A Naturopath approach to hydration
When you find yourself taking doses of medication, quite often a simple glass of water may also have done the trick. As a naturopath I am going to explain the importance of being hydrated especially in the heat and humidity of Singapore.
More than 60% of our body mass is water, and without a sufficient amount of this precious fluid, metabolic processes won’t function properly. The average person loses approximately 2.5% of total body mass in the form of water per day. This occurs through around 1,2 liters in excretion, through exhalation, perspiration, and through the gastrointestinal tract.
But before you can feel serious effects of such large volumes of water exiting your body, your body will cry for help. As a naturopath how much water you drink is something I always check in my patients. The first and foremost sign of an emergency is THIRST. Thirst occurs if we lose pure water with most of the electrolytes staying behind. Following the law of osmosis water starts to flow from inside the cells to the extracellular area leaving your cells dehydrated. Unfortunately, we can’t rely completely on thirst to avoid dehydration. There are plenty of cases when thirst never occurs but your body still continues to get dehydrated, an example of which would be losing also minerals through perspiration. Additionally, with increasing age people tend to lose their thirst just like they did as kids when they hardly ever felt thirst being immersed in their daily activities.
One of the most common signs of dehydration is a headache. Others complain about brain fog, or cannot concentrate and feel dizzy. Some suffer from restlessness and irritability. The reason behind this is simple: Without enough water the blood becomes thick and cannot transport enough oxygen into the brain. Without sufficient fluids fibres don’t expand enough in the gut; the stool becomes hard with constipation as result. Dry skin, brittle lips and low skin turgor also might be caused by a lack of water. Another quite alarming sign is a dark coloured urine.
If you experience the above mentioned health problems, I would suggest reviewing your daily intake of water before taking pills. Often your headache and brain fog will vanish much faster after simply having emptied two glasses of water.
The daily intake of water should be about 30-40 ml per KG of your body weight. To concentrate on one glass of water per hour is already a start. Why not setting an alarm clock as a reminder! Or how about filling two one litre bottles of water or unsweetened herbal tea in the morning which have to be empty by late afternoon? To ease symptoms caused by dehydration a few tablets of Dr. Schuessler Tissue Salt Nr. 8 (Sodium chlorate D6) in addition to a glass of water can be helpful.
In case of vomiting, diarrhoea or high fever of course the fluid intake must be adapted and lies above the normal amount. An easy and cheap way to rehydrate when suffering from dehydrating diseases is through a homemade rehydration drink: 6 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt dissolved in 1 l of water. Additionally, a daily zinc supplement for 1-2 weeks is needed.
Sporty people who sweat excessively will easily experience a loss of performance. Muscle cramps and the increase of the heart rate are alarming signs. To avoid dangerous overheating and heat stroke pure mineral water, un-carbonated mineral drinks with maltodextrin or water mixed with apples juice (3 parts water: 1 part juice) should always be in the reach of a sportsperson.
If you want to know more about rehydration or if the named symptoms still would persist, call or visit our naturopaths for a 15 min free consultation.
About the author
Dr. Sabine Schellerer, naturopath, PhD Human Biology, PGDAM Alternative Medicine, MS Pharmaceutical Sciences.
One of Dr.Sabine’s key approaches in her therapy is basic therapy (Detoxifocation, Drainage, Acid-Alkaline Balance). She uses therapeutic methods such as Homoeopathy, Tissue Salts and Biological Medicines.