Summer is here and so is the hot weather! Many of you will be out playing or working in the heat, so it’s important to remember to stay hydrated. It is estimated that ¾ of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. Being chronically dehydrated taxes a number of your internal organs and makes it much more difficult to function. I like to compare the human body to a car. Many of the systems operate and wear down in somewhat similar ways:
1) Kidneys (much like oil/fuel/air filters in a car): The kidneys primary job is to filter out wastes from the bloodstream. Chronic dehydration can lead to kidney failure (compromised ability to filter the blood). Unlike a car, in which filters are easily replaced, kidneys are not widely available for replacement and often results in undergoing dialysis until one is available (if ever) for transplant.
2) Brain (much like a computer system in a car): The brain literally coordinates all functions of the body, either directly or indirectly. It relies on a large supply of blood/water to function. Not having enough water decreases enzymatic activity and often results in tiredness and fatigue.
3) Lower Digestive Tract (much like an exhaust system in a car, both produce gas!): Your body will try to reclaim as much water as it can, especially if dehydrated. One way it does so is through the large intestine resulting in constipation.
Basically, running your body with not enough water is like running a car low on engine oil.
Now what does this have to do with chiropractic and the health of your back you may ask? After all, this is a chiropractic blog. Between each of your vertebrae is a disc that functions much like a shock absorber in a car. The inner part of each disc is largely made up of water. Drinking enough water and getting a good night’s rest will allow the discs time to rehydrate to allow you to continue living a healthy life. Now, imagine riding in a car without shock absorbers. It would be a very bumpy ride and you’d likely be very sore afterwards. Now imagine doing that for the next 10 years. You and the car would both wear out way faster than you’re designed to. Therefore, it is very important to keep those discs in good health.
However, drinking water and resting may not be enough to maintain healthy discs. If your back is out of alignment those discs will likely wear out over time and no matter how much water you drink they won’t be able to rehydrate. This is where chiropractic comes into play. One of the goals is to maintain good alignment and therefore function and longevity. After all, it’s dangerous driving a car with tires that are out of alignment.
Yours in health,