Did you know that water is important for your Adrenal Glands as well as your overall health?
Last week I wrote my first post on my Adrenal Fatigue. The past week has been a mixture of sleep disturbances, physical symptoms (body aches, muscle tenderness and pain, leg cramps and more), brain fog, distraction and more. As I learn more about my symptoms and how they relate to adrenal fatigue (and realize how long this has been going on and slowly escualting), I want to reach out and share with you all what I'm learning. I'm realizing how many of us (especially stressed out moms in this day and age) probably have at least a very mild case of adrenal fatigue. My case is more severe only because I never recognized it for what it is and never knew I had the power to make things better! I hope I can help you avoid getting to this extreme!
I made a chart a few weeks ago- during one of my worst week for symptoms to make a 'baseline' so I can keep track of my progress and, hopefully, have a visual to show me that progress is being made. This way, on days like today when I am dragging, feeling so exhausted for no obvious reason (I actually slept well last night) and my body is aching, I can look at these charts and at least be grateful it's not as bad as it was a month ago and remind myself that adrenal fatigue has it's ups and downs even on the road to recovery. I probably should have included dehydration...
Other than extensive book reading and other online sources, I'm consulting a wonderful professional homeopath and a health coach regarding my condition. I'm actually doing quite a number of things to heal my adrenals as well as tackle some long time digestive issues and learn about the genetic mutations I have and how they affect my health thanks to a recent genetic test I took through 23andme, including the MTHFR mutation (I actually have two).
Increasing Water Intake
Probably one of the most important things in my health that I'm addressing is my water intake. I have never been one to automatically drink water every day. In past years I have seriously been lucky to get 8 oz in on most days (with EFFORT) and not much else (other than years and years ago when drinking Pepsi was to me like breathing. But alas, I haven't had a pepsi in over 12 years- though the craving is still there.
I actually started tackling this issue about 2 months ago, before the adrenal fatigue diagnosis. So now I'm realizing even more, I NEED to take care of myself and one of the ways to do that is staying hydrated. I do drink water. It's pretty much the only thing I do drink these days other than an occasional cup of coffee, tea (many varieties), and a smoothie here and there. However, getting more than 8-16 ounces in a day is a chore for me. I can honestly go a whole day without drinking anything and have it not even cross my mind. So making sure I get my current goal of 70 ounces a day is no easy task!
When I started my journey on learning to drink more water, my health coach suggested reading a book about water. A book about water is not exactly my dream book- you know me, I love a good fiction book so a book about water seemed, uh, boring? But it was a good idea. While I already knew that water is important and that I needed to make some water habit changes, just making myself read 2-3 pages a day just helped keep my mind on water and the need. I did learn some things too. The book I read was Water for Health, for Healing , for Life by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. (link in photo on left)
Water is important and I'll probably write more on this topic again, but the important thing for you to take from this today is that truly you NEED to drink about half your body weight in ounces of water EVERY DAY (i.e. If you weigh 100 pounds, you should drink 50 ounces of water each day). And yes, it really does need to be WATER. Coffee, tea, Pepsi or juice doesn't cut it! Coffee and tea and soda actually act as diuretics. This means they stimulate the kidneys to produce more urine which then depletes the body's fluid reserves.
So what do you do if you just don't like water? Well, that's my dilemma too. I've learned a few tricks. First of all, I learned temperature is important. I like my water warm. I have no idea why- I just do. If my water is cold, I'm going to take very small sips and a glass of water will take me all day to drink. Warm water is soothing to me and I'll drink it right down much more readily than cold.
Second, I like a straw. I just drink more at a time when I'm drinking through a straw.
Third, I like something in the water. Lemon, lime, cucumber, a couple of berries, apple cider vinegar (just a couple drops), and salt. Yes, salt. This is actually really good for your adrenals! I'll be making this the next post on adrenal fatigue!
Another trick I've learned to help me keep track of how much water I'm drinking and a visual reminder that I have more to drink is placing rubber bands around my water tumbler. In the morning I start out with my salt water and I put 5 rubber bands around my glass. My goal is to drink 5 16 ounce glasses a day. So after the first glass is empty, I refill and take one rubber band off and place it around my kitchen sink handle. Hopefully by the end of the day I can find all 5 rubber bands around the handle and zero on my glass. This week hasn't been so good so I really need to get back on track!
What do YOU do to make sure you have enough water each day?