As a Spring Chicken, I got a lot of advice on health and well-being. Now that a few more decades have gone by, I get lots of differing input from health professionals. I understand the “specialists” method of treating patients, but when only one person is dealing with your conditions and medications, things were a lot simpler.
Many women my age cannot be more than two minutes away from working indoor plumbing unless they have a change of clothes with them. I try to limit my liquid intake so that I can pretend to be a normal female. But at my last physical, my doctor told me I was dehydrated slightly. I’ve been there before and had to get liquid through an IV. So I began drinking my usual amount and not sleeping through any night.
When I had my next visit to my gynecologist, I mentioned that I needed a restroom every few hours. She asked me if I drank according to the belief that I had to have a certain amount of water every day or simply when I am thirsty. I said I thought I drank when I was thirsty, but maybe to meet a quota. She then told me to ignore the rule about 8 cups of water a day and only drink when I was thirsty.
Uh. My nutritionist has pointed out that many people feel hungry when they are actually thirsty, so take a drink first. Always drink a big glass of water first thing in the morning and before every meal. Who made up these rules and why do they keep changing them?
HealthLine points out that the old 8 cups a day thing was not based on research. But then the page says you probably need more than that. And it depends on all types of details, like your climate, your activity level, your reproductive status, and if you have a fever. Plus you get liquid from the food you eat, especially fruits and vegetables. Too much water, and you can get water intoxication hyponatremia! But that’s very unlikely.
Harvard Health says that older adults don’t sense thirst as much as younger people. Sure, make it even harder to know when to drink and when not to. Add a medication like a diuretic and wham! Dehydration City. The mention a 4 to 6 cup rule, which I never heard of. And if one takes antidepressants, one runs a higher risk of getting too much water.
Live Science includes a video with examples of what makes up a human body. They also mention the 8 cup rule, so they are not in the Bizarro world like Harvard. After throwing out a bunch of info, they conclude that you should look for the answers within. Be still and know that I am thirsty. Or not thirsty. Wait, let me see what color my urine is.
Self brings us back to where I started, I think. The 8 cups of water is a myth. The fluid in your food counts. You might be thirsty when you think you are hungry. Drinking water helps with the body lose weight. And the points that make perfect sense, that where you live, how active you are, if you’re a boy or a girl, and how many trips around the sun you’ve taken.
I have no answers and no less confusion. At this point, I will wear diapers and drink when it seems good to do that. I’ll pinch my skin on the back of my hand and see how long it takes to get back to flat. And I’ll make sure I know where all the bathrooms are wherever I go. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.