Chronically Tired and Sluggish? Evaluate Your Water Intake | How Dangerous is Dehydration?
Can dehydration cause brain damage? Are water filters worth it?
With summer heat imminent (at least I hope so. Very slow to arrive on Vancouver Island this year) it is time to be on the alert for signs of dehydration. Perspiring more, added sun exposure, and more vigorous outdoor activities can be harbingers of both dehydration and heat exhaustion. Since our body is made up of nearly 70% water, it is imperative to consume enough water and other liquids to protect our joints, maintain organ function, and transport oxygen to our cells.
When you lose fluids you are also losing important electrolytes such as calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Body fluids carry the electric charges that are necessary for the function of muscles and brain cells.
What Is Dehydration In the Human Body?
How do you know if you are dehydrated?
There are clear signs of the onset of dehydration, and everyone should be on the alert for their appearance, so as to avert what could be a very serious condition.
A mere 2% dehydration causes your cognitive abilities to become compromised. Symptoms include:
- Dry mouth
- Heat exhaustion
- Muscle cramps
Saliva production needs water in order to provide good oral health and the breaking down of food. Physical endurance is aided by proper hydration. Vitamins and
minerals require water to help them dissolve and be of use to your body.
Let’s take a bit of a deeper dive into the signs of dehydration and explain why they occur:
1. Fatigue and light headedness – blood flow and blood pressure drop considerably due to lack of water in the blood. This causes a sluggish feeling and dizziness. When this occurs the heartbeat will accelerate, as will the breathing.
2. Muscle cramps or muscle spasms – when sodium and potassium stores are low due to lack of fluid intake these two painful events can occur. For me this is the first sign that I need more water immediately. Almost immediately after drinking a glass or two the cramps subside.
3. Constipation – water keeps the intestinal walls clear and smooth. When we are dehydrated the colon becomes less flexible and absorb less water, resulting in stool that is hard, dry, and painful to pass.
Now it is time to point out some serious consequences of severe dehydration:
Consequences of Severe Dehydration
Can dehydration cause brain damage?
As well as potentially causing brain damage, dehydration is bad for many reasons:
1. If you were to lose even 20% of your blood volume due to being dehydrated you would go into hypovolemic shock. This can be lethal and immediate emergency treatment is necessary.
2. Dehydration can impair cognitive function, thinking skills, and coordination which can impede your daily life.
3. The body has a natural process for detoxification. This neutralizes and eliminates harmful toxins which of course needs water and other fluids to function. Dehydration interferes with this process.
4. Some of us are more prone to dry skin, hair, and nails than others but lack of sufficient water can affect everyone. Dehydration causes dull, dry, wrinkled skin,
brittle nails, and dry damaged hair.
Prevent Dehydration in Babies and Young Children
I would like to segue into a short segment on dehydration in babies and toddlers. This is very important for parents and caregivers as these little people can become dehydrated very quickly and of course need assistance in this regard. Here are the first signs to watch for:
1. Thirst – if a toddler becomes very thirsty he or she is already dehydrated, so they must be given water periodically throughout the day, especially during hot weather. They should drink one 8-ounce glass of water per year of age. This does not include other beverages such as milk or juice.
2. Dry lips and mouth are a clear sign of lack of water and must be attended to immediately.
3. Sunken, hollow eyes are a late sign of dehydration and must be treated at once.
4. Fast breathing and rapid heartbeat – if a child is sitting or laying quietly (not running around or otherwise being very active) and have these symptoms they
can be caused by dehydration.
5. Crying without producing tears and a lack of wet diapers are both signs of serious dehydration.
6. As with adults, low energy, lethargy, and irritability in otherwise happy energetic babies and toddlers can be a sign of lack of water.
Dehydrated children need to be given small sips of water every few minutes. Do not give them ginger ale or other soft drinks, tea, fruit juice, gelatin desserts, or
chicken broth. Although often suggested for dehydration they do not contain the correct mix of sugar and salts, thus making diarrhea worse.
We have been advised for years that we should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily but that just no longer holds water (pun intended). Body weight is a determining factor in the quantity of water our bodies require. The common recommendation is a half to one ounce of water for every pound of body weight. Other factors include age, activity level, health status, and fluids consumed from foods such as fruits and vegetables which contain the most moisture.
Brain Damage from Extreme Dehydration
Dehydration from not drinking enough water can have serious effects on the human brain.
Not drinking enough water will lead to brain cells shrivelling, which will then impair the transport of oxygen, minerals, and other essential things between the brain cells. Your brain cells’ structure will be changed, leading to their deterioration.
The mental effects that this will have on the brain are mental fatigue, confusion, inability to focus, and a depletion of energy.
Extreme dehydration can cause disorientation, hallucinations, and even death.
Get a Good Water Filter
Are water filters worth it?
Unfortunately regular tap or well water is no longer pure and healthy as in past times. I suggest, very strongly, that you purchase some form of water filtering system or purifier. Most definitely, water filters are worth it, for your family’s health and wellbeing. It will be one of the best investments you will ever make.
It is hard to find a good water filter or water filter system that removes all of the fluoride from tap water, without removing all of the good minerals, like iron, potassium, calcium, cobalt, and manganese.
Reverse osmosis and distillation both leave your tap water free of the bad toxins, like fluoride, but also deplete your water of important minerals.
We do not recommend a Berkey filter, if you are not okay with a small amount of fluoride left in your drinking water (despite their claims, which have been shown to be false), and Berkey filters also leach a small amount of aluminum into your water. And Berkey has been quite deceptive in their claims about their product, in general, as you can read on this website.
Here is a water filter that doesn’t remove the important minerals, as reverse osmosis does, but removes nearly all fluoride and other poisons, and is quite inexpensive, considering its overall virtues:
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The Most Powerful Water Pitcher on the Market
Traditionally, water pitchers have not been serious filtration devices. The Clearly Filtered® Water Pitcher with Affinity® Filtration Technology changes everything, removing up to 99.9% of 365+ harmful and dangerous tap water contaminants. That’s more than the 3 leading brand name pitchers combined.
- Filter included
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- Removes Fluoride, Lead, BPA, Glyphosate, PFOAs, Hormones & over 365 of the most harmful tap water impurities
- Retains the natural minerals & nutrients found in the water
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- Average filter life: 100 gallons (replace every 4 months* on average)
- Capacity: 80oz or 10 cups