Chronic cellular dehydration happens easily, causes acidity and degenerative diseases. This is the main point made by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj M.D. in his books, including Your Body’s Many Cries for Water. His thousands of fans call him Dr. B.
Dr. B’s extensive research demonstrates that most of our bodily ills are actually caused by unintentional cellular dehydration. That is, we are not taking in enough water. We also need sea salt with trace minerals to maintain hydration.
Our bodies are 25% solids, 75% water. Every interaction in the body depends on water. The brain, being 85% water, is especially sensitive to dehydration (as in headaches and hangovers).
In his books, Dr. B explains how most of our degenerative diseases of old age actually begin with dehydration. With less water, enzyme functions all over the body are weakened. And cellular waste products are not washed out, so we accumulate acidic toxins.
In this subtle drought, our body develops acidity in sore joints, vital organs, pre-cancerous areas. Dehydration and acidity are the root cause of our aches, pains, and some diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, stomach ulcers, asthma, arthritis, depression, and cancer.
When our drought begins, Histamine kicks in. Histamine is the first-line defense to conserve the remaining water, diverting fluid to places that need it most. Histamine makes us sneeze, makes our eyes water, makes our lungs wheeze with asthma, increases blood pressure by releasing vasopressin.
Whether we have such outward symptoms or not, histamine will be managing the drought. Acidity, inflammation, and pain arise because of the drought.
If you think you need an anti-histamine, you really need more water, says Dr. B. Water is the best antihistamine of all, because when we are fully hydrated, histamine stays out of the program. No drought, no drought-manager, no irritations.
(BTW Ronald Reagan’s physician, Ralph Bookman, M.D., advised him to simply drink lots of water daily to reduce his allergy symptoms. . . . a.k.a. histamine symptoms)
Our first signal of dehydration may well be a sneeze, a body pain, headache, heartburn, stomach ache, low back pain, chronic pain, irritation, anxiety, depression, or water retention. (Hunger can also be a sign of thirst. Sometimes we eat when our body really wants more water, not food.)
Thirst or a dry mouth is the very last indicator of dehydration. So we should keep drinking our daily quota of water before thirst ever arises.
As we age, we lose our perception of thirst. The elderly don’t feel thirsty, even when their body craves water. (It may take days to rehydrate them when they come to the hospital for any reason.) We become chronically dehydrated without knowing it. From the age of 20 to 70, the water inside our cells diminishes by 27%. Gradual dryness perpetuates more dryness. But we don’t have to dry up this way.
In normal good health, there are more minerals in the cells than in the blood. Minerals osmotically hold onto water and regulate the volume and structure of the cells from inside, as well as control the acid-alkaline balance.
Our Standard American Diet (SAD) causes a loss of “good salt” and other trace minerals, so our cells are less able to hold onto water. They dry up not only from a loss of minerals, but also from lack of water intake.
Consider that soda pop, coffee, alcohol are not only acidic but dehydrating. In fact each ounce of them sucks double that amount of water out of your body. You need to ingest twice as much water, just to catch up to your baseline, after ingesting those beverages. (16 oz of cola or large coffee? Drink 32 oz water.) Many of us are living in severe water debt, as we enjoy our daily cokes and coffees without replenishing enough water.
When Dr B did his research in the 1970’s, he couldn’t get the AMA to listen to him, because there is no money to be made in plain water, and no money to fund extra research. The money is in drugs and drug companies. But if we are really well hydrated we won’t be having symptoms or drugs.
Since Dr. B published his books, more and more people everywhere are using his recommendations to cure themselves of many ailments. They offer testimonials on the web.
In Dr. B’s words: “I have seen water completely reverse conditions such as: Asthma. Angina. Hypertension. Migraine headaches. Arthritis pain. Back pain. Colitis pain and chronic constipation. Heartburn and hiatal hernia. Depression. Chronic fatigue syndrome. High cholesterol. Morning sickness. Overweight problems. Even heart problems needing bypass surgery. All these disease conditions responded simply and permanently to water. Ordinary water. Any water you feel comfortable to drink. Clean tap water is as good as any.” — Dr. F. Batmanghelidj
His books explain how important it is to use high-mineral sea salt in addition to water. Rather than calculate a salt dose by a person’s weight, it has become popular to simply add the salt to the water we are drinking.
Add 1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt per quart or liter of water.
Celtic sea salt is high in many trace minerals, as is Redmond real salt, Himalayan salt, and others you may find acceptable. (Table salt is not acceptable, does not have the trace minerals we need, and is acidifying to the body.)
For great hydration, drink half your body weight in ounces each day. If I weigh 140 lbs, I am drinking at least 70 oz or more of this salted water, which tastes like softened water. (Drink more if doing hearty exercise, in hot weather, and to rehydrate after diuretics like coffee, sodas, alcohol).
For greater accuracy, you may add in these amounts of daily water:
- Baseline is half of body weight in ounces (140 lb x 50% = 70 oz)
- If you are an active exerciser, add 5% to 25% more water to your total intake. (for instance 140 lb x 10% a bit active = 14 oz)
- If the weather is warm and/or dry, add 1 oz for each degree above your comfort level. (95 degrees may call for 20 oz more water, if you are out in the heat.)
- If you drink any diuretic (coffee, tea, sodas, alcohol), add twice the amount of that beverage. (8 oz coffee/tea = 16 oz water)
In the above examples, my grand total would be 120 oz for my summer day. That is nearly a gallon of water. I’m going to feel great on that. (Don’t be concerned if your total adds up to a couple gallons because of your weight. The watercure helps lose weight, over time.)
By Dr. B’s suggestion, I would drink the first quart soon after I awaken in the morning, and spread the rest of my intake throughout the day. He recommends drinking a large glass 20-30 min before meals and a couple hours after meals, but not much water during meals.
If you are concerned to get enough iodine in your diet, (as sea salts usually don’t have much iodine), you can boost your intake of seafood, seaweed, or supplemental iodine.
Hold on there, you may say, what about getting too much salt? What about the national recommendation to keep sodium intake at 2300 mg per day?
First – consider that a person on watercure will typically take about 1000-1200 mg in their day’s worth of water. If they eat mostly fresh, non-canned, non-processed foods, without salty snacks or salting their foods, their intake of sodium might still be within or close to the national guidelines. (celtic salt is 330 to 410 mg per 1/4 tsp, compared to iodized table salt at about 500mg. Higher sodium foods include milk, cheese, bread, crackers. Processed foods like salami and cheese are highest of all.)
Second – consider that conventional medicine is not yet fully aware of cellular dehydration, and hasn’t examined the importance of high-mineral sea salt. Also consider that the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of any mineral is designated for the average adult, regardless of body size. (So why wouldn’t a larger body need more than the RDA? Dr. B’s ideas take body size into account.)
Third – read my next post, How does Watercure Help? – to see Dr. B’s physiological explanations on how it works for specific ailments. In my estimation, his insights are valuable and reliable.
Always stay with your own discernment and your own guidance about what is best for you.
Caution: for kidney disease, high blood pressure, or swelling:
- If you have severe kidney disease or kidney failure, you need to consult a Naturopathic or Functional Medicine doctor before you try anything with the watercure.
- If you already have high blood pressure, you may expect that when you start the watercure, your blood pressure will climb even higher – for possibly two or three weeks. If this makes you nervous, try drinking plain water for awhile, or adding smaller doses of sea salt to your water. Also drink smaller amounts frequently, to gently steadily bring in the water. If you stay with the watercure, your blood pressure will normalize. (See next post for a more complete explanation). Do not trim back your medication until you show your doctor your new lower blood pressure.
- If you get some swelling of the feet/legs, hands/arms, or you develop diarrhea, then stop the salt for 3 days, and drink plain water. On the 4th day you can begin adding the salt into your water in small amounts, and very gradually increase it to the normal dose. (Drinking plain water flushes and cleanses the system, but also diminishes your minerals. You can replace some minerals with multivitamins.)
Your best indication that you are well-hydrated is that your urine is very pale, barely even yellow.
Dr. Batmanghelidj’s books explain the in-depth physiology of the fluid flows between bloodstream and cells, as well as the functioning of our vital organs, and how our drought affects them:
Your Body’s Many Cries for Water
Water for Health, for Healing, For Life: You’re not sick, you’re thirsty
ABC of Asthma, Allergies & Lupus
Obesity Cancer & Depression
Water Cures: Drugs Kill