ArticlesRead articles from New York Times, Espn - Etc
Mercola Natural Health Articles
- What is dehydration?
- Signs and symptoms of dehydration
- What causes dehydration?
- Who is at risk of dehydration?
- How to prevent dehydration
- Sports drinks and other sweetened beverages will not keep you hydrated
- Choose to drink living water
- Other natural thirst-quenchers for preventing dehydration
- The key to avoiding dehydration: Listen to your body
Dehydration is a health concern that should never be ignored. Anyone can become dehydrated for various reasons, so it is important that you always hydrate yourself with filtered water. Read on to learn more about symptoms of dehydration and how you can prevent it.
Dehydration happens when you've lost too much water without replacing it, preventing your body from performing its normal functions.1 Remember that water makes up nearly 50% to 60% of your body, depending on your gender.2 It plays a large part in many bodily functions, such as lubricating your joints and retaining moisture in your eyes, keeping your skin healthy, eliminating toxins and facilitating proper digestion.
Proper intake of fluids is also vital for kidney function3 so, every time your body loses water, you need to replace those fluids to maintain balance between the salts, glucose and other minerals in your system.4
If you become dehydrated, drastic changes in your body can immediately occur. Research has shown that even mild dehydration can decrease brain tissue fluid, which can result in changes in brain volume.5 Your blood becomes more viscous as well, straining your cardiovascular system and putting you at risk of health issues like thrombogenesis.6 Dehydration also compromises your body's ability to regulate your temperature.7
Losing just 1% to 2% of your entire water content can cause thirstiness, a sign that you need to replenish the lost liquids.8 Mild dehydration can easily be treated but if it reaches extreme levels, it can be life-threatening and will require immediate medical attention.
Here are the mild and severe symptoms of dehydration, according to the Mayo Clinic:9
Mild to moderate dehydration
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Sleepiness or tiredness
- Dry skin
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Few or no tears when crying
- Minimal urine
- Dry, cool skin10
- Muscle cramps
- Extreme thirst
- Irritability and confusion
- Sunken eyes
- Dry skin that doesn't bounce back when you pinch it
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- No tears when crying
- Little or no urination, and any urine color that is darker than usual
- In serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
Infants and children are more vulnerable to dehydration. HealthyChildren.org notes that immediate attention must be given to these age groups if they exhibit the following symptoms:11
Mild to moderate dehydration
- Urinates less frequently (for infants, fewer than six wet diapers per day)
- Plays less than usual
- Parched, dry mouth
- Fewer tears when crying
- Sunken soft spot on the head (fontanelle)
- Loose stools (if dehydration is caused by diarrhea). If dehydration is due to fluid loss, there will be fewer bowel movements
- Very fussy
- Excessively sleepy
- Sunken eyes
- Cool, discolored hands and feet
- Wrinkled skin
- Urinates only once or twice a day
Chronic dehydration can affect your organs and lead to kidney stones,12 constipation13 and electrolyte imbalances that may result in seizures.14 Whether it is mild, moderate or severe dehydration, the liquids lost from your body must be immediately replaced. If you become dehydrated and begin experiencing symptoms like those mentioned here, get professional treatment as soon as possible.
There are various reasons why dehydration occurs, and the causes can be a result of both losing too many fluids and not taking in enough. For example, intense physical activity can cause you to sweat profusely and lose substantial amounts of water, so proper hydration is necessary to replenish what you've lost. Medical News Today says other causes of dehydration include:15
- Diarrhea — This condition prevents your intestinal tract from absorbing water from the foods that you eat, making it the most common cause of dehydration.
- Vomiting — Common causes include foodborne illnesses, nausea and alcohol poisoning.
- Sweating — Vigorous sweating may occur for various reasons, such as if you have a fever, work in hot environments or engage in intense physical activity.
- Diabetes — Having high blood sugar levels can cause frequent urination and, subsequently, extreme loss of fluids in your cells, leading to dehydration.
- Frequent urination — Nondiabetics may urinate frequently because of alcohol intake or from taking certain drugs like antihistamines, blood pressure medications and antipsychotics. Too much caffeine intake can cause you to urinate more frequently, too.16
Everyone is prone to dehydration, but some people have a higher risk for it, such as those who engage in strenuous exercise. One example is mountain climbing. It is especially hard for hikers to stay hydrated because the pressure at high altitudes makes them sweat more and breathe harder.17
Professional athletes, particularly those who compete in marathons, triathlons and cycling tournaments, are also predisposed to dehydration. Research suggests that even low levels of dehydration can impair athletes' cardiovascular and thermoregulatory response.18
One study even revealed that dehydration can impair basketball players' performance. The study focused on 17 males ranging from 17 to 28 years old, and determined their performance based on different dehydration levels of up to 4%. The result showed that when there's an increase in dehydration, skill performance decreases.19
Infants are especially prone to dehydration since their bodies are composed of 78% water at birth, dropping to about 65% by age 1.20 Since their bodies are more vulnerable to water depletion, their need for water is greater than adults.
Elderly people are also at risk for dehydration since the thirst mechanism weakens as a person grows older. According to a 2016 study,21 20% of seniors are not getting enough water every day due to several causes, ranging from forgetfulness to a desire to fight incontinence by consuming fewer fluids, to simply being too frail to care for their personal needs.
Those who have chronic diseases that cause frequent urination such as diabetes or kidney problems have an increased risk of dehydration.22 If you have a chronic illness that causes dehydration, make sure to take the necessary steps to hydrate yourself at all times to protect your health.
Water plays such an immense role in your bodily functions, making it an essential part of your everyday life. Since dehydration can be life-threatening, it is important that you replenish your body with water immediately if you feel yourself becoming dehydrated.
Always bring water with you during exercise or any physical activity, especially when the temperature's too hot. One good rule of thumb to prevent dehydration is to drink as much water as it takes for your urine to turn light yellow. Dark urine means that your kidneys are retaining liquids in an effort to have enough for your body to perform its normal functions.
It is especially important to pay attention if you are sick with fever, are vomiting or have diarrhea, so you don't become dehydrated. Be sure to drink enough water to replace the liquids that you've lost. If you are vomiting or have diarrhea to the point that you can't drink enough to stay hydrated, you may need to visit an emergency department for help in maintaining hydration.
Sports drinks are one of the most commercialized beverages today — from TV advertisements to popular athlete endorsers, mainstream media make it look like sports drinks are the answer to keeping you healthy and well-hydrated.
Beverage companies advertise that these drinks will help replenish the electrolytes in your body during exercise or outdoor activities, but the truth is the drinks with actual science studies behind them were created for high-performance athletes who deplete their water stores quickly, not for the average person looking to address thirst issues.
Indeed, downing too many of these drinks may even be detrimental to your health — particularly if they fall in a class of beverages known as "energy" drinks.23
A typical sports or energy drink contains high amounts of citric acid. According to a 2017 study from The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences, drinking sports or energy drinks that have citric acid can chip away the enamel in your teeth faster, leading to dental erosion.24 Sports drinks like Powerade and Gatorade also come loaded with sugar — a BMJ study25 reported 19 grams and 30 grams, respectively, for a 500 mL (about 17 ounces) bottle of these two beverages.
Aside from sports drinks, there are other sweetened beverages that won't give you any benefit, like sodas. These are equally unhealthy for you, as a 20-ounce bottle of cola gives you 16 teaspoons of sugar, usually in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.26
Energy drinks come with their own set of problems: Consumed by 30% to 50% of adolescents and young adults, these drinks are supplemented with ingredients hyped as energy boosters. From dangerous levels of caffeine to taurine to herbs and various sugars, what's in these drinks can cause "seizures, mania, stroke and sudden death" when consumed, and are a risk especially for anyone who is diabetic, has a heart, thyroid or kidney disease, or is taking certain medications.27
Commercial fruit juices are another group of heavily processed sweetened drinks that have too many sugars and not enough value to make them useful for hydrating purposes. For example, a 12-ounce can of Minute Maid's 100% Apple Juice contains 37 grams of sugar,28 which can put you at risk of diabetes, weight gain and obesity.
If you're on a community water system, don't just turn on the tap and fill a glass or water bottle, as it may very well contain fluoride, as well as heavy metals and disinfection byproducts that can have ill effects on your health. Installing a water filter in your home, both at the tap and preferably also at the point of entrance, can help eliminate these harmful contaminants.
If you want the best water for you and your family, I suggest drinking structured or "living" water, such as deep spring water. According to Gerald Pollack, one of the world's leading research scientists on the physics of water, structured water or EZ "exclusion zone" water is the same type of water found in your body's cells. It has a negative charge, and works just like a battery by holding and delivering energy.
Since distilled water is too acidic and alkaline water is too alkaline, you should nourish your body only with structured water, as it contains the ideal PH range of 6.5 to 7.5, which enables your body to maintain a balanced and whole state.
I personally drink vortexed water since I became a fan of Viktor Schauberger, who did so much work regarding vortexing many years ago.29 By creating a vortex in your glass of water, you are putting energy into it and increasing EZ as well.
Ideal EZ water can be found in glacial melt, but since it is practically inaccessible for almost everyone, natural deep spring water is a good source. When storing water, use glass jugs and avoid plastic bottles since they contain bisphenol A and phthalates, which are linked to health issues, such as sexual dysfunction and disruption of thyroid hormone levels.30,31
If you want to drink something more flavorful than water, you can opt for raw, organic green juice made from fresh vegetables. However, I recommend refraining from drinking juice with too many fruits as it will have high amounts of sugar and calories. Go for a green juice recipe that combines one or two fruits only and larger amounts of greens like spinach, celery or kale. That way, you can minimize your sugar intake and still get all the nutrients from the fruits and vegetables in their purest forms.
I advise keeping your fructose consumption below 25 grams per day. If you have Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance or heart disease, it is wise to minimize your total fructose to 15 grams daily, including that from fruits.
Coconut water serves as a great replacement for sports drinks. It provides optimal health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory32 and antioxidant33 effects. A word of caution: Coconut water also contains sugar, albeit in smaller amounts compared to other fruits, so drink it in moderation, preferably after a cardio workout, when you need to replace minerals and fluids.
No one but you can determine if you are hydrated enough. If you feel thirsty or you're sweating profusely, this is a signal that you need to replenish your body with water immediately. Don't wait for severe dehydration symptoms to occur before you take action, since this can be life-threatening.
Since anyone can become dehydrated even without any physical activity, keeping a bottle of filtered water nearby can help keep you hydrated. Remember that a healthy person should urinate seven to eight times each day, so if you're not urinating frequently it means you're not drinking enough water.
Remember: Nothing feels more refreshing than drinking cool water to replace the liquids that you've lost. It's also important to always listen to your body. Once you feel that urge to drink, opt for structured or filtered water rather than artificially sweetened beverages, which can have negative effects on your health.
The Case Against Drinking 6-8 Glasses of Water a Day
What Drove Us to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day?
Peter Sullivan, who has a master's degree in computer science with an emphasis on human-computer interaction, is the founder of Clear Light Ventures, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the health effects of electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure.
Before founding Clear Light Ventures in 2007, he worked for several different Silicon Valley companies, including Netflix, where he worked his way up from a troubleshooter in customer support to a principal software designer at Netflix.
"My passion in the mid-'90s … was personal technology … I had all the gadgets," Sullivan says. "I even had some of the wearable tech in the mid-'90s … I was writing papers about this at Stanford. I was getting exposure to these things way earlier than most people.
Also … when I was working at Interwoven, I was next to a military base … the Onizuka Air Force Station. Turns out there was a space radar under this blue cube. I was getting really hammered by the space radar … I was doing everything right health-wise. I was eating well. I was exercising. Yet my health just kept declining.
I kept having issues with fatigue, etc. I would say the exposure that people are getting now, I was getting probably about 10 years ago. It took me a long time to figure it out … We're all making this mistake and making assumptions …
I said, 'I need to really be objective. I don't want to be that person who doesn't look at their own stuff.' I started including EMF in the environmental factors and the health factors that I was looking at … I did it because I started feeling things. My brain was telling me, 'This is all great stuff. It's really fun,' and my body was saying, 'Oh my God. I don't like that' …
I was getting a little bit of tinnitus or microwave hearing … If you're in this camp where your flickering light is annoying you or noise is starting to [become] an issue, you don't like fan noise and these sorts of things … you're probably getting into this realm, especially if you're having sleep disruption."
Searching for the root of his problems
In 2009, he got really diligent about assessing all of his exposures, including exposures to toxins, light, noise, air quality and so on. In the end, he discovered that electrical exposure, by far, was the biggest factor. He also discovered that the biggest loads on his immune system were in his mouth. He had mercury fillings, a root canal and cavitations.
As these dental issues were addressed, his EMF sensitivity improved. "I don't feel pain [in response to EMF exposure] anymore," he says, but he can still sense that a high EMF environment is not ideal. At his worst, between 2009 and 2013, he'd feel the effects simply driving by a cellphone tower. "I'd feel it in my head," he says.
Additional help arrived in the form of building biologist Alex Stadtner, who founded Healthy Building Science Inc. Sullivan started working with him in 2009, learning about magnetic fields, electric fields and wireless radiation. Another instrumental teacher was Dr. Sam Milham, who wrote the book "Dirty Electricity."
"I started measuring things. That was, really, I think, the key tipping point for me — how to manage dirty electricity that was affecting me at night," Sullivan says. "[Milham] is fantastic. He's done some great work. I funded a study that he was working on in schools, which is interesting. He wanted to measure neurotransmitters in children …
He measured a baseline of the kids in school, and then he measured it [after retrofitting the classroom] with a Stetzer meter and Stetzer filters … He noticed that the neurotransmitters changed dramatically. The ones that changed the most were dopamine and phenethylamine (PEA). PEA is related to self-control.
If you're a teacher, you kind of want your kids to have a little bit of self-control. I think even a lot of adults are losing self-control right now, and I think dirty electricity is a very key factor."
Four primary types of EMFs
There are four primary types of EMF exposures:
- AC electric fields at 60 Hz (the "E" component of EMF) from house wiring and corded appliances (especially ungrounded ones; cords that have only two prongs rather than three)
- AC magnetic fields at 60 Hz (the "M" component of EMF) from power lines, wiring errors on house wiring, current on grounding paths, and from motors and transformers ("point sources")
- Radio frequencies (RF) from cellphones, smart meters, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in just about everything these days
- "Dirty electricity" from transient voltage spikes from 2 to 100 KHz
While you can measure all of these, there's no one single meter that can provide you information about all of these EMFs. For a comprehensive assessment of your exposure, you will need more than one meter.
To understand each of these a bit better, you can think of a magnetic field as field lines generated by an electromagnet. These fields go right through your body. An electric field can be thought of as invisible lighting, as electrons are trying to ground.
"A lot of things, like a normal light next to your bed, even when it's not on, you could think of it as electrons leaking off the power line," he says. Wireless radiation can be thought of as light at a lower frequency than you can see, but pulsing very rapidly. If you could see it, you would see it flickering. Lastly, dirty electricity can be thought of as pollution of all of these other fields.
Common sources of EMFs and what you can do about them
In Sullivan's experience, getting rid of magnetic fields such as transformers and power boxes and cleaning up dirty electricity have been most helpful. Your refrigerator is another common source of magnetic fields. Your choice here is to either turn the appliance off or mover further away from it. With each doubling of the distance, you reduce your exposure by about 75%, Sullivan says, and this goes for electric and radiofrequency fields as well.
Like me, he recommends focusing on cleaning up your bedroom to make sure you sleep well. In fact, one of the most common symptoms of excessive EMF exposure is sleep disruption. "I like to make sure people create space for themselves — kind of an electronic-free zone — around their beds," he says.
One of the most common sources of magnetic fields in a bedroom would be a light-emitting diode (LED) clock radio. If you have one of those, move it to the far end of the room, or better yet, use a battery-powered clock. I use a talking clock, designed for the blind, to avoid light interfering with my melatonin production.
Whatever you do, avoid using your cellphone as your alarm clock. You really do not want your cellphone anywhere near you when sleeping, unless it's either turned off or in airplane mode.
"I'm surprised how much a cellphone can impact you," Sullivan says. "A cellphone even on the other side of the house, when it's on, can really impact the bedroom environment. My wife and I would charge our phones about 50 feet from our bedroom. I've had times when my wife has left it on and I [felt it]. It had an impact when I was really sensitive …
The other thing people have been bringing to the bedroom a lot lately is the fitness trackers and the sleep trackers. The Oura ring can go on airplane mode. Same with the Apple Watch … But a lot of people have been doing the Fitbits.
There are some other trackers that don't even have an option. They're on 24/7. They say it's low-power Bluetooth, but some of these low-power Bluetooths are really high-powered, and they're right next to your skin and body. It's a big factor at night."
As for electric fields, the most common source is the lamp near your bed. "Even when it's not on, it can be leaking off a big electric field," Sullivan warns. The wiring in the wall, and a circuit breaker box on the other side of the wall are other common sources of electric fields.
Today, many homes are also outfitted with a smart meter which, if situated on the other side of the wall, can be a significant problem. In these cases, you'd need to move your bed, or switch to another room for sleeping.
"This is a quick protocol that Dr. Toril Jelter came up with here in California, mostly for autistic kids. What you do is you turn off the wireless sources in the house. You turn off a baby monitor if you have one … Your cordless phone base station — the base station is constantly emitting, like a cell tower — you turn that off and your Wi-Fi. You just turn that off at night to start, ideally more.
At that point, you could still have dirty electricity … in your wiring in the bedroom. You could play around with turning off one or more circuits in the bedroom. Sometimes it would be one circuit for the whole bedroom; sometimes you might have one for the lights around the bottom or the circuit around the bottom where you plug the outlets in …
Go around and find those circuits. Maybe for a couple of weeks, turn those off and see how you sleep. Some people will find that they sleep better right away. That'll help you without spending any money. See how much this is impacting your body.
Again, that's a quick and dirty protocol without measuring. That may give you a nice 80% solution. Then if it feels like it works out well for you, then you can either buy a meter or work with a building biologist or environmental hygienist and all these other experts."
EMF and autism
Sullivan has been particularly passionate about helping the autism community understand the impact of EMF, as two of his own children were mildly on the spectrum. From his perspective, two primary culprits contributing to rising autism rates are glyphosate and EMF exposure.
"We treated [our children] biologically. I had a great doctor in this area. We started looking at toxins and toxic metals … [EMF] was one of the last things I came to. I want parents to realize that, 'Don't fixate on one thing. Don't even fixate just on EMF.'
I want you to look broadly at all these factors that are impacting health, that are increasing the rates of autism, child developmental issues and chronic health issues in general … There a lot of fixation now on vaccine ingredients … but people aren't looking at the 80,000 chemicals in commerce, including pollution, EMF issues and even lifestyle issues, like getting a certain amount of sun and other factors.
We're trying to get people to realize that it's not one thing … It's [about] total load … Our bodies are so resilient that by the time you see a symptom, you've really had multiple things fail … We need to be focusing on infections … mold, chemical toxins, some of the dental stuff we talked about, and food allergies as well. There's a lot going on.
I think the two factors that are most suspect from a rising perspective would be wireless and glyphosate … We've had magnetic fields and electric fields for about 100 years. Why didn't we have autism? What changed in the mid-'80s was we went to DECT digital phones.
We went from these nice, smooth analog signals that our cells are used to dealing with to these pulsed square digital waves that can impact the calcium channels, the vibrational receptors on the outside of the cell. We also switched to power supplies that went from AC to DC … called switching power supplies. They chop up the power in a way that creates little transients … That's essentially dirty electricity.
Instead of having a nice, smooth sine wave, you're getting all these little spikes. Those are biologically active. Those are small from a power perspective…I think that's really the key factor …
A cellphone in your pocket is a big risk factor for sperm damage, including DNA damage. There are about 30 or 40 studies on this … In autism, part of the situation is de novo mutations, mutations that are uninherited. This is a gene that was not in the father or the mother, and now it's in the child. We're looking for one of these factors that could be causing a de novo mutation.
One of the suspects, of course, is [carrying your] cellphone in your pocket. Mostly, it comes from the father's side. So, the dads need to start taking some prenatal or prepregnancy responsibility for their side of the equation to make sure that their sperm is not damaged and mutated. That's a big factor."
Demanding safer technologies
Unfortunately, with the introduction and rollout of 5G, exposure is going to exponentially increase everywhere, including in your own home. Many will end up with transmitters on a utility pole directly outside their house. Eventually, extreme exposure is going to be unavoidable. The question then becomes, can we make the technology safer? Are there any practical solutions? Sullivan says yes, we can, and there are.
"You don't want to fight against these big industries. [Instead], focus on what you want," Sullivan says. "Wouldn't it be ideal if these things actually were as safe as we assumed?
Step 1 is we're going to start quickly avoiding them, especially at night. But step 2 is … safe technology has to become a market requirement. It has to be something that we demand, especially in schools and other environments where we can't control [the exposure]. We have to start asking for reduced exposure.
There's a product in the market right now called Eco-WiFi. It's a special Wi-Fi where the firmware has been adapted so that you can lower the beaconing frequency. The beaconing frequency is the thing that says, 'I'm here. I'm here. I'm here.' It does that about 10 times a second. That's the tut-tut-tut sound you get from Wi-Fi.
Now, that can actually be dialed down to once per second. That doesn't slow your Wi-Fi down. It just slows your connection, fractionally slower, if at all. It's barely noticeable. Radiation can be reduced 90% by dialing that down to once per second, or even two or three times per second.
That's an easy thing to do. I just found out too that a company, Aruba, which I think is a Hewlett Packard company, has an adjustable setting for their beaconing system …
We want to start reducing the exposures on our end, but also want to start having things that kind of turn on and off, almost like your screen blanks and turns off to save power. There needs to be some signaling and protocols that start reducing all these beaconing frequencies that are going back and forth."
To learn more, be sure to check out Sullivan's site, ClearLightVentures.com.
"I'm working on simplified instructions for parents with meters and meters that we recommend. Those are on my website," he says. "I have some wireless safety cards that we did, that we handed out to parents and organizations that give you some tips. [The handout] talks about the different symptoms and some of the basic science, so it makes this a bit more credible …
I've also done a booklet for [those with] children on the autism spectrum … called 'Simplifying Autism Improvement and Recovery' … It goes along with my talk, 'Simplifying Autism Improvement and Recovery' that is online. My most recent talk is 'Simplifying Autism: Removing Barriers.'"
Other helpful resources for those looking for more information include WirelessEducation.org, where you can also find resources for schools, and Joel Muskowitz's website, SaferEMR.com. Muskowitz is the director and principal investigator at the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California, Berkeley. "He doesn't cherry pick things … He's a great resource," Sullivan says.