CAN YOU NOT BE THIRSTY AND BE DEHYDRATED AT THE SAME TIME?
Usually, we know we’re dehydrated because we’re thirsty. We get a signal in our brain that says: “Gee, I’d really love a drink!”
So it’s understandable to think that if we’re not getting that signal, that we’re good in the fluid department. We’ve got plenty, thank you very much. Although in practice, we’re usually not thinking about it at all. We’re living our lives and doing our things, without getting interrupted or prompted by the drive to drink.
But what if this system isn’t working well? I can tell you that for modern people, having problems with thirst signaling (either never being thirsty or being thirsty all the time) is incredibly common.
If our cells are leaky or if our lymph isn’t flowing or if our kidneys are overwhelmed then we may very well get the signal from our body that we have plenty of fluid, thank you very much. But the problem is with the type of fluid (gunky and stagnant fluid vs clean, clear spring water) and where this fluid is - is it in the cells or outside of the cells? Is it in the blood and lymph vessels or outside?
There’s another issue around the communication of thirst itself. When we’re stressed, infected or exposed to environmental toxins, one of the first things the body does as part of its wonderfully orchestrated response to return to healthy function is change how it prioritizes communication.
When we’re healthy, communication in the body general comes from a central location and is propagated outwards. This is a bit like a conductor signalling to an orchestra how & when to play.
But what if the violinist breaks a string? Then they need to temporarily ignore the conductor so they can focus on fixing the string. That makes sense right? They need to focus on themselves and ignore the song that the rest of the orchestra is playing until the string is sorted.
And if enough of the instruments get broken, it might be a good idea for the conductor to stop waving his baton around all together, at least until the musicians can sort themselves out.
That’s exactly what happens in the body. The sensation of thirst comes from the central conductor but if we’re chronically inflamed, stressed, and full of biofilms and environmental toxins, the stressed cells and tissues are focused on local tissue repair and the central signals get turned down. This is meant to be temporary but can be chronic.
So this can lead to us being thirsty without a desire to drink.
Conversely, chronic stress at times leads to someone being thirsty all the time. Sometimes this is because the water isn’t successfully getting inside the cells, it’s like it’s passing right through without hydrating the body.
Or the person is stuck in a different phase of the healing response where instead of thirst being turned down, it’s stuck being turned on in effort to increase our blood volume so that we’re more likely to survive a tiger attack.