Surprise: Your Dehydration Problem Isn’t Just About Water

Water. After air, it’s the single most important thing for physical survival for human beings, which is why dehydration is such a big concern, not only when someone is ill, but also when a person is healthy.

However, hydration can be difficult to diagnose for three reasons:

1. The body’s signals about when it is thirsty can become confused. Dr. Al Sears writes,

“Back in Paleo times, our bodies let us know when we needed water and we responded, but today there are conflicting signals that interrupt this process. With high levels of toxins in our environment, we need more water to help clear out these poisons, and our bodies have not had time to adapt and evolve to that need.”

2. In our hyper-connected, ADD culture, body awareness is a rare and precious commodity. Many in the medical field recommend daily meditation as a way to become more aware of the body at any given time. However, dietary choices can make even body awareness provide confusing information. notes,

“Even as coffee and alcohol pull water out of our bodies and increase our dehydration, we’re tricked into feeling like we’re taking care of our thirst.”

3. Interestingly, dehydration can cause symptoms that can be confused with aging, thus confusing the cause of the symptoms. Again, Dr. Sears writes,

“Many of my patients over the age of 50 don’t realize dehydration can also cause symptoms they often blame on aging, like aching joints, memory loss, brittle hair and bones, and fine lines and wrinkles.”

Fortunately, dehydration has a relatively easy fix, but the solution, surprisingly, is not only to drink more water. Water absorption is the key issue, and water ingestion is only part of the issue when seeking to have water absorbed by the cells of the body. Unfortunately, cell membranes become “stiffer,” thus blocking cells’ ability to both intake needed nutrients, including water, and get rid of waste materials. This, lack of porousness, of course, can in and of itself contribute to increased ill health due to increased toxicity, but also to an increased susceptibility to free radicals. An increased susceptibility to free radicals can make a person more vulnerable to viruses.

Fortunately, the solution to this problem of cell porousness is to increase the intake of essential fatty acids, specifically omega-3 fatty acids. notes,

“Groundbreaking research shows that omega-3 fatty acids play a critical role in keeping your cell membranes supple and your cells hydrated so they can function properly.

“But that’s not all. Omega-3s can also help increase the cell membrane surface area so that more water and nutrients can pass through.”

Thus, by drinking more water and increasing intake of omega-3 fatty acids, one can stave of and reverse the effects of dehydration on the body.