INCREASED WATER INTAKE
So let’s begin the challenges and begin simply. I do not expect this to have a huge effect on my BPD symptoms, but several studies have shown that dehydration does, in fact, have a significant effect on mood, not just in BP patients, but in all people, and especially in women. Since I know I am dehydrated most days and I do suffer headaches, poor concentration, kidney pain and am prone to UTIs, I figure this is a good place to begin. My goal is to drink 50% my body weight in water (in ounces) per day. So, since I weigh 120-125 lbs, I plan to drink 60+ ounces of water each day, insha’Allah (God willing). I have done some research both online and in books about the effects of dehydration on BP and have drawn my parameters from this research. I’ll list resources at the end.
So, who is going to take the water challenge with me?
- I will drink approximately 60+ ounces of water per day.
- Our water, in Wichita, is not fluoridated, so I may be drinking tap water, though, when possible (and preferably) I will try to drink as much spring water as possible.
- I will drink at least 16oz 30-60 minutes before I eat each morning.
- I will avoid caffeinated drinks (though not quit completely, that’s a whole other challenge, lol) as they are known to dehydrate tissues, which is counter-productive.
- I will add 1/4 – 1/2 of the juice of a lemon to my morning water and drink it warm. (This aids in digestion, adds vitamin c, and helps level out the pH… all indicated in several studies to aid in BP symptoms, amongst other things). I may add pure, raw, organic honey… hey, I don’t know how much I’m gonna like the taste of this stuff, lol.
- I will avoid drinking water during meals (which impedes digestion) and will, instead, try to drink it throughout the day.
- I will keep track of my approximate daily water intake and differences in physical and psychological symptoms throughout this challenge.
- I will continue this challenge for a minimum of four (4) weeks and will make adjustments, as necessary, along the way.
- If I notice improvements in my health/symptoms, I will continue this program as I add in additional challenges to find the combination of adjustments to aid in the management of my BP symptoms.
- The challenge begins tomorrow morning. September 18, 2012.
Pretty easy, right? I often go days without drinking water, it’s awful. So this is a big deal for me. And the headaches and depression are always quick to follow. When that happens, I usually drink coffee in order to curb the headache and lift the depression which further exacerbates the dehydration. Vicious cycle. So, here’s to a step in the right direction. CHEERS!
The Natural Medicine Guide to Bipolar Disorder - Page 90 (You can search inside the book, use the search term “dehydration” and view this page for free)
Dehydration Influences Mood, Cognition - A study
Drinking Water with Meals Can Impair Digestion - An article
DAILY PROGRESS REPORTS
DAY 1 - 09/18/12:
INTAKE: 32 oz. [12 oz. warm with lemon/honey]
Drinking 60 ounces of water is easier said than done, lol! Especially for someone who rarely drinks water. I’m using a 20 ounce sports bottle, so I need to drink 3 per day. Today, I didn’t have any lemons, so I had to drink the water plain. I had it just a bit cooler than room temperature and drank a full 20 oz. first thing in the morning, about 30-45 minutes before I ate anything. Later, I added lemon and honey (1/2 lemon) and THAT was no treat. I only ended up drinking about 12 oz. then started having some cranberry juice (after dinner). So a strong effort, but only moderate success.
DAY 2 - 09/19/12:
INTAKE: Coming Soon!