Dr. Julian Whitaker's

Health & Healing


August 2000

Vol. 10, No. 8


August 2000 Vol.10, No. 8 (HEALTH & HEALING NEWSLETTERS 2000)  

Drink More Water!

Health & Healing subscriber Bob Butts of Moosic, Pennsylvania, is a man with a mission: to let the world know about a remarkable therapy for our most common health problems. Over the past six years he has spent $300,000 of his own money on 12,000 radio, TV and newspaper spots to get the word out. He has pledged another $100,000 to entice customers at his auto parts business to give this therapy a try - anyone who does not improve after trying it for 30 days will get $25 in free auto parts.

Bob's cure-all is not a drug or a high-tech medical device. It's water.

Dehydration: The Root Of Disease?

Several years ago Bob came across the work of Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, M.D., a physician in Falls Church, Virginia, with a revolutionary idea about the origins of illness. In his book Your Body's Many Cries for Water, Dr. Batmanghelidj proposed that dehydration is an underlying cause of most of the diseases afflicting mankind. Furthermore, according to Dr. Batmanghelidj, increased water intake is a powerful therapy for many of these disorders, including headaches, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, ulcers, angina, obesity, and neck and back pain.

This theory made a lot of sense to Bob, and he began sharing it with anyone who would listen. His faith in the concept quickly grew as he witnessed dozens of "water cures" in friends and acquaintances who suffered with ailments ranging from mild (dandruff and heartburn) to serious (cancer and multiple sclerosis).

I can relate to Bob's excitement about Dr. Batmanghelidj's theories. In medical school, I had been taught that water was essentially an inert substance - necessary, of course, but primarily as a carrier for the far more important things that are dissolved in it. But think about it: water makes up 70 percent of our magnificently engineered bodies, and while we can survive for months without food, we can last only -days without water. So when I encountered the hypothesis that water - or a deficiency of it - may be a factor in disease, I thought the doctor might be onto something.

Patients Improved Simply by Drinking Water  

I decided to test Dr. Batmanghelidj's theory at the Whitaker Wellness Institute, initiating a standard recommendation to all our patients to drink a minimum of eight and preferably 10 to 12 glasses of water every day. I also wrote about it in Health & Healing for the first time in 1994. Although I am not convinced as Bob Butts is that water is a cure-all, I have witnessed remarkable recoveries in scores of patients and subscribers.

A subscriber from Canada reported that years of seasonal migraines (occur-ring primarily during the summer when he was more likely to be dehydrated) disappeared after he upped his water intake.

After only four days of drinking eight glasses of water, eight-year-old Jeremy's asthma cleared up to the extent that he was able to discontinue all of his medications. Within one month his lung capacity increased from 60 percent of normal to 120 percent.

Arthritis, ulcers, edema, even blood pressure - I've seen them all improve with water.

No Miracle, Just Common Sense  

At first glance, these may seem to be miracle cures. But an understanding of the mechanisms of these diseases easily explains the "water cure." Adequate hydration ensures normal blood flow, relieving migraines, and keeps at bay the triggers, such as histamine, that prompt an asthma attack. 

Improvements in the aches and pains of arthritis also make sense, given that 85 percent of the cartilage and virtually all of the synovial fluid lubricating the joints are water. Drinking water also restores the protective mucous membranes of the GI tract, soothing ulcers and other stomach problems. Furthermore, water is nature's best diuretic - nothing makes you lose excess fluid like drinking a lot of water. 

Research Is Catching Up

Dr. Batmanghehdj's theory may sound simplistic to some. However, over the past couple of years a number of scientists have been seriously evaluating the merits of water. And as it turns out, Dr. Batmmghehdj may have the last laugh. Here are a few of the recent highlights:

Cancer. A 1999 study published in the New Eng- land Journal of Medicine examined the association between risk of bladder cancer and fluid intake in almost 48,000 men over ten years. The men who drank the most had the lowest risk of developing cancer.

Asthma. Frank J. Cerny, Ph.D., and colleagues from the University of Buffalo, presenting at the June 2000 American College of Sports Medicine meeting, reported that exercise-induced asthma (which is very common in asthmatics) is caused by water loss from the airways - and can be prevented by pre-exercise hydration.

Heart Disease and Stroke. A study of 34,000 Seventh Day Adventists revealed that individuals who drank a minimum of five glasses of water a day had half the risk of heart attack and stroke as those who drank only two glasses daily. The researchers reported that adequate hydration decreased the viscosity, or stickiness, of the blood and improved blood flow.

Kidney Stones. Gary C. Curhan, M.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, has found that eight to ten glasses of fluids a day decreases the likelihood of developing kidney stones. Water dilutes the urine, minimizing the risk of the formation of crystals that can cause kidney stones.

Constipation. An Italian study found that in patients eating a high-fiber diet (25 grams per day) as a therapy for constipation, increasing fluid intake to 1.5 to 2 liters per day (6-8 cups) significantly improved the condition, compared to fiber alone.

How Much Water Are You Drinking?

If you are drinking at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water every day, you're a rare bird. A survey conducted earlier this year by the Rockefeller University in New York found that only 34 percent of Americans drink this much. Most average six glasses, and almost ten percent confessed to drinking no water at all!

Even worse, many of us drink more than our share of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and soda, as well as alcohol. (Americans average 41 gallons of soda each per year!) These beverages have diuretic properties and actually increase water losses. Some experts, including Dr. Batmanghelidj, contend that for every such beverage, you should drink an additional glass of water.

Summertime heat increases your water needs, so this is a good time to get into the lifelong, year-round habit of drinking enough water to keep your body hydrated and healthy.

Recommendations For Water

Drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water every day. I know this is easier said than done. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink - you'll likely never get this much down. Instead, keep filled water bottles at your desk, in your car, by your bed, and near your favorite chair as a reminder.

During hot weather or physical activity water losses can easily double or triple. Be conscientious about drinking more water during the summer and when you exercise.

If you have congestive heart failure or kidney disease, or if you are taking diuretics, talk to your doctor before increasing your water intake. 

Reprinted with permission, Phillips Publishing Inc. To subscribe to Health & Healing by Dr Julian Whitaker, or for more information about the topics Dr. Whitaker covers in his newsletter please call 800-1539-8219. 

Julian Whitaker, M.D., has practiced medicine for over 25 years, after receiving degrees from Dartmouth College and Emory University.

Dr. Whitaker has long been an advocate of living a healthy life. He was instrumental in the- creation of Healthy Directions, the nutritional supplement company that manufactures his exclusive product formulations, and continues as a compensated consultant to HD on the formulation and development of new products based on the latest patient-tested medical and nutritional research. He is the author of eight major health books: Reversing Hypertension, The Memory Solution, Shed 10 Years in 10 Weeks, The Pain Relief Breakthrough, Reversing Heart Disease, Reversing Diabetes, A Guide to Natural Healing, and Is Heart Surgery Necessary?

Dr. Julian Whitaker's Health & Healing  (ISSN 1057-9273) is published monthly by Phillips International, Inc., 7811 Montrose Road, Potomac, MD 20854-3394, telephone 800/539-8219. Please write or call if you have a question concerning your subscription. Periodicals postage paid at Rockville, MD and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Dr. Julian Whitaker's Health & Healing, 7811 Montrose Road, Potomac, MD 20854-3394.

Author: Julian Whitaker, M.D.

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Copyright 2000, Phillips International, Inc., Founding Member, Newsletter Publishers Association. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without written permission of the publisher. Subscription: $69 per year. Dr. Julian Whitaker's Health & Healing is dedicated to providing timely, accurate information by drawing on Dr. Whitaker's expert opinion and experience. Dr. Julian Whitaker's Health & Healing cannot offer medical services; we encourage our readers to seek advice from competent medical professionals for their personal health needs. Dr. Whitaker will respond in the newsletter to questions of general interest.

Vol. 10, No.8