Water As Medicine

Water is very important to maintain our health and well-being, especially in our tropical climate.  I think many people fail to recognize its importance. We naturally lose water continually when we breathe, sweat, urinate and defecate. These are referred to as insensible losses. These have to be replaced continually.

Water is crucial to help our digestive system operate smoothly. We metabolize our food by chemical reactions, and water is a key ingredient in these processes. It helps our organs especially our liver and kidneys to function properly and efficiently. It also assists the GI tract to eliminate wastes easily.  Inadequate water ingestion can lead to kidney stones and constipation.

Being well hydrated keeps blood more fluid and platelets less sticky. This is important to help reduce the risk of thrombosis ( blood clot formation).

Skin is kept supple and healthy when there is adequate  daily  water intake. Our skin appears younger and less wrinkled when we drink water regularly. People with eczema - a dry skin condition- can improve their symptoms with increased water intake.

When we don't drink enough water,  we become dehydrated. This can cause us to feel sluggish and lack energy. People  can feel lightheaded, especially when they stand up or bend over.

Patients with diabetes can decrease their blood sugar levels by taking their medicine as prescribed by their physician, following a sugar free diet and  by keeping well hydrated.

I have demonstrated the importance of water intake in my practice many times. For instance, when a patient comes in with excessively high blood sugar levels, I instruct my assistant to give the patient 6 to 8 glasses of water over a 1 to 2 hour period and then repeat the blood sugar level.  Not surprisingly the blood sugar level usually drops significantly.

Our thirst mechanism is not very efficient.  By the time we feel thirsty, we are already dehydrated. Many times, people misinterpret thirst as hunger, and eat when their body is actually calling for more water. It is a good idea to drink a tall glass of water when you think you feel hungry and see if your hunger pangs disappear, before you reach for a snack. 

Water does a body good, so please make sure to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses minimum per day to keep well hydrated in our climate. You may need to drink more if you have increased losses such as during exercise or during illness.

In Health & Wellness,

Kecia Lowe