Excerpts from Dr. F. Batmanghelidj’s book: “Your body’s many cries for water”
Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj was trained at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London. His extensive clinical and scientific research shows how the body naturally generates different thirst signals, but that these can be mistaken for symptoms and signs of illness. Recognising them for what they are, he says, means that we can enjoy better health and avoid costly mistakes.
In his book, he shares with its readers the results of his vast research on water metabolism of the body. He wishes to show how simply the health care systems can become scientifically transformed to a more patient-friendly system, instead of continuing to be an extension of the commercial aims within the health care and pharmaceutical industry.
Batmanghelidj thinks once members of the public become aware of the paradigm shift in medicine and begin to realise there are no commercial aims at encouraging them to treat their bodies’ dehydration with water, a science-based transformation of the health care system will become a welcome reality.
Dr. Batmanghelidj has also started a campaign for public awareness of the signal systems associated with chronic dehydration in the body.
Excerpts from the book:
“When the human body developed from species that were given life in water, the same dependence on the life-giving properties of water was inherited. The role of water in the body of living species – mankind included – has not changed since the first creation of life from salt water and its subsequent adaption to fresh water.”
“Since the water we drink provides for cell function and its volume requirements, the decrease in our daily water intake affects the effeciency of cell activity. (…) As a result, chronic dehydration causes symptoms that equal disease when the variety of emergency signals of dehydration are not understood.”
“The human body has a major problem with its normal water regulation, caused by a gradual loss of thirst sensation. This problem is confronted often enough in clinical practice that it does not need explanation. However, The Lancet editorial of 3 November 1984 and the 20 September 1984 article by Paddy Phillips [should] remove any doubt on the issue.”
“Humans seems to lose their thirst sensation and the critical perception of needing water. Not recognising their need for water, they gradually become increasingly and chronically dehydrated with the progress of age. Further confusion lies in the idea that when we’re thirsty, we can substitute tea, coffee, or alcohol-containing beverages. This is a common error.”
“Not recognising the thirst signals of the body will undoubtedly produce complicated problems in the present way of treatment of these conditions. It is all too easy to assume these signals are complications of a serious disease process and begin to treat signal-producing dehydration with complicated procedures. Although water by itself will alleviate the condition, medications or invasive diagnostic procedures may be forced on the person. It is the responsibility of both patients and their doctors to be aware of the damage that chronic dehydration can cause in the human body.”
“These chronic pains include dyspeptic pain, rheumatoid arthritis pain, anginal pain (heart pain on walking, or even at rest), migraine and hangover headaches, colitis pain and its associated constipation.
The “view shift” dictates that all these pains should be treated with a regular adjustment to daily water intake. No less than two and a half quarts (two and one half litres) in 24 hours should be taken for a few days prior to the routine and regular use of analgesics or other pain-relieving medications.”
“If the problem has persisted for many years, those who wish to test the pain relieving property of water should make sure their kidneys can make sufficient urine so that they do not retain too much water in the body. Urine output should be measured against water intake. With an increase in water intake, the urine output should also increase.”
“It has been shown experimentally that, when we drink one glass of water, it immediately passes into the intestine and is absorbed. However, within one half-hour, almost the same amount of water is secreted into the stomach through its glandular layer in the mucosa. It swells from underneath and gets to the stomach, ready to be used for food breakdown. The acid is poured on the food, enzymes are activated, and the food is broken down into a homogenised fluid state that can pass into the intestine for the next phase of digestion.
The mucus covers the glands’ layer of the mucusa, which is the innermost layer of the structure of the stomach. Mucus consists of 98 percent water and two percent the physical “scaffolding” that traps water.
“It is said that ulcers are the result of infections. My researched opinion is that the variety of curved bacteria, blamed for causing ulcerations, are commensals – that is, bacteria that naturally dwell in the intestines. They may take an unfair advantage from the immune system suppression that is the direct outcome of dehydration. You see, the normal intestinal bacteria cohabit with us and produce much of the vitamins needed by the body. They contribute to our well-being when we are strong. In dehydration, particularly at the site of the valve between the stomach and the duodenum, many histamine producing nerves exist. This particular curved bacterium benefits from the growth hormone effects of histamine, at the same time that these nerves are restrictively monitoring the rate of flow of the strongly acidic content of the stomach into the intestine.”
“Colitis pain, felt in the lower left part of the abdomen, should initially be viewed as another thirst signal for the human body. It is often associated with constipation, itself caused by persistent dehydration.
One of the main functions of the large intestine is the process of taking water out of the excrements so that too much of it is not lost in the waste matter after food digestion. When there is dehydration, the residue is naturally devoid of the normal amount of water necessary for its easier passage. Also, by slowing down the flow and further squeezing the content, even the final drops of water will be drawn away from the solid residue in the large gut. Thus, constipation will become a complication of dehydration in the body. With added food intake, more solid waste will be packed into the intestine and increase the burden for passage of its hardened waste content. This process will cause pain. Colitis pain should initially be considered as a thirst signal of the body. With adequate water intake, the left lower abdominal pain that is associated with constipation will disappear. Eating an apple, a pear, or an orange in the evenings helps reduce constipation the next day.”
“When we drink water, depending on the volume of water that enters the stomach, a hormone/neurotransmitter called “motilin” is secreted. The more water we drink, the more motilin is produced by the intestinal tract and can be measured in blood circulation. The effect of motilin on the intestinal tract, as its name implies, is to produce rhythmic contractions of the intestines – peristalsis – from its upper parts to its lower end. Part of this action would involve the timely opening and closing of the valves that are in the way of flow of the intestinal content.
Thus, when there is enough water in the body for all the digestive processes that depend on the availability of water, the pancreas will produce its watery bicarbonate solution to prepare the upper part of the intestinal tract to receive the ecidic content of the stomach. Under such ideal circumstances, the pyloric valve is also allowed to open for the evacuation of the content of the stomach. Motilin has a major “transmission” role in co-ordinating this action. Motilin is a satiety hormone secreted when water extends the stomach wall.”
How much water?
“Your body needs an absolute minimum of six to eight-ounce glasses of water a day.
[ 8 ounces is equivalent to app. 2,25 deciliter ]
Alcohol, coffee, tea, and caffeine-containing beverages don’t count as water.
The best times to drink water (clinically observed in peptic ulcer disease) are: one glass one half hour before taking food – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – and a similar amount two and one half hours after each meal. This is the very minimum amount of water your body needs. For the sake of not short-changing your body, two more glasses of water should be taken around the heaviest meal or before going to bed.
Thirst should be satisfied at all times. With increase in water intake, the thirst mechanism becomes more efficient. Your body might then ask you to drink more than the above minimum.
Adjusting water intake to mealtimes prevents the blood from becoming concentrated as a result of food intake. When the blood becomes concentrated, it draws water from the cells around it.
Water is the cheapest form of medicine to a dehydrated body. (…) There is more natural magic in a glass of water than any medication you are brain-washed to use for the treatment of the conditions I have explained in this book. And I do not sell water!”
“Salt is an essential ingredient of the body. In their order of importance, oxygen, water, salt and potassium are the primary elements for the survival of the human body. (…)
The precation to keep in mind is loss of salt from the body when water intake is increased and salt intake is not. After a few days of taking six or eight or ten glasses of water a day, you should begin to think of adding some salt to your diet. If you begin to feel muscle cramps at night, remember you are becoming salt-deficient. Cramps in unexercised muscles most often means salt shortage in the body. Also, dizziness and feeling faint might be indicators of salt and water shortage in the body. If such occasions arise, you should also begin to increase your vitamins and minerals intake, including vegetables and fruits for ther water-soluble vitamin and mineral content.
I have developed a rule of thumb for daily salt intake. For every ten glasses of water (about two quarts), one should add to the diet about half a teaspoon of salt per day. An average teaspoon can contain six grammes of salt.”
Copyright © F. Batmanghelidj 1997
Dr. F. Batmanghelidj: “Your body’s many cries for water” 154 pages.
Published by: The Therapist Ltd.