Currently, I am reading (among other books!), “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water: You Are Not Sick, You Are Thirsty!), by F. Batmanghelidj. The cover of theolder edition (see above) is fairly lurid, and the author goes by the nickname “Batman”, but his arguments are clear and convincing.
If you are the type of person, like me, who enjoys a simple life and who tries to eat healthy and avoid medication whenever possible, then this book might be for you. It describes in clear terms just how the body works, and the descriptions and accompanying anecdotes are quite charming and colorful.
Basically, the author is a medical doctor, and his theory is that most people suffer from chronic dehydration, which over prolonged periods of time causes the human body to compensate by increasing degrees for the lack of hydration in order to maintain basic survival, leading to digestive disorders such as IBS, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, altzheimer’s disease, allergies, and a variety of other common disorders and often fatal diseases. The book includes detailed descriptions of how our bodies function with and without water, including pictorial diagrams of various tissues and organ systems.
By drinking two quarts of tap water per day (he says the body filters the water to bring it to the form we need in the body on its own), downing two full glasses thirty minutes before each meal, we can restore our bodies, improve our immune systems, circulatory systems, and digestion. The arguments are clear and compelling, and he explains that current medical knowledge understands the body as a system of solid tissues with water being the solvent. According to Dr. Batmanghelidj, water is much more than a solvent, and is indeed an essential ingredient to maintaining health and well-being.
We all know we should drink at least eight glasses per day, but how many of us really do? In any case, this book has convinced me to change my habits. Drinking juices, coffee, tea, alcholic beverages, and carbonated drinks are not a substitute for plain water, as most of these beverages are diuretics, causing the body to further dehydrate. Dr. B also explains that we do not understand the signals of thirst, which are made evident by the various pains and complaints that many people experience. Dry mouth is, apparently, a sign of very advanced dehydration.
And many of the palliative medications that people take, for headaches or stomach discomfort, for example, serve in fact to increase the initial problem, not reaching for the source and a permanent cure.
I am personally experimenting with Dr. B’s system, and I will test it relative to my cholesterol levels. In addition to drinking the requisite two quarts of water, plus a pinch of salt per day, I can lower my cholesterol by taking two one hour walks at 12 hour intervals. This does not sound too difficult, and it is nice to know that eating fatty foods has nothing to do with this problem, nor does, apparently, heredity! Since I have started drinking more water, I feel more energetic. When I lived in France, I remember that people drink much more water there, and children are served water as well rather than juices or sugary drinks. It is a good habit to develop.
Here is a link to a web page listing 13 common symptoms of chronic dehydration: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/13-symptoms-of-chronic-dehydration.html