Water and Your Health

Recently one of my regular patients came in for an adjustment; she was on a new job that requires her to be on her feet for eight hours and a good deal of it outdoors.  And she was having some low back pain and numbness in her thigh.

 So after the orthopedic tests, I tested her Psoas muscle, it was weak on the side of her pain. The Psoas is attached to the front of the lumbar spine and a weakness or a spasm of the Psoas unilaterally can rotate the lumbar spine out of alignment and cause problems with the nerve roots as they exit the lumbar spine.

 And as it is almost summer and the weather has been warm I asked her about her intake of water, she had not been paying attention to her consumption of water. In the Chinese system of medicine, the Psoas muscle is associated w/ the Kidney Meridian and represents the element of water. So I asked her to go to my water cooler and have a few drinks of water; when she returned, I tested her again and this time, the Psoas tested strong.

 I’m telling this story to get to a few points.

 One is to remind people to drink lots of water especially during the warm weather: the composition of our bodies is 72% water and that includes our muscles. Dehydration can cause our muscles to lose strength.

 “All chemical reactions in the body take place in water. Every cell in the human body is bathed in water, which contains materials to keep them vibrant. Water is a transporter of nutrients and oxygen for proper function of the body’s tissues. Water helps remove waste from the body. Water acts as a natural air-conditioner through perspiration. Water is essential for digestion & absorption of vitamins and minerals. Water keeps our skin moist & supple, as well as a natural lubricator for our joints and internal organs.” http://www.filtercon.com/water_health.htm

 Therefore dehydration can make us feel fatigued and sluggish; a common complaint compounded by salt loss….I’m talking not only sodium salts but also magnesium and potassium loss. Eating a little more fruit is important as is a small amount of salt (and I do mean sea salt not regular table salt)– see https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/to-salt-or-not-to-salt-that-is-the-question/.

 Try to consume the equivalent of 6-8 -8 oz glasses of water a day; soups and veggies and fruit do supply some water. Coffee, teas, beer, alcohol and (yes) herbal teas all have diuretic effect on our body so they don’t count as they make us lose more water than they add.

 And to drink water at regular intervals; if you wait until you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. This rule of thumb becomes more important as we age because as we get older, that part of our brain does not signal as efficiently as it once did.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/signs-of-dehydration-in-the-elderly.html

 Another point is that our spinal disc have less blood vessels perfusing them than the rest of our bodies which means that we get less water to our spinal discs So if you’re thirsty, your spinal discs are drying up and more subject to degeneration; a common cause of back and neck pain. http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/degenerative-disc-disease/degenerative-disc-disease-natural-degenerative-process

Please note that hyper hydration is a serious problem: http://www.healthline.com/health/overhydration#Symptoms4 

Symptoms of overhydration may not be recognized in the early st ages but can include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • headache
  • changes in mental state (confusion or disorientation)

If left untreated, overhydration can lead to dangerously low levels of sodium in the blood (hyponatremia). This can cause more-severe symptoms, such as:

  • muscle weakness, spasms or cramps
  • seizures
  • unconsciousness
  • coma

To prevent overhydration, individuals should avoid drinking more than one liter per hour of fluid.(1 liter= 4.2 cups; 1 cup = 8 ozs)

 Raising my glass to you all as I finish w/ another web site for your reading pleasure: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283

   © 2010-Dr. Vittoria Repetto/ revised 2016

Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic/ NKT practice at 230 W 13th St., NYC 10011; please go to www.drvittoriarepetto.com

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