Tuesday, September 23, 2008

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Water Can Cure

Did You Know?
Water can prevent and alleviate many of our symptoms

WATER AND STOMACH PROBLEMS

People in third world countries sadly often only have access to water that is highly contaminated, and as a result, people die every day from the effects of diseases that target their digestive tracts. E.coli, salmonella, and other intestinal parasites, bacteria and viruses can overtake our stomach and other connected organs necessary for digestion.

While our water in our civilized country is regulated, we still have to protect ourselves. Contaminated water supplies are responsible for stomach problems, from small upsets to severe disorders. But, making sure water is filtered within the home as an added safety measure can prevent that. A few contaminants to watch out for are lead, mercury, copper, arsenic, atrazine and cadmium. These can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and other stomach problems. Most times if water contaminates are found in a local water supply, it is public knowledge, and there will be a boiling alert put out by the local water companies until the problem is under control. Of course, this does not happen all too often and for the most part our water is safe. Still, extra measure can be taken: a small price to pay in exchange a feeling of discomfort.

But, while contaminated water may be the cause of stomach problems, safe drinking water can be a cure for others!

There are many ailments that can arise within and around the stomach, nausea, diarrhea, gas, constipation and heartburn being a few. Drinking water can be of help in several of those cases, and even aid in their prevention. Diarrhea, watery stool, can cause severe dehydration, so it is important to maintain body fluid if suffering from that. On the flipside, constipation can also use water to help break down the otherwise dry stool. (This subject can be read about in more depth on another section of this site.) Since vomiting and diarrhea go hand in hand with the nausea feeling, this ailment also contributes greatly to dehydration. Replacing fluids while nauseated is very important. Heartburn has also been said to be caused by lack of water, as water could have aided in neutralizing the acid (pH level) that caused the burning sensation.

Water is also a necessary element to just plain make sure our digestive tract works properly, which is sure to prevent stomach problems from occurring in the first place. Drinking water at mealtime aids in the digestive process, as it helps move the food through the system. More importantly, the solid food we eat cannot be properly digested if it is not broken down. This is where water comes into play, once again. Water than acts as the transportation system to bring the nutrients found in foods to where they are needed within the body during digestion. And, it also helps moved the waste product through the rest of the digestive tract, and ultimately out of our bodies. Remember that lots of acids are found within the stomach that mix with the water to break down our foods, so plenty of water will help keep things balanced

WATER AND CONSTIPATION

Constipation is a gastro-intestinal symptom that occurs when bowel movements are made less often, and stool is harder, making it difficult to pass. Most people at some point in their lives will experience constipation. In most cases, constipation is only temporary and not serious. Understanding its causes, prevention, and treatment will help most people find relief.

There are two types of constipation, one being more severe than the other. Slow transit constipation is the most common form. Lack of fiber and inadequate water in the diet are common causes of slow transit constipation. One of the major symptoms of this type is dehydration. The other method, outlet delay, has to do more with loss of function in the pelvic area, and occur morex in senior citizens.

How do we get constipated? Well, food flows through the small intestine as a liquid mixture of digestive juices and the food you eat. By the time it reaches the large intestine, all the nutrients have been absorbed. The large intestine has one main function: to absorb water from the waste liquid, and turn it into a waste solid, known as the stool. The hard and dry stools of constipation occur when the colon absorbs too much water, or if the colon's muscle contractions are too slow or sluggish, which results in the stool moving through the colon at too slow a pace. These hard, dry stools are difficult to pass, as they cause strain. The reason they are difficult to pass is that the hard, dry stool actually sticks to the dry wall of the colon and requires that the colon develop high-pressure waves to be moved. Since the body needs help to remove the stool, strain is then placed on the abdominal muscles to contribute the necessary force to push out the stool. This straining can have negative effects to the body, such as the development of hernias, varicose veins, hiatus hernia (upward pressure forcing the stomach into the chest), diverticulitis and diverticulosis (weakening and infection of the colon wall), hemorrhoids, anal fissures and fistulae. Colorectal cancers may also be more common in patients with lifelong habit constipation. Doesn't sound pretty does it?

There are ways to prevent this. Liquids, like water and juice, add fluid to the colon and bulk to stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass. Because the colon needs water to do its job, dehydration can be a major cause of constipation.

Since many constipation sufferers are dehydrated, a major way of preventing this uncomfortable disorder is to drink an extra two to four glasses of water per day. That is on top of the recommended 8-10. Along with that, alcoholic and caffienated beverages should be avoided. However, water may not be able to do it totally alone. Fluids will not promote normal bowel function on their own, as the small intestine can also absorb of this fluid. It is best to combine a high fluid intake with a high dietary fiber, otherwise, people will just urinate more.

Constipation could also be caused by other disorders, which also stem from dehydration, such as uremia, a kidney disorder. Chronic constipation can also lead to more severe gastro-intestinal disorders if left untreated, such as colorectal cancer, as noted above.

Stay hydrated, and the food you eat will move through your systems much more smooth, resulting in comfortable bathroom breaks.Â

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND CHOLESTEROL

The number one killer in America is heart disease. And, two huge health risks that can lead to serious heart conditions are high blood pressure and high cholesterol. But, these can be prevented.

Let's start with high cholesterol. The American Heart Association says that one in five American's have too high a cholesterol level. But first, just what is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance called a lipid that is found inside cells and blood. It is produced naturally in the liver, but some of the "bad" cholesterol comes from the food we eat, mainly in animal fats. While too much cholesterol can be harmful, a certain amount is necessary for bodily functions, such as making cell walls and acting as a building block to produce various hormones, bile acids, and Vitamin D.

Having too much cholesterol can block blood flow, resulting in a thickening and hardening of artery walls, a disorder called arteriosclerosis. Since this also narrows the arteries, blood flow can be slowed down, or even blocked. With less blood, the heart therefore gets less oxygen. That can result in chest pain, heart attack, or something as drastic as death. Lowering your blood cholesterol level is one of the best ways you can decrease your risk of heart disease. And, even if your cholesterol is close to the desirable range, 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood, you can lower it and reduce your risk of heart disease.

With all this thickening going on, water can play a very important role. Drinking water can actually thin the blood, making in a natural way to help the blood pump more smoothly. Drinking plenty of water will keep your blood ways clean! Since exercise, along with a healthy diet, is an important contribution to the lowering of cholesterol, once again, water needs to be drank in order to replenish what was lost. In fact, consumption of water so you are fully hydrated can increase your metabolic rate!

Let's move on to high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against artery walls as it makes it way through the body. Just like air in a tire, blood fills arteries to a certain capacity, and anything over that capacity can have damaging effects. (Ever have too much pressure in your tires?) Just like high cholesterol, high blood pressure can threaten healthy arteries and lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke. And what's scary is that there are not any real symptoms until, which is why high blood pressure is known as the silent killer.

Hypertension can be combated in many ways, such as quitting smoking, drinking alcohol or overweight. Water can also help lower this pressure, as blood is mainly comprised of water. If water levels drop, that can affect your blood pressure. So, drinking the healthy amount of water each say can maintain a healthy heart. Also, the kidneys clean the blood. If blood flow is limited to the kidneys because of lack of water or high blood pressure, it will think the body is low on water, and react by telling the brain to constrict veins and arteries, which will make pressure even higher.

Heart disease is a serious issue in America today, with two of the top causes being high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Drinking enough water can combat both of these.

Water and Headaches

When one starts to get the tightening sensation in the head, it's so, so easy to reach for a bottle of pain medication. But, many over the counter drugs have side effects that could even be worse than the headache itself! One of the major causes for headaches is dehydration.

To treat your headache naturally with water, it is a good idea to first find out what type of headache you have. First, there are chronic tension headaches that can result from stress overload, fatigue and even from physical problems, psychological and emotional issues and depression. Then, there are cluster headaches, which are categorized by coming in groups of one to four a day in a set cluster periods that could be days or months. Hormonal headaches are similar to migraines in that they affect only one side of the head, and they are also frequently accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and/or noise. Finally, there are sinus headaches, which can be experienced after a cold or other medical condition.

Water can aid as a treatment to all of these headaches. In tension headaches, it was noted above that a cause can be fatigue. Fatigue is a side effect of dehydration. So, if dehydration is the cause of the fatigue and fatigue is the cause of the headache- start by treating the fatigue and get hydrated. Tension headaches could also be a symptom of other problems, so if they persist it is a good idea to seek help from a medical professional.

Cluster headaches are also known to be cured by drinking water. A woman by the name of Margi contributed a piece of advice at clusterheadaches.com, reporting that her husband's headaches have not come back since he started drinking a glass of water at least every hour. Additionally, the hot water from a nice, warm shower or bath can help relax those tightened muscles.

As far as preventing headaches, staying hydrated can help. In fact, a very common form of headache can come in the form of caffeine withdraw. Of course, having a coffee or soda can give the body what it wants and help ease the headache pain, but it could also begin a vicious cycle. Since caffeine dehydrates, the headache prone may be better off avoiding it and instead drink more water, juices and decaf teas, coffees and sodas.

In essence, when dealing with headaches the pain can be relieved from water on the inside and out.

Water and Menopause

For women, menopause is a fact of life. "The change" usually comes upon entering the fourth or fifth decade of life, but really varies from woman to woman. In layman's terms, this is the time when women make the transition from the child-bearing years to a time when the ovaries stop functioning. So, periods end. Some women would shout "Hooray!" at hearing that. Despite that being a good thing- as many women suffer from PMS (see related article), there are also negative side effects that come from menopause.

One of the most common symptoms of menopause is hot flashes-- over 75% of menopausal women get them. They can hit anytime, and even at in mid-sleep, often accompanied by night sweats. They can be minor of they can be harsh and affect daily activity. These hot flashes can last from seconds to several minutes and even an hour. They begin in the chest; then the warmness then goes to the head. They can cause headaches, dizziness and even nausea. Chills and vomiting can also occur. Water can come to the rescue of this uncomfortable condition. Drinking at least eight glasses of water per day can reduce the onset of hot flashes. At the onset of a flash, drinking cool water can help. Since most hot flashes occur at night, it is a good idea to keep a jug of water by the bed. Also, splashing the face with cool water will also alleviate the discomfort.

There are also many types of foods and drinks to avoid- and healthy options as replacement. Carbonated beverages are a big no-no, as they can aid in bloating. Drinking water then not only can help hot flashes, but also with other symptoms. Anything hot is also said to be avoided.

Dry skin is something else that is cause by menopause. Being hydrated from the inside out can aid in moisturizing the skin, often dry because of medications. Of course, moisturizers will also help skin be soft and help get that glow back. A tip is to keep apply moisturizer while the skin is still damp. And, oil in your diet, believe it or not, can help keep skin moist too.

Those at menopause age are more prone to osteoporosis (see related article). Also, women who are malnourished are more likely to hit menopause earlier.

Drinking Water is the Best Cure for Fever

Fever is not a disease in itself, but a symptom of many ailments. And, there are many side effects of a fever, like dehydration, that can cause even more damage.

When one has a fever, despite the discomfort, it is a good thing- it means the body is fighting off an illness or infection. The normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees, although children often have higher temps than adults. Most people can tolerate a fever of 103-degrees for a short period of time. Most fevers will last three to four days. However, if there are other symptoms along with the fever, it could mean something else. When one has a fever, they may feel tired, have lower energy and may not eat as much. Symptoms include sweating, chills, muscle aches and shivering.

Contrary to what you may think, it is not recommended that you try to cool off when experiencing a fever. This is because the body's raised temperature is trying to fight off bacteria that thrive in a cool environment. Think about all the times you weren't sure if a meat you were preparing was removed of all bacteria when you said to yourself, "I'll die when I cook it." Similar concept. However, if you truly want to cool down and get a little more comfortable, the best think to do while inflicted with a fever is to take a lukewarm shower. It is okay to raise the temperature a little until you are comfortable. It is not recommended to use ice to cool the body! Also, wearing light and airy clothes will help you remain comfortable.

The most important thing though is to keep body fluids flowing. Like in heat exhaustion and heat stroke and other similar ailments, when the body temperature goes up, the more fluid it uses. So, although inactive and lying in bed, one can still become dehydrated with a fever. To prevent dehydration during a fever, body fluids need to be replenished. The average adult should drink about 10 glasses of water per day, more than the usual average. Children should strive for 6-10 per day. If your fever is the cause of another illness, such as the cold or the flu, water is equally important in flushing out the body of the "bug" that is causing the illness.

Many doctors will argue that treating fevers gets in the way of the body's natural course of protecting itself. In fact, for those with fevers at or under 102-degrees, it is not recommended to take any medication. For fevers above this, acetaminophen and ibuprofen for adults and children are okay, and aspirin for adults only.

www.freedrinkingwater.com

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