you drink daily?”

“Oh, not enough. I really need to drink more.” (See. . . people tell me they need to drink more water.)

“How many glasses or ounces?”

“I don’t know, maybe 3 glasses.” (which is maybe only 24 ounces)

I write on the top of the treatment plan, “Drink filtered water, half your body weight in ounces daily.”

We all know we should drink more water. We all are known that water is wonderful, healthy, and helps flush out waste products.

Why Its Important to Stay Hydrated

Let’s review why water is so necessary.

60-90% of each individual Cell is made of water. (Fat cells are about 40% water, bones are about 22% water, Blood is 92% water.)

Water provides for cellular function and cellular structural requirements. Less water intake decreases the efficiency of cellular activity. Just to clarify, less water means slower metabolic functioning.

Water gives us energy. Water has an essential role in all aspects of metabolism through water dependent (hydrolysis) chemical reactions. At the cell membrane, the osmotic flow of water through the membrane generates “hydroelectric”(millivolts) energy that is converted and stored as ATP and GTP, which are two sources of energy in the body (fatigue can be a sign of dehydration).

Nerve transmissions require water. Headaches are often caused by or related to dehydration. Muscle contractions require water. Do you have cramps? Try a pinch of quality celtic sea salt followed by a big glasses of water. Digestion requires water. Have an ulcer? Start hydrating with water. Cardiac Efficiency requires water. Higher blood pressure? Consider hydrating, low blood volume can make arteries constrict increasing the pressure. Dry skin is often a sign of dehydration. Cracking lips? Hydrate!

Water is important in cellular architecture. It forms cellular structures, patterns, and shapes. Water is structured into proteoglycans to give joints lubrication and cushion. Joint pain may be an indicator of chronic dehydration.

Proteins and enzymes work better in more fluid solutions. Water decreases viscosity, allowing more fluid movement. Think of less water in cells giving a more sludge-like disposition. Cellular metabolism gets gummed up and cellular wastes have more difficulty exiting the body.

Water is the means of detoxification through sweat, mucus and urine. We lose water with each breath in a dry climate.

Benefits of Staying Hydrated

Unfortunately the drive to eat is louder and stronger than the sensation of thirst. People confuse hunger with thirst, and this confusion worsens as we age. Most people don’t need that afternoon snack, what they really need is a big glass of water. The 3 pm energy slump can often be eliminated just by hydrating with water.

One of my favorite quotes, as I have mentioned in other blog posts . . .as my undergraduate professor often said, “We live in a Goldilocks world.” We need water, but not too much. Over-hydrating is difficult for most people to achieve, but has been accomplished notably most often by: athletes, military, and fraternity’s during hazing rituals. Hyponatremia (not enough salt) occurs when people binge on water. Too much water dilutes electrolytes and can result in a life-threatening condition.

A good rule is drink half your weight in ounces daily. If you engage in strenuous exercise, drink about 2 cups of fluid for every pound you lost during the work out.

Water is essential to living organisms. A human cannot survive more than 3 days without water. The power of water allows a seed to grow.

There is an entire book written about the importance of water and disease states caused by lack of water: Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, by F. Batmanghelidj MD, first published in 1995.

Please be aware that there are certain medical conditions that may require one to limit their water intake. With this in mind it is always important to speak with your doctor.