Hydration is critical for maintaining health in the body. Hydration is the process whereby minerals interact with water, thereby maintaining proper levels of tissue and cellular fluids and electrolytes. It is true that water and the minerals it contains can hydrate the cells of your body. But that isn’t the end of the story.
The balance between fluids and electrolytes is critical for maintaining the proper electrical charge of cells, as well as the pH of cells and tissues.
In the body, there is only a small group of systems that organize and regulate all of the billions of biochemical processes. These systems are referred to as Fundamental Homeostatic Controls, or FHC’s for short.
The balance between mineral salts and biological water in the body is controlled largely by the Fluid/Electrolyte Balance. There are other influencing factors on body fluids such as the pituitary, adrenals and kidneys. Abnormal fluid levels in the body are a major cause of numerous diseases including congestive heart failure, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, endocrine dysfunction, hypothyroidism, kidney failure, to name a few.
There are 2 basic Fluid/Electrolyte imbalances that exist: Electrolyte Stress Overload and Electrolyte Insufficiency. Both of these fundamental imbalances are responsible for or a major contributing factor for the health issues listed above.
Electrolyte Stress Overload
An electrolyte stress overload basically means that you have an excess of certain mineral salts and a deficient amount of fluids in the cells. This often results in high blood pressure and/or elevated or abnormal pulses, as well as edema (tissue fluid retention). Accompanying this is often a high blood volume as well. This excess of mineral salts and tissue fluids increases stress on the heart and kidneys, greatly contributing to CVD.
While it is true that salt can cause hypertension and congestive heart failure by raising blood volume, it is not the only cause. Actually for people with the opposite imbalance (electrolyte insufficiency) sodium is very necessary to raise blood volume and to increase cardiovascular function. if the cells of the body are too tight (anaerobic), nutrients cannot penetrate into the cell. Remember how I said that electrolyte stress involves deficient fluids in the cells? This means that people with edema and high blood pressure are very often dehydrated! Abnormal variations of cell membranes can inhibit how electrolytes are used in the cell.
Major causes of electrolyte stress also include aluminum toxicity, drinking chemically treated tap water that contains fluoride, chlorine, and not drinking enough water.
An electrolyte insufficiency indicates that a person tends towards low blood pressure and blood volume. Like with electrolyte stress, there are abnormal pulse and blood pressure variations. There may also be orthostatic blood pressure failure (when the standing blood pressure is lower than supine). This is because an electrolyte insufficiency is caused by either an insufficient amount of certain mineral salts such as sodium, or it can be caused by the kidney’s inability to retain mineral salts. The mineralcorticoid hormone aldosterone is largely responsible for the retention of sodium. Low levels of aldosterone and other mineralcorticoids can cause electrolytes to be excreted instead of retained.
The result of electrolyte insufficiency is low blood volume, weak endocrine and cardiovascular function, chronic fatigue and poor circulation.
Drinking reverse osmosis water, distilled water and chemically treated water can cause abnormal variations in electrolyte balance. RO and distilled water function like diuretics, causing minerals to be excreted.
Restoring normal fluid and electrolyte balance begins with hydrating your body with high quality water, and electrolytes contained therein. Consider a person’s demand for water may increase if they: consume caffeine, alcohol, take diuretic medications, sweat excessively, have chronic diarrhea or vomiting.