Tips and Tricks

Dying of Thirst While Drowning

June 27, 2017

Poor health and workaholic habits caused dehydration issues for me. The oft-repeated advice to drink more water did not ensure proper hydration. Of course, gulping twenty cups of water a day certainly did not improve my health. Anything in excess can be harmful. Thankfully I learned how to overcome dehydration and adrenal fatigue through proper hydration habits.

Before my sick leave, I pushed my body to its breaking point. I had no diagnosis and no real solutions for the exhaustion, pain, brain fog, or muscle spasms. As such I found ways to cope and get through the work day. I started the morning with a few cups of coffee, and sipped coffee throughout the day. I also took Advil every few hours. Somehow coffee and anti-inflammatories were the only things that took the edge off.
The coffee satiated me and kept me upright, but also caused adrenal issues and dehydration. I became a train fueled by caffeine and craziness, headed for derailment. I hear this often from people with adrenal fatigue, coagulation disorders, and other chronic illnesses. We try surviving on coffee, tea, and energy drinks.  So harmful, but at the time, it is all many of us know to do.
So I cut out coffee and began drinking tons of water. But I remained dehydrated. What the heck? Well, I wasn’t really absorbing all that water. Most of it was not absorbed by my cells. I ended up just flushing my system without actually hydrating. In a way I was drowning in water but still thirsty. You see, I didn’t have the minerals, electrolytes, or salt needed to actually penetrate the cells and absorb the water. Part of the issue was adrenal fatigue, part of the issue were four GI tract infections preventing absorption. But even “healthy” people should be careful when drinking significant amounts of straight water. I cringe when I see people posting updates on social media about drinking twenty cups of water in one day. That’s not really hydrating.
Illness and fatigue made me weak, and I lacked the essential nutrients and electrolytes my cells required. And they aren’t found in water. Thankfully right when my body collapsed I became a new patient of a functional medicine doctor. One of the first things she did was put me on saline hydration IVs and prescribe an electrolyte drink that had the necessary salts and minerals in it. I am not talking sports drinks that contain food colouring, corn syrup, and are loaded with sugar. It was a medicinal quality powder that I stirred into my water once or twice a day. I did drink eight to ten glasses of regular filtered water as well. But the electrolyte mix helped me absorb and properly hydrate.  I had quit drinking coffee to help repair my adrenals. Of course, by this time I was on sick leave and didn’t need the caffeine to stay alert and functional. I was able to rest and do IVs and sip electrolyte mix. This significantly reduced muscle spasms, brain fog, and heart issues. Proper hydration also helped resolve what we initially thought was “Bell’s Palsy.” It turns out my drooping face in the morning, and the fact that my right eye wouldn’t open, was related to dehydration.
I am sharing this information as a means to help others. Are you drinking energy drinks and coffee to power through when you really should be seeing a doctor and getting help? Are you healthy but drinking way too much water when after an intensive workout you may need electrolytes? Are you suffering from muscle issues and gut infections that require a little extra attention? After years of supplements and herbal remedies and proper diet my adrenals are functioning normally and have recovered from the abuse I put them through over the years of worrying and stressing and later caffeine intake. I can now safely enjoy one cup of coffee each morning. I still drink at least one cup of electrolyte mix a day after my long walk. I sip lemon water in the mornings. Water is life. Helping my cells absorb the water increases its life-giving power.

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