From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook June 1998:

H2O Power
Are You Drinking Enough Water?

from Metro Maryland; via Oklahoma City (OK) Ostomy News

Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Studies have shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits.

This happens because the kidneys can't function properly without adequate water. When the kidneys don't work to capacity, some of their work load is dumped on the liver. One of the liver's primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. If the liver has to do some of the kidneys' work, it can't do its own job efficiently. As a result it metabolizes less fat, more fat remains in the body, and weight loss stops.

Drinking enough water is the best treatment for fluid retention. When the body does not get adequate water, it perceives this as a threat to survival and begins to hold on to every drop. Water is stored in extracellular spaces (outside the cells). This shows up as swollen feet, hands, and legs.

Diuretics offer a temporary solution at best. They force out stored water along with essential nutrients. Again, the body perceives this as a threat and will rapidly replace lost water. Thus, the condition quickly returns. The best way to overcome the problem of water retention is to give the body what it needs--plenty of water. Only then will the excess stored water be released.

If you have a constant problem with water retention, excess salt may be the problem. The more salt you eat, the more water your system retains to dilute it. But, getting rid of unneeded salt is easy--just drink more water. As it is forced through the kidneys, the water washes away excess sodium.

An overweight person needs more water than a thin one. Larger people have greater metabolic loads.

Water helps maintain proper muscle tone by giving the muscles their natural ability to contract, and by preventing dehydration. It also prevents the sagging skin that usually follows weight loss. Shrinking cells are buoyed by water, which plumps the skin and leaves it clear, healthy and resilient.

Drink about 2 liters (quarts) of water every day--and an additional glass (200 mL) for every 10 kg (22 lb) of excess weight. Also increase water intake if you exercise or in hot weather.

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Content last revised 1998-06-12