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

And please check out the Patient Testimonials page on my web site.

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To Salt or Not to Salt, That is the Question

For the last 2 months, esp. here in NYC, we have been hearing about public health officials and some politicians wanting to not just force food companies to reduce the salt in their processed foods but to also make it a violation for a restaurant to cook w/ salt.

Now let me make myself perfectly clear: decreasing salt in processed foods, in general, is a good idea. A better idea would be not to eat any processed foods but I digress

And let me say that I recommend that people use sea salt rather than table salt as sea salt also contains other important mineral salts such as magnesium, potassium which helps regulate our blood pressure and naturally contains other trace minerals such as iodine. Commercial table salt is a chemically made product, the only “salt” in it is sodium chloride (also holds true for kosher salt) contains no other trace minerals and may contain additives like aluminum silicate in order to keep it “powdery and porous” http://www.causeof.org/salt.htm#SeaSaltIodized

sea salt foam

The food companies have made a science of seducing our taste buds and our brains w/ the lore of sweet and salty especially with the huge swing towards low fat foods in the 1980’s & ‘90’s that the medical establishment told us to start eating in order to lower our cholesterol and prevent heart attacks and strokes.

And what happened: “The harder the experts try to save Americans, the fatter we get…..The anti-fat campaign definitely made an impact on the marketing of food, but as we gobbled up all the new low-fat products, we kept getting fatter. Eventually, in 2000, the experts revised the dietary guidelines and conceded that their anti-fat advice may have contributed to diabetes and obesity by unintentionally encouraging Americans to eat more calories.” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/science/23tier.html?hpw

So I have to wonder if this cutting down of salt will contribute to new problems such as iodine deficiencies, dehydration problems, too low blood pressure and adrenal fatigue.

Concentrated primarily in the thyroid gland, iodine is a important trace mineral that plays an important role in the body’s biological functions. In fact, the U.S. government in the 1920’s recommended that iodine be added to table salt. The ruling was a strategy to ensure that an iodine deficiency didn’t develop in the American diet. And it worked pretty well

Iodine deficiency is involved in hypothyroidism, fatigue, depression, cretinism, weight gain and possible connections to breast cancer, thymus, salivary gland and oral health.

Iodine is found naturally in a number of foods such as seafood, seaweed, egg yolks and milk and plants grown in iodine rich soil.

Clearly if you are eating the above foods…and I hope that your milk is organic and your eggs free ranging and the soil your veggies grow in is not nutrient deprived and your fish not farmed; then you have a good chance of getting enough iodine. Add to that that you are not eating commercial bread, made w/ bromides (an iodine agonist) instead of iodine

Frequently in the summer months, I’ll have patients complain about fatigue and dizziness and after some questions about sweating, exercise, and their cooking practices, I usually discover that they didn’t use any salt in their cooking. They are the exact opposite of people who not only use salt for cooking but then add salt to their food when it’s on the plate. So balance is the key here, hot weather, sweating a great deal are good reasons to add a little more salt.

And again I’m talking about adding sea salt instead of table salt to your food as the potassium and magnesium salts in sea salt help w/ blood pressure

One of the functions of the adrenal gland is to produce mineralocorticoids which help keep your blood pressure and blood volume normal by maintaining a proper balance of sodium, potassium and water in your body. And so I’ve found find that patients w/ chronic adrenal fatigue crave salt.

So again moderate use of iodized sea salt is a good thing..just a pinch…not more that a 1/8 of a teaspoon…not the 1-2 teaspoons that I see when I watch cooking shows (yes, I yell at the TV..lol)

Here’s some websites you may find useful:

http://www.drlwilson.com/Articles/salt.htm

http://www.causeof.org/salt.htm#SeaSaltIodized

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/09/05/Most-Common-Cause-of-Fatigue-that-is-Missed-or-Misdiagnosed-by-Doctors–.aspx

http://www.saltworks.us/salt_info/si_Gourmet_Reference.asp

© -2010- Dr. Vittoria Repetto

added in 2011:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/744014?src=mp&spon=18 Low Sodium and High Risk? Maybe It’s Not the Salt

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

And please check out the Patient Testimonials page on my web site.

 Want to be in the know on holistic information and postings? 

https://www.facebook.com/wvillagechiropracticappliedkinesiologynkt/