According to survival author Selco Begovic, who survived the Balkan war of the 1990's while living in a city which was under siege and doing so without electricity, running water or food distribution, two of the biggest killers in a SHTF scenario are: NOT having safe drinking water and proper sanitation, because the lack of these things can cause serious illness or even death.
With myself now having absolute proof that I am one of those '3 out of every 4' Americans who has long suffered from 'chronic dehydration', what I've researched and learned over the past 2 weeks, using myself as a 'human guinea' pig, is something that I absolutely have to share considering everything else now unfolding across America.
As many ANP readers know, starting back in July of last year, I've had to make several visits to the emergency room due to severe chest pains, an irregular heartbeat, dizziness, lightheadedness, bell's palsy, tinnitus, fatigue, extremely high blood pressure and several other different issues.
While the subsequent X-rays and blood tests revealed very little but found that I had what the ER doctor called 'very thick blood', the medications which were prescribed to me helped very little, with even the doctors not knowing exactly what was wrong with me. So the chest pains, irregular heartbeat, dizziness and other symptoms I was suffering from continued and worsened for the rest of 2020 and into early 2021.
Though just recently I began to notice that almost all of the symptoms I've been suffering from could be directly related to being 'chronically dehydrated'. So while I thought there was no way I could be 'dehydrated', because I always drink plenty of liquids every day, little did I know that I have still been 'under-hydrating' myself....and probably for at least the last 20 to 25 years.
The billions of biochemical reactions your body needs to function normally are vitally dependent on the efficient flow of water. Water comprises up to 75% of the total body weight in infants and falls to 55% in the elderly (Hooper 2014). Water makes up 85% of the total weight of the brain (Kleiner 1999). More than half of the water within our body is found in the cells with the remainder in the blood and lymph vessels.
Water is required for energy production, digestion, transportation, elimination, and temperature regulation. Water not only allows these biochemical reactions to occur, but it also fills the space in and between cells and is an important part of of the collagen fibers that form the structure of your body.
You are dehydrated most of the day
Dehydration is very widespread in society (Begum, 2010). Surveys show that up to 75 percent of Americans don’t drink enough water daily (Ericson, 2013). Eighty-two percent of a sample population and up to 95% of the elderly within a sample in Australia failed to meet adequate intake values for total water intake (Sui 2016).
The average total intake of fluid was 1-1.3 liters per day depending on age groups. Water accounted for about one-half of daily fluid intake with the remainder originating from foodstuffs like fruits and vegetables (Bellisle, 2010). The hypothesis is that people lose their thirst sensation beginning as early as 20 years of age. Also, cellular absorption of water from blood vessels also decreases with aging. These two changes results in progressive dehydration starting from early adulthood.
Signs of dehydration
A dry mouth or skin tenting on the back of your hand are later signs of dehydration. Dehydration of as little as 2% loss of body weight results in impaired physiological and performance responses (Kleiner 1999). If the body loses one liter of water, function becomes impaired and thirst, flushing, dark-colored urine, dry mouth, fatigue, and weakness occur; if down 5 liters, fatigue and dizziness develop, sweating decreases and the core temperature rises; a loss of 15 liters can lead to muscle spasms, confusion and could be fatal (Kamler, 2005, Rothenberg, 2008).
Dehydration impairs your metabolism and cell function
Proper metabolism is dependent on chemical reactions that critically depend on water. The flow of water through the cell membrane and mitochondria creates energy that is stored in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The hydrogen and oxygen molecules from water (H2O) are used by an enzyme called ATP Synthase to convert the ADP to ATP (Jonckheere, 2012). The mitochondria produce less ATP if there is less intracellular water (Robin, 1976). When a cell does not have enough energy to repair itself, the cell breaks down or ruptures. When it ruptures, enzymes are released that cause inflammation and damage to adjacent cells and tissues (Robin, 1976). Water is important for clearing out toxins, otherwise chronic inflammation develops within the cells which eventually spills over into the blood vessels and the rest of the body.
Dehydration promotes inflammation
Histamine formation and release is directly connected to the concentration and viscosity of internal solutions (Goldstein, 1977). Pain results from local chemical changes in the area surrounding the nerve. When water is not present to clear the cellular metabolic waste, it builds up injuring the surrounding tissues. Histamine release can also cause symptoms associated with asthma and allergic reactions (Haas, 2008).
Dehydration causes joint and cartilage damage
Joint cartilage contains up to 80% water (Sophia Fox, 2009). Water acts as a lubricant which allows the two opposing joint surfaces to glide freely over each other. Water acts as an adhesive material in cellular architecture to keep structures firm and intact. Motion causes cartilage cells to peel away and die but cells underneath take their place. With proper hydration, this friction damage is minimal. With dehydration, there is greater abrasive damage which over time results in osteoarthritis.
Exercise creates an intermittent vacuum within the joints allowing fluid and critical nutrients to flow into the joint cavity from the surrounding bone. The Intervertebral joints and discs in the spine are also dependent on the hydraulic properties of water. The majority of the weight of the upper body is supported by the volume of water within the center of each intervertebral disc. The center of the disc, called the nucleus pulposus, forms a natural ball bearing type structure which allows for 360 degrees of motion with little friction. Collagen fibers become stiffer with dehydration (Kemp, 2012) which increases their susceptibility to injury or damage.
With what my own doctor had diagnosed as a 'degenerative disc disease' beginning back when I was in my late 20's, a 'disease' that has bothered me my entire life since then, showing no improvement at all even after trips to the chiropractor over several years, I was absolutely stunned to find out within the very first day of what I considered my 'radical new diet', drinking (8) 16 oz bottles of water a day, has seemingly 'cured' my 20+ year degenerative disc disease almost overnight.
And with even just a small bit of dehydration also causing our cholesterol levels to rise, stressing out our bodies and brains and even causing high blood pressure, by drinking that much water EVERY DAY for the past 2+ weeks, I've been able to get my blood pressure down from a stroke-causing 198/112 to an 'almost-normal' 136/71. Once again, from this story over at Healthcare Extreme.:
Dehydration can elevate your cholesterol level
High cholesterol is a defense mechanism that protects cells from dehydration (Campbell, 1994). The waxy fatty layer prevents water from leaving the cell and concentrated blood prevents the diffusion of water into the cell. If you do not drink water before you eat, food digestion will injure the cells in the blood vessels and gastrointestinal tract. Water is required for food digestion including the production of hydrochloric acid to break down food.
If you have a history of heartburn, it may be caused by too little hydrochloric acid in the stomach which does not completely close the lower esophageal sphincter (Tsoukali, 2103). The liver also needs water to process the components of the food. Following a meal, the cells of the large blood vessels, heart and brain that are first exposed to the highly concentrated viscous blood are the large blood vessels and capillaries of the heart and brain. So cells need to protect themselves from this damage. The body will make less cholesterol if the cells remain fully hydrated (Campbell, 1994).
Dehydration stresses your body and the brain
About 20% of blood circulation is used by the brain. The brain uses glucose for energy. The body maintains normal plasma glucose levels by either stimulating appetite or converting stored starch and proteins into sugar by a liver process called gluconeogenesis. The body needs muscle activity to maintain normal function.
If brain requires more energy (used more, or in times of stress) and the body is not used proportionally to supply the brain with sugar needs, a person will eat larger quantities of food more often and if the muscles are not active become stored as fat. With increased water, this storage does not happen. With stress, the body becomes dehydrated and initially draws water from inside the cells to make up the deficit.
Dehydration can cause high blood pressure
The renin-angiotensin system is activated to retain water and promote the absorption of salt in the presence of dehydration. It also tightens the capillary beds and overall vascular system until all tissues are well-hydrated. Tightening the vessels increases the pressure within the vessels resulting in a condition known as hypertension.
Exercise causes relaxation of these blood vessels which results in greater capillary volume which can lower blood pressure. With any stress, the body uses water to break down protein, glycogen, and fats to create energy. If there is pre existing kidney damage, the kidneys have to work harder to filter the blood which causes greater kidney damage. If this process continues over years, the result can be kidney failure (Hooper 2014).
And while at the age of 58, I'm quite far from what I consider 'peak shape,' and I am still having an occasional chest pain with the tinnitus also still not having gone away, the lightheadedness and dizziness that I was suffering from for well over half a year are pretty much completely gone, along with the dangerously high blood pressure, the debilitating neck pains and most of the other symptoms.
And as Susan Duclos can attest, while for the last 6+ months I felt close to my death bed, the total disappearance of my 25+ year long neck pains tells me I'm on the right track and absolutely need to keep drinking my 128 oz of water every day. But it's not easy. I literally have to force myself to drink water throughout the day.
As we see in the chart above taken from Dr. Panagos story, as an adult man, I should be drinking at least 15 cups of water a day. And he recommends that adult women drink at least 11 cups of water a day. So are you drinking enough water according to those recommendations?
I hope that my own negative health experiences, and what I've found to be the subsequent 'solution' to many of those health problems, may help others reading this who may be suffering from undiagnosed illnesses/sickness as well. The answer could be as close by as making sure you're drinking as much clean, fresh water every day. The large majority of Americans clearly don't.
And while water is absolutely of the utmost importance when it comes to survival and good health, as Selco had pointed out in this story over at the Organic Prepper, living in sanitary conditions are absolutely critical to survival as well, with unsanitary conditions leading to some of the most painful deaths. And as he also points out, "the truth about it is dirty, unpleasant, and something for which you absolutely must plan."
So in our closing here, we're going to be taking a look at preparing for those things Selco has warned are some of the most important if the least glamourous prepping suggestions that are absolutely necessary to plan for to save lives in any real TEOTWAWKI/SHTF scenario that may lay ahead.
And while we hope we never have to use them, portable toilets that will help to ensure those 'sanitary conditions' that we'll need for survival will also always come in handy should we go camping with the family or 'bug out to the woods' should that SHTF scenario arrive. Some that are available now include:
As Healthline reports, with chronic dehydration leading to symptoms such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, and muscle cramping; and the kind of long-term, ongoing dehydration that I unknowingly put myself through linked to decreased kidney function, kidney stones, hypertension, urinary tract infections, intestinal failure, stroke, heart attack and even death, we all owe it to our families and loved ones to be prepared to survive a scenario when drinking water isn't as readily available as most Americans are used to now. Some ideas to ensure that include.:
So with a completely unknown future ahead of us with Joe Biden occupying the White House, Democrats demonizing President Trump supporters and the covid-19 lockdowns still leading to mass numbers of people out of work and businesses shut down, as we hear in the only video below, we should fully make sure we're prepared for things that we cannot control and things that are totally unexpected, with what some consider 'the small things' often overlooked being the most deadly.
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