Apr 16 2012

Spotting the Signs of Dehydration

Spotting the Signs of Dehydration

About 6 weeks ago I had a welcome sudden rush of work. About to start a new job, I had no option but to finish a project within a tight deadline that I’d set myself. For three days, together with quite a bit of commuting, I worked flat out without breaks. At the end of day two my concentration level was dropping and just as I was about to set off for home, I had vision disturbances. Beginning with my peripheral vision, everything started to shimmer. It was like seeing the shimmering horizon of a hot desert, only it was all around me.

In the past this shimmering vision often occurred and usually increased in intensity until it effected my complete field of view. I put it down to staring too much at my computer monitor after working long hours at it.

Since observing the effect of lifestyle changes on my own body and through much research into many health issues, I now have a different conclusion. Ocular migraines, as they are called, have many suspected causes, but I’ve found that as long as I’m adequately hydrated, then I don’t get them.

My previous ocular migraines normally lasted half an hour or more, however I’m now armed with the knowledge to quickly alleviate them (for me that is). At the end of that 2nd day of my important project, I immediately recognised the symptoms and decided to drink over a litre of water. Very quickly all signs of the migraine were gone and within 5 minutes I was able to commence the long drive home.

In the past, I’ve had other issues too that have been alleviated by purely drinking more water, such as; depression, back ache, lack of motivation, fatigue and lack of energy.

Recent events in my family have really emphasised to me the importance of being adequately hydrated. Several times in the passed couple of years my mother-in-law ended up in hospital with no clear diagnosis, a TIA (like a mini stroke) has recently been suspected. I suggested that dehydration might be a cause. I couldn’t be there myself, but over the phone I suggested that she drink regular glasses of water. A couple of days later she was bright and cheerful as if nothing had happened.

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2125Recently I was with my mother-in-law myself when she pretty much collapsed, I gave her a glass of water and paramedics were called. After several hours in hospital nothing was diagnosed and she could go home. Back at her home, I insisted that she drink a glass of water before going off to bed. The next day she was bright and cheerful as if nothing had happened. However, later on that day she began exhibiting the same signs as before, prior to when she collapsed. We immediately gave her a glass of water and within minutes she pulled out of a tired and dazed state and became bright and cheerful again!

Elderly people often lose their desire to drink water at a time when they need it the most. Consuming lots of pills, eating a high fat diet and processed food all encourage dehydration and increase the need for more water.

I’ve been trying to challenge a friend about changing his lifestyle after a brain tumour operation last year. Two weeks ago he finally said that the ONLY suggestion that he could cope with was to attempt to drink more water! Today, he explained that he struggled due to having to use the loo more often than usual, but he said that he had more energy and he would continue. He’s worked up to drinking about a litre of water a day plus his usual tea and coffee (I suggested 2 litres of water a day).

A friend at work explained to me how he once worked the whole day without a drink of water. At the end of the day his brain wouldn’t function correctly and he became incoherent to his colleagues. A concerned friend suggested that he drink some water. Not long after he did so, the problem went away.

As a general rule, to spot the early signs of dehydration in yourself, or someone you are concerned about, then if you or they are not urinating clear wee at least every two hours then dehydration is highly likely. A typical person should drink a litre of water for every five stone of body weight each day (or take your body weight in pounds and drink half that number in ounces each day). This should be water and not tea, coffee, milk, alcoholic drink or other beverage.

Most people are more concerned about eating three meals a day, or eating meat, or drinking their cup of tea rather than drinking enough water. Water however, is second only to oxygen in our need for survival. Without enough water your body will begin to shut down. The very least dehydration will do is reduce your effectiveness, your ability to concentrate and your energy levels.

I’d really like to hear of any other stories about the benefits of drinking enough water. If you’d like to encourage others with it, please leave a message below my blog post.

Kind regards, Stuart

ps. I recently started a new job which I’m really enjoying. I’m currently working on an urgent project so I’ve been snowed under with work. I haven’t forgotten about my weight loss ebook, I’ll let you know when it’s ready!


Image credits:

photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

nixxphotography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



  1. Jack

    This is true, most people are dehydrated. I read an e-book recently, the name I forget now but it was something like, you’re not sick you’re just dehydrated! I started to drink more water as part of a healing course, as cells can’t heal properly without enough, and I feel like a different person now, definitely happier! Yet most people baulk at drinking it, but it’s so very important. I bought a filter for my tap and love the taste!

  2. Paulo Roberto

    My poop is hard. I drink more water i Better now.
    Sry for my poor english

  3. Debbie

    Hi Stuart,
    Do you have any suggestions for someone who refuses to drink any water? My husband only drinks coffee and fizzy drinks. He never seems dehydrated though lol which is quite strange! How can I get him to drink more?
    On the other hand I drink quite a lot of warm water a day. I’m not keen on cold water as I find it more difficult to swallow and doesn’t seem to quench my thirst the same way as warm does.

    1. Stuart

      Hi Debbie,
      If you eat lots of hydrating foods like melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, soups and so on, then our need to consume lots of water reduces. You and your husband could drink green smoothies, juices and the foods I suggest. Try and not snack of them though for the sake of your teeth. Kind regards, Stuart :-)

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