Monday, November 30, 2009

The Water Prescription, Part 5

How does this occur?

When dehydration causes too much liquid to be removed from inside the cells, the body tries to stop this loss by producing more cholesterol. A higher level of cholesterol effectively enables the cellular membrane to become less permeable, which in turn prevents too great a loss of their fluid. But while this overproduction remedies the ill effects of dehydration, it also has the negative consequence of increasing the cholesterol in the bloodstream.

In such cases, regular consumption of abundant water limits the production of cholesterol. This can be accomplished with no change in diet, because food is not the cause of the overproduction.

Cystitis, Urinary Infections

The harmful influence of liquid deficiency is well known in connection with urinary infections. If the toxins contained in urine are insufficiently diluted, they attack the urinary mucous membranes and create microlesions. These lesions then form entranceways for germs, which settle in the membranes, multiply, and engender painful infections.

Drinking large amounts of water to dilute the urine and ensure that the germs are carried away is thus perfectly justified. But the water also intervenes in another way. The microbes responsible for urinary infections often originate in the intestines. They are microorganisms of the intestinal flora that were originally beneficial, but then mutate and become virulent when intestinal transit is too slow. Subsequently migrating elsewhere in the body, among other destinations toward the nearby urinary tract, these microbes engender infections.

An increased consumption of liquid is thus not only beneficial in the urinary tract, but also at the starting gate for infections: the intestinal milieu (for example, preventing constipation).

Premature Aging

The normal aging process involves a gradual loss of volume of the extracellular and intracellular fluids. As we saw earlier, the body of a newborn child is composed of 80 percent liquid, but this percentage declines to no more than 70 percent in an adult and continues to decline with age. This water loss contributes to the slowing down of exchanges and the loss of volume in the flesh that is characteristic of natural aging.

However, loss of water in the tissues can be intensified and accelerated when the liquid ingested on a daily basis is not enough to meet the body's needs. Older people who do not drink enough aggravate the normal dehydration process that accompanies natural aging. They age much more quickly than necessary, simply because of poor hygiene.

Drinking enough liquid is essential throughout life. Unfortunately, the elderly often do not drink enough, perhaps because they do not always clearly perceive the sensation of thirst.

To avoid dehydration, the body pushes us to drink by triggering a disagreeable sensation: thirst. Theoretically, it should therefore not be possible to become dehydrated. And yet the fact remains that many people do not drink enough.

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