“You are joking aren’t you?” was the response I received after telling a patient that she was dehydrated. “I drink 200 ounces of fluid a day, how could I possibly be dehydrated?” She asks a good question. I’ll get back to the answer in a moment, but first a brief history of this case.
This was a young woman suffering from seizures and periods of browning out. She went through every conceivable test including scans, EEG, blood work, etc. She saw multiple doctors including all of the appropriate specialists. They could find nothing wrong with her. The final diagnosis was that she must be faking or had a psychological problem. Nevertheless, the symptoms continued to the point that she was having trouble performing her job. She was then referred to our office, by a friend of hers, for the purpose of a nutritional evaluation which we performed with the help of Contact Reflex Analysis, which is an analytical technique that involves energetic testing. The results of our testing revealed that she was dehydrated. The dehydration issue was multifaceted and showed that she was actually drinking too much fluid and did not have enough of the correct type of salt and trace minerals in her body. Too much fluid can, at times, cause almost as many problems as too little fluid, due to the fact that too much fluid can dilute electrolytes and minerals to dangerous levels. So at that point, we made the recommendations that (1) she decrease her fluid intake, (2) add some sea salt to her diet, and (3) we also started her on a trace mineral supplement. After about 2- 3 weeks, her symptomatology began to greatly decrease and as of her last visit she had pretty much returned to normal.
So back to the question of how this person could be dehydrated when drinking 200 ounces of fluid per day. Hydration is not only about how much fluid you drink but as you can see from the history above, you must also have enough sea salt and trace minerals in your body as well. Salt and minerals play a crucial part in how our body hydrates itself. They help to manage fluid distribution throughout the body. Think of them as traffic cops managing traffic— you go here, you go there, don’t go there, etc. Without minerals and salt, the fluid either goes right through you (urinating all the time after drinking) or it ends up in places it doesn’t belong, such as the hands, feet, legs (causing swelling) or the belly (so-called beer belly). We want the fluids we drink to end up in the tissue where it can properly perform normal functions. It’s the salt and minerals that make it happen. So in the future, when the subject of hydration arises, remember that fluid is only part of the equation. Also, consider the possible need for sea salt and trace minerals as well.
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