3

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Chronic Dehydration and an Obscene Amount of Water?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 14, 2012 at 2:21 AM

Hello there Paleohackers,

So I have an interesting list of symptoms I've been trying to crack. They are spelled out in more detail in another post, but I've made an interesting discovery today, which I was wondering if anybody knew anything about.

Short list symptoms: Zero to neglible libido, Keratosis Pilaris, General red flush to skin, Muscle discomfort/weakness, General fatigue/bleh-ness, Slow muscle recovery

So, all of this can be essentially explained by dehydration, or just general hydration problems throughout the body. I noticed the other night at work that consuming something like 8 cups of water over a few hours made the muscle discomfort disappear. Not very much scientific certainty there, but it was something to go on.

Today I made sure to experiment with drinking a lot more water, with sea salt to protect against electrolyte imbalance, and the red flush disappeared from my skin. That is remarkable, as the red flush is something I've had as long as I could remember, and I could never determine what caused it to vary hour to hour. (I remember it being commented on as a sunburn way back in middle school.)

Now the thing is, I consumed an obscene amount of water. I had to drink maybe around 50-72 oz before the flush disappeared this morning. Throughout the day, I have experienced much less muscle discomfort, though some is still present. All in all today, the red flush was gone consistently throughout the day, but my body still seems to want water, and I lost count around 150 oz, probably around 200 oz at this point. (I'm going to start recording this stuff now since it seems worth some experimentation.)

That is a crap ton of water, and it seems like something I've needed for years. I mean most people don't recommend more than half your bodyweight in lb in oz. (I am 240lb, so that would be 120 oz. Also for reference,20 year old, male and 6'6".) Does it make sense by any measure that I should require this amount of water? The only thing I've read that increases risk for dehydration are sugar issues, but my blood glucose is fine.

My BUN(24) and BUN/Creatinine(23) were elevated on my last blood test. Electrolytes were fine. Everything else was mostly fine. (.1 low on calcium)

Any experience with this? Do I just need this much water?

Update 03/14/2012

Red flush to skin has been consistently gone throughout the day. This is a first, and its pretty awesome.

Also had a great workout today, better than I've had in awhile. Don't know if that was just placebo, or my muscles were actually ready to do some work. (Or a bit of both.)

I've also noticed some general fatigue I was experiencing between waking up and going workout (somewhere between 7:00am and 11:00am) is no longer present. No more random yawns, and I feel rested.

I will update in a week and note if this state maintains. (Also will be watching my Keratosis, and my libido. My hypothesis on that though, is that if it was dehydration affecting my libido, that may take awhile to rise up, on the order of months most likely. That may make it difficult to ascertain what caused it to go up as well.)

Thanks! You all rock!

Mini-Update 03/17/2012 I know...I know, it hasn't been a week yet, but I've been feeling...phenomenal. Still waiting for the week mark for an official report...but this is pretty swell.

Update 03/21/2012 Still feeling better than I ever have.

Symptom update:

Muscle discomfort - Significantly reduced, been tweaking amounts of sea salt in my water to see if I can make that disappear forever. My workouts have also been amazing. I feel stronger!

General fatigue - Holy crap this is better. That is about all I have to say on that.

Muscle recovery - Also seems to have improved by about a day or two in time. Where as legs took about 5-6 days to heal before, they've recovered in 4.

Red flush to skin - Still gone consistently.

I've also seen additional stability to my mood, which used to be a little flip floppy, and my stomach has been doing fabulously.

Sadly, libido and keratosis have shown negligible improvement, its hard to tell if its really improved or not. But as good as I'm feeling, I really don't care, and these are conditions I've had for awhile, so a quick fix wasn't really anticipated.

E1c41fc9d29cec2c3066e000c9562d92

(730)

on March 14, 2012
at 07:58 PM

The extra sea salt I've been adding to the water seems to be making a significant difference in bathroom trips (a lot fewer) in comparison to previous attempts to drink more water.

E1c41fc9d29cec2c3066e000c9562d92

(730)

on March 14, 2012
at 06:18 PM

Looking like a lemonade right now, so I'll take it as good. One thing I realized, which this may have just been something silly on my part but I'll sell myself out for any future people who may have the same confusion, is that the color of the urine in the bowl is more indicative than the "stream" so to speak. Thanks for the tip on the mucus membranes too. I have intermittent digestive issues which I have never been able to pin down, and I'm going to start checking my nose when those occur to see get a gauge on if its just some dehydration causing insufficient mucus and hcl in the gut.

E1c41fc9d29cec2c3066e000c9562d92

(730)

on March 14, 2012
at 06:14 PM

Thank you for the link. I'll be on the lookout for any symptoms that may arise from overhydration. As I'm seeing improvement on the red flushed skin and the elevated BUN level, I'm going to assume for the time being I'm currently on the other end of the spectrum.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 14, 2012
at 09:26 AM

+1 for the simple urine color test (or colour in my language)

E1c41fc9d29cec2c3066e000c9562d92

(730)

on March 14, 2012
at 03:22 AM

Does the type of water you drink seem to matter towards hydration? E.g. tap water vs steam distilled?

E1c41fc9d29cec2c3066e000c9562d92

(730)

on March 14, 2012
at 03:19 AM

Thanks for your response. I am just mainly assuaging my fears of too much water with this post. I do exercise 3-4 times a week, and I am also on creatine, and I don't eat low carb so I have a lot of stored glycogen in theory, and I'm a big guy...so that probably all adds up to a lot of water. Also I read somewhere muscle takes more water than fat, so that is probably a factor too. I've never before been this muscular/lean in my life. Its just a lot more than I'm used to.

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4 Answers

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2
5d0a60c817d29b95988c108988794956

on March 14, 2012
at 03:13 AM

At 240 lbs. you are big, so need big water. A kidney specialist wrote somewhere that the amount of waste the body produces cannot be fully excreted with 1 to 2 liters of urine per day (for an average person, which you are not). So, those wastes/toxins build up. Some can be sweat out, but for example uric acid, cannot. You will store the toxins in fat or in deposits that can be seen as gout, arthritis, etc. I'm 54 yrs old, 175 lbs, and paying the price for being marginally dehydrated for years. I shoot for >3 quarts per day and have been hitting 4 most days to clear out old waste and will back off after a few months. I suggest you do the same and keep your water high for a while then back off to a minimum of 3 quarts per day minimum (due to your size). If you exercise, understand you are increasing toxins and losing water and really ramp up the water to compensate. And talk to a doctor.

E1c41fc9d29cec2c3066e000c9562d92

(730)

on March 14, 2012
at 03:19 AM

Thanks for your response. I am just mainly assuaging my fears of too much water with this post. I do exercise 3-4 times a week, and I am also on creatine, and I don't eat low carb so I have a lot of stored glycogen in theory, and I'm a big guy...so that probably all adds up to a lot of water. Also I read somewhere muscle takes more water than fat, so that is probably a factor too. I've never before been this muscular/lean in my life. Its just a lot more than I'm used to.

E1c41fc9d29cec2c3066e000c9562d92

(730)

on March 14, 2012
at 03:22 AM

Does the type of water you drink seem to matter towards hydration? E.g. tap water vs steam distilled?

4
0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on March 14, 2012
at 03:32 AM

I've been checked out by an endocrinologist for excessive thirst (up to 4gallons/day, and I weigh around 130#). I've cut back to 1g a day through sheer brute force.

You're almost twice the weight I am, so probably you could drink the same amount as I do. There are some basic tests the doctors can administer, but a very quick and dirty test for hydration is the color of your urine. Does it look like apple juice? Too concentrated, drink more water. Does it look like water? Too dilute, dial it back. Does it look like lemonade? Bingo!

Each one of us is an n=1, so experiment with it. Are your other mucous membranes dry (like the inside of your eyes, nasal passages, etc)? Is it water? Or electrolytes? Keep playing around.

But if you have access to an endocrinologist, i'd just see if you can get a quick panel run to confirm that all is well with you.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 14, 2012
at 09:26 AM

+1 for the simple urine color test (or colour in my language)

E1c41fc9d29cec2c3066e000c9562d92

(730)

on March 14, 2012
at 06:18 PM

Looking like a lemonade right now, so I'll take it as good. One thing I realized, which this may have just been something silly on my part but I'll sell myself out for any future people who may have the same confusion, is that the color of the urine in the bowl is more indicative than the "stream" so to speak. Thanks for the tip on the mucus membranes too. I have intermittent digestive issues which I have never been able to pin down, and I'm going to start checking my nose when those occur to see get a gauge on if its just some dehydration causing insufficient mucus and hcl in the gut.

E1c41fc9d29cec2c3066e000c9562d92

(730)

on March 14, 2012
at 06:14 PM

Thank you for the link. I'll be on the lookout for any symptoms that may arise from overhydration. As I'm seeing improvement on the red flushed skin and the elevated BUN level, I'm going to assume for the time being I'm currently on the other end of the spectrum.

2
1586db0f16b2cef51ee4e71ab08ad1a2

(965)

on March 14, 2012
at 05:08 AM

Eat a bit more salt, dial back on drinking between meals, and don't sip on tasty drinks (such as tea). You did take in a lot of water today alongside salt, which should help with retention. See how much water you need to take in tomorrow. Perhaps you'll retain more of it and need less intake.

A symptom of overhydration is thirst. Your cells need proper electrolytes to make use of the water, else it just flushes it out. Even if your electrolytes are looking good, it might be a decent idea to incorporate a bit more salt in your diet and see if that retention curves your thirst.

And please report back with whatever you do and how it works out! Best of luck.

E1c41fc9d29cec2c3066e000c9562d92

(730)

on March 14, 2012
at 07:58 PM

The extra sea salt I've been adding to the water seems to be making a significant difference in bathroom trips (a lot fewer) in comparison to previous attempts to drink more water.

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