I started to notice this phenomenon when I’d review labs with clients and there they would be in front of me with their huge water bottle.
That water bottle came to every visit with them, like a trusty friend.
They’d tell me they were always thirsty and drank water all day long.
But their labs and their symptoms told a different story.
A lot of perimenopause, menopause and andropause symptoms mimic dehydration!
Signs of dehydrated cells can look like regular dehydration tend to be low grade and nagging like…
- brain fog
- total body muscle aches
- skin soreness
- twitching of the muscles
- weird nerve shooting pains or sensations
- numbness or tingling
- slow metabolism
- swelling of the hands, ankles, legs
Many of these symptoms can lead a doc like me down a pathway to rule out hormone imbalances, autoimmune conditions, MS, lyme, mold, chronic bacterial, parasite or viral illnesses.
And sometimes I’ll find them.
But what I’ve realized…
Yes, there’s a theme to this week…
…I didn’t look at the basics!
All of those conditions I mentioned have something in common.
They start with and continue to have a cell dehydration component that is being overlooked.
How do cells become dehydrated?
The body has a narrow range in which it maintains fluids inside and outside the cells.
It does this by moving electrically charged mineral salts aka electrolytes back and forth from inside to outside of the cells.
Balance = zero water movement back and forth between the cells and the space outside the cells.
The body prefers to hold more potassium inside the cells and more sodium outside the cells to achieve balance.
When we are stressed, get sick or have chronic infections, workout, are exposed to different temperature or pressure changes the balance is disrupted.
The longer one is dealing with low grade infections or stress the harder the body has to work to keep this balance.
Your heart, diaphragm (breathing muscle), brain, muscles and nerves are the main areas that are affected by cell dehydration.
When your blood pressure goes up…
- you take shorter and faster breaths
- your muscles do not contract like they should
- the nerves do not fire properly.
Dehydrated cells cause the brain to misfire and brain fog, memory issues ensue.
Shorter and faster breaths lead to pH of the blood becoming acidic.
Acidic blood leads to aches and pains in the muscles and poor recovery from workouts.
It also causes a general just crummy feeling.
When you think of electrolytes you likely think of sodium, potassium and chloride.
Calcium, phosphate and bicarbonate are also electrolytes.
90% of the calcium and phosphate that enter the body go to the teeth and bones.
Bicarbonate is used to balance the pH of the blood in an attempt to keep it at around 7.35-7.45.
As I noted before, pH imbalances can cause symptoms like… pain, nerves to mis-fire and the brain to be foggy.
Not too long ago, testing urine pH was all the rage.
Do you remember this?
I had some patients driving themselves crazy trying to get optimal pH levels each day.
The truth is, your body is constantly in flux and trying to maintain balance.
Your time is better spent taking notes on changes in how you feel versus the pH output.
And ensuring your kidneys are functioning optimally.
On Monday I’ll be going into kidney function.
Till then what can you do to ensure your cells are hydrated?
Ditch traditional salts that are often salt molecules bound to a sugar molecule, dextrose!
Read the label on Morton’s salt!
Switch to closer to nature salts like, Celtic Sea Salt or Redmond’s Real Salt.
Just switching your salt and eating closest to nature can improve cell hydration.
Working on slowing down your breathing in and out of your nose will help too.
Consider therapeutic hydration with Cell Salts or Quinton’s Seawater Ampoules.
I’ll go more into these specific therapeutic hydration types on Wednesday.
Ditch the fake sugar laden electrolyte drinks and powders for daily use and save for sporting events or hot days doing yard work.
Or make your own cell hydration drink…
1/8-1/4 tsp Redmond’s Salt
1/2 lime or 1/4 lemon
1/2-1 tsp 100% Maple syrup or raw honey (Manuka for bonus points)
10-12 oz of filtered water
Bonus points to add in liquid trace minerals from a company like Upgraded Formulas or Contrace.
How often do you need to do this?
Depends on how you feel.
Review the symptoms I listed above.
I recommend cell hydration after any sweating activity or stressful event.
And while going through certain therapeutic protocols to pull toxins like mold out of the body or while doing a detox.
If you’re feeling any of the symptoms above and just feeling crummy, cell hydration techniques may be able to help.
One of my favorite professors at Bastyr, Dr. Eric Jones always used to say to never underestimate the power of electrolytes and minerals to restore balance in the body.
It’s time to go back to basics here.
Next week I’ll be talking about kidney health, therapeutic cell salts and hydration therapy as well as minerals.
All things that tend to be overlooked as causes of imbalance as you age.
Have a great weekend!
Here’s to your health,