Saturday, December 2, 2023

You are not sick; You are just thirsty!

You probably learnt in elementary school that water was of utter most importance in washing cars, watering the little flowers and bathing.

But did you ever stop and wonder just how much water you have to drink a day and why water, why not the sodas, the healthy juices or flavoured water?

And why eight glasses of water a day even when you are not thirsty?

Well, if you ever thought that water was not so important then take a minute to read this, it just might quench your thirst.

Dispensable and abundant, water, God’s unique gift to humankind, forms at least 60 percent of your body. In other words, your body is flooded with water and, to stay healthy, it should remain just like that.

This flavourless, organic and odourless liquid, which we sometimes take for granted, provides the medium in which nearly all the body’s activities are conducted. It maintains blood volume, maintains normal body temperature, eliminates waste products and toxins from the body, transports gases and nutrients to the place of need, promotes cellular chemical function, etc.

Water is distributed differently among us. In infants, 80 percent of their body weight is water; in males, 60 percent of their body weight is water. There is greater amount of water in males than in females because they are muscular and muscles store water. In females, 50 percent of their body weight is water because they have more adipose tissue (fat) and it does not store water. This just goes to show you that it is needed to sustain life and all metabolic reactions in your body. One can live a day or two without food but 24 hours without water is a death sentence.

The total amount of fluid in the body is regulated to remain constant, thanks to balancing mechanisms by the body. Imbalances, though, do occur and these could be dehydration or intoxication. Dehydration, which is the most common, occurs when the body fails to receive an input of water which has been lost through sweating, breathing and being alive. This is the body’s response to inadequate intake of water.

Naturally the brain will produce hormones that will by all means try and conserve the little water in the body either by reducing your urine production and output and causes blood vessels to constrict, thereby causing high blood pressure.

For aging adults, water helps in lubricating bones and if not taken in accordingly, uric acid is produced instead resulting in arthritis, brittle and fractured bones. Dehydration can be caused either by blood loss, diarherra, malnutrition as well as not drinking water. This tends to lead to thirst, headache, cramps, dark coloured and violent odur of urine, skin flushing and weakness. Without knowing it, we take pills and medication to try get rid of these signs, indicating thirst, and never correct the problem by simply drinking water.

All of these effects are detrimental to the body and if water is not replaced they can further trigger an increased heart rate, increased respiration, dim vision, nausea, difficulty in breathing, tangling of limbs, increased body temperature and eventually death.

The kidneys, which are responsible for filtering the dirt we accumulate in our bodies, depend on water to function to their very best. They secrete urea, salts, amino acids and by products of bile from the liver.

Water washes away all these through the bladder. In the absence of water, the kidneys have a remarkable flexibility to conserve water output. If this goes on for long, it could damage the structure of the kidney or cause urinary tract infection, an abnormality in the kidneys caused by bacteria. If the water intake is not corrected, an extensive damage could happen to the kidneys that one ends up on hemodialysis, a condition were suppressed kidneys undergo therapy to remove toxins from the body and blood through mechanical means for the rest of their lives unless they find a kidney donor, which is always not a guarantee.

The gallbladder also develops crystals to form stones which may be as coarse as river gravel all because there isn’t enough water to wash them away, and to get rid of this, one would have to undergo surgery, all these expenses which could easily be avoided by simply opening a tap and drinking water.

Water is life giving; the clear urine, wet and healthy looking eyes, alert brain and easy bathroom visits all are a testimony of how medicinal water is. It is more than quenching thirst; it cleans and restores, adds no weight and keeps you looking younger for a very long time by maintaining the integrity of the skin

Prevention of dehydration is one of the simplest ways to combat water loss.

Two words: DRINK WATER, not sodas, which lead to lower calcium levels due to their phosphate content that eats away the bones or coffee, which induces an increased sense of awareness that wears out leaving one depressed and dehydrated but real water.

When having a tummy ache, drink water to soften the tummy, when having a running tummy drink water to replace the lost fluids and electrolytes. Summer is here, and with all this heat around us, the best way to protect the body is to be faithful to drinking water.

Remember, you are never too young to start taking care of yourself, so go on and water yourself!


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