This book is not intended as a substitute for medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in all matters relating to his or her health, and particularly in respect of any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.
Some of the material in this book originally appeared in Your Body's Many Cries for Water, which was first published in 1992 and updated in 1995.
Copyright © 2003 Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, M.D.
All rights reserved.
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CHAPTER 1: WHERE DID MODERN MEDICINE GO WRONG?
CHAPTER 2: WATER—THE BIZARRE AND THE SIMPLE
CHAPTER 3: BASICS OF NEW MEDICINE FOR THE NEXT FEW THOUSAND
CHAPTER 4: WATER REGULATION OF A FETUS AND AN INFANT
CHAPTER 5: WHAT IS CHRONIC DEHYDRATION?
CHAPTER 6: NEWLY RECOGNIZED THIRST PERCEPTIONS
CHAPTER 7: THE PRIMARY DROUGHT-AND RESOURCE-MANAGEMENT PRO-
CHAPTER 8: THE CRISIS CALLS OF THE BODY FOR WATER
CHAPTER 9: DEHYDRATION AND DISEASE
CHAPTER 10: DEHYDRATION AND BRAIN DAMAGE
CHAPTER 11: HORMONES AND DEHYDRATION
CHAPTER 12: THE WATER CURE: HOW MUCH WATER AND HOW OFTEN?
CHAPTER 13: MINERALS ARE VITAL
CHAPTER 14: OTHER ESSENTIALS FOR HEALTH AND HEALING
CONCLUSION: FOUR SIMPLE STEPS TO VIBRANT HEALTH
TURN ON THE TAP … AND REAP THE BENEFITS OF ONE OF THE GREATEST HEALTH DISCOVERIES OF ALL TIME!
Learn the crucial role water plays in these and many other conditions and ailments:
HEART DISEASE AND STROKE—water is essential to help prevent clogging of arteries in the heart and brain
INFECTION—water may increase the efficiency of the immune system to combat infections and cancer cells
DEPRESSION—water helps the body naturally replenish its supply of the neuro-transmitter serotonin
SLEEP DISORDERS—water is needed for the production of nature's sleep regulator, melatonin
LACK OF ENERGY—water generates electrical and magnetic energy in every body cell, providing a natural power boost
ADDICTION—water can help eliminate addictive urges for caffeine, alcohol, and some drugs
OSTEOPOROSIS—water is an aid to strong bone formation
LEUKEMIA AND LYMPHOMA—water normalizes the blood-manufacturing systems that can aid in the prevention of many forms of cancer
ATTENTION DEFICIT—a well-hydrated brain is continually energized to imprint new information in its memory banks.
WATER:FOR HEALTH, FOR HEALING, FOR LIFE
To Our Creator with Awe, Humility, Dedication, and Love
Also, dedicated to all who suffered because of our past limitations in medical knowledge.
“The worse sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity.”
George Bernard Shaw, 1897
Altruism and selfishness are both characteristics and mechanisms of self-protection. Selfish traits compel us to self-indulge at the expense of others. When a society is made mostly of such people, a vicious circle of chaos will develop. Altruism, on the other hand, is the quality and product of unselfishness, prompting endeavors that benefit society and humankind, the survival and progress of which also serve the altruist.
This book is designed to serve society and all decent people in it who contribute to its integrity, advancement, health, wealth, and prosperity.
To medical maverick Professor Emeritus Howard Spiro, M.D., of Yale University. He was the first medical scientist to realize the merit of my clinical research and introduce it to Western medicine; he published my editorial article, “A New and Natural Method of Treatment of Peptic Ulcer Disease,” in his Journal of Clinical
Gastroenterology in June 1983. His interest and encouragement gave me incentive to pursue my research to this date, the product of which is the information you have in your hands.
The information and recommendations on water intake presented in this book are based on training, personal experience, very extensive research, and other publications of the author on the topic of water metabolism of the body. The author of this book does not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use or the discontinuance of any medications as a form of treatment without the advice of an attend-
ing physician, either directly or indirectly. The intent of the author, based on the most recent knowledge of micro anatomy and molecular physiology, is only to offer information on the importance of water to well-being, and to help inform the public
of the damaging effects of chronic dehydration to the body—from childhood to old age. This book is not intended as a replacement for sound medical advice from a physician. On the contrary, sharing of the information contained in this book with the attending physician is highly desirable. Application of the information and
recommendations described herein are undertaken at the individual's own risk. The adoption of the information should be in strict compliance with the instructions given herein. No reader, and especially those with past history of major diseases and under professional supervision, or those with severe renal disease, should make use of the information contained herein without the supervision of their attending physician.
Anticancer Res. 1987 Sep-Oct;7(5B):971-89.
Pain: a need for paradigm change.
Foundation for the Simple in Medicine, Lancaster, PA 17603.
From November 1979 to May 1982, I had the "honor" of serving time at Evin political prison, Teheran Iran. Evin is the historical prison which has set the pace of revolution in the country. At Evin it was discovered that increased regular intake of water improved the clinical picture of peptic ulcer disease. One of the main components of this picture was pain of varying severity, sometimes very severe indeed. Theoretical research to find the physiological reasons for the observed effect of water, in a condition currently classified as disease, has revealed a neurotransmitter, an osmoregulator, a water intake promoter status and a role for histamine. The action of histamine seems to be coupled to the efficient function of the cation pumps. Histamine and serotonin are involved in the regulation of the body's water balance. Cellular "free water" insufficiency produces a disturbance of tryptophan metabolism; it is this disturbance and induced functional deficiency altering the homeostatic balance that produces pain and eventually tissue transformation and/or damage. This pain is being introduced as a signal system denoting free water deficiency of the cell and, therefore, it should be classified as thirst pain. Histamine and the reninangiotensin system also coordinate the water intake and sodium balance of the body. With the induction of renin-angiotensin system for increase in water intake, threshold rates for water intake and the threshold rates for raising blood pressure seem close.
THE DAWN OF A NEW MEDICAL ERA
Only if you begin to suffer from a health problem that may eventually kill you will you begin to search high and low for an explanation and solution to your predicament. Until then, you cannot appreciate what an emotionally draining impact a doctor's visit and the pronouncement of his or her serious findings has on the life and soul of another person. Let us hope you or anyone you care for never confronts such a situation— which thousands face daily. The reason we have a health-care crisis in America today is because many diseases prematurely devastate and kill millions of people. At the same time, the health-care crisis costs us about $1.2 trillion in 2001, and it is predicted that this cost will increase by 11 percent every year.
It is true that we are scientifically the most advanced nation in the world and spend billions of dollars a year on medical research. If you look at any recently published medical textbooks, however, you will see page upon page of explanation about diseases that kill; yet when the authors of these books reach the point of
having to shed light on the cause of the disease, they confess—“etiology unknown.” This means most doctors do not know the cause of the major diseases of the human body, yet society has given them license to prescribe various treatments that often do not benefit their patients, but can slowly and prematurely kill them. The good news is that this license is about to be withdrawn.
What you are about to read is new knowledge, and represents a new perspective within the science of physiology—not a form of science used by drug manufacturers, but the discipline of science that defines the way living tissues and organs within the body work naturally. This book deals with some important health problems and the cause and natural correction— cure—of these problems. When the cause and cure of any health problem becomes clear, the use of excessive language and tongue-twisting jargon becomes unnecessary. What you will read here is based on extensive clinical and scientific research. I have researched, studied, and written about the information in this book for more than twenty-two years, in addition to my medical training, which began in 1950, when I entered St. Mary's Hospital Medical School of London University.
The topic I am about to discuss is the physiological ramifications and metabolic complications of chronic unintentional dehydration as the primary cause of many serious diseases. Some say it is the greatest breakthrough in modern medicine. his simple presentation about some of our modern health problems is an introduction to the eventual science and logic-based transformation of medicine all over the world. It is prepared with the immediate “shot-in-the-arm” needs of society in mind, particularly for the fifteen million asthmatic children whose parents urgently need to understand the cause of this disease and its simple, cost-free prevention and potentially lifesaving treatment.
WHERE DID MODERN MEDICINE GO WRONG?
The greatest tragedy in medical history in my opinion is the assumption that dry mouth is the only sign of the body's water needs. Based on this mistaken assumption, modern medicine has made three other confounding mistakes that have cost society dearly. Let us look at these four mistaken assumptions.
1. The whole structure of modern medicine is built on the pitifully flawed premise that dry mouth is the only sign of dehydration. This false premise is responsible for the lack of understanding about various painful health problems that result in premature death to many millions of people. They suffer because they do not know they are seriously thirsty. Modern “science-based” medicine is structured upon the simple dry mouth mistake that became established many years ago. In 1764, Albrecht von Haller, a German, first claimed dry mouth as a sign of thirst. In 1918, Walter Bradford Cannon, an English doctor, supported Haller's views; since he was an influential person, his views became fashionable and are reflected in accepted scientific literature to this day. Frenchman Moritz Schiff, however, had claimed in 1867 that thirst is a general sensation: “It is no more a local sensation than hunger.” We now know that Haller and Cannon were wrong— but since theirs were the views that took root in the infrastructure of medicine, the same mistake has been passed on from one generation of medical students to another until the present day. This traditional flaw in the scientific understanding of the human body's water regulation altered the path of medicine. Schiff understood the human body better.
Actually, dry mouth is not a sign to rely on. The human body uses a different logic: To be able to chew and swallow food, and to facilitate and lubricate this function, ample saliva is produced, even if the rest of the body is short of water. In any case, water is too important to the body to signal its shortage only through the
experience of a dry mouth. The human body has many other sophisticated signals to indicate when it is short of water. The body can suffer from deep dehydration without showing a dry mouth. Dehydration produces severe symptoms, even to the point of causing life-threatening crises. Modern medicine has confused these symptoms of internal, localized droughts and has identified them as different diseases. As a result, toxic medications are prescribed to treat “diseases” rather than the dehydration.
Dry mouth is one of the very last indicators of dehydration of the body. By the time dry mouth becomes an indicator of water shortage, many delicate functions of the body have been shut down and prepared for deletion. This is exactly how the aging process is established—through a loss of enzyme functions. A dehydrated body loses sophistication and versatility. One example is juvenile diabetes, in which the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are sacrificed as a result of persistent dehydration.
2. The second major mistake in the basic science of medicine is the thinking that water is a simple substance that only dissolves and circulates different things. Water is not a simple inert substance. It has two primary properties in the body. The first one is its life-sustaining properties. The other, more important, role of water is its life-giving functions. Modern medicine recognizes only the life-sustaining properties of water. That is why chronic unintentional dehydration is ultimately an unrecognized life-threatening process.
You need to recognize and understand the process to save your health and your life—naturally.
3. The third serious error in medicine is the premise that the human body can regulate efficiently its water intake throughout the life span of the person. As we grow older, we lose our perception of thirst and fail to drink adequately, until the plum-like cells in vital organs become prune-like and can no longer sustain life. We need to recognize the onset of dehydration and its manifestations to prevent the irreversible stages of the process.
4. The fourth nail in the coffin of present-day medicine is the thought that any fluid can replace the water needs of the body. This is a major problem at present. Some of the manufactured beverages in common use do not function in the body like natural water. If you begin to understand the natural reason some plants manufacture caffeine, or even cocaine, you will then
recognize the problem.
The information in this book is about one of the greatest of all health discoveries in the world, because it exposes an important tragedy in medical history— the erroneous assumption that the dry mouth state is the only sign of the body's water needs. Simply put, the new scientific understanding is that chronic unintentional dehydration in the human body can manifest itself in as many ways as we in medicine have invented diseases. We have created an opportunity for the drug industry to thrive, and have given birth to the current “sick-care” health system, at the expense of
people's precious lives and resources. The sick-care system survives and thrives when people are continuously sick. This is exactly what is going on now.
Tragically, the medical breakthrough about dehydration as the origin of most health problems is not reaching the public through the commerce-directed health-maintenance systems in this country. If it did, it would mean the rapid extinction of these systems. Yet there is no sane reason why tens of millions in our society should be medicated when all they suffer from is dehydration.
The statements in this introductory chapter are not meant to reflect badly on the dedicated staff employed within the sick-care system, who daily render compassionate service to the unfortunate sick. They are not to be blamed for the fundamental mistakes in standard treatment protocols in medicine. The blame is directed at the medical professionals in powerful positions and the national health
institutes that have the power to correct the problem, but have shown reluctance to do so.
Mainstream medicine and its fund-raising sidekicks will not of their own accord abandon pharmaceutical medicine. Why? They do not want to allow natural solutions to the health problems of society to get clearance and reach the public. This book is designed to upset this self-serving trend, which benefits only the commercial health-care systems in our advanced society, to the detriment of the people.
It is now crystal clear that the human body has many different ways of showing its general or local water needs. These manifestations of drought in the body have been assumed to be indicators of this or that disease condition. Based on this ignorance, and protected and coddled by the pharmaceutical industry, mainstream medicine has labeled the different complications of dehydration as various “diseases.” On the basis of this erroneous assumption, the trusting American public has to pay ever-increasing health-care costs with their health and hard-earned money.
We must understand that persistent dehydration brings about a continuously changing new chemical state in the body. When a new dehydration-produced chemical state becomes fully established, it causes many structural changes, even to the genetic blue-prints of the body. This is why prevention of dehydration is crucial. This is also why childhood asthma is a major health issue with me, as is
noninfectious ear-ache in infants. Dehydration, to the point of causing asthma in children, can ultimately cause genetic damage, autoimmune diseases, and even cancer in their later years.
Understanding chronic dehydration will clear the way for the development of an infinitely more people-friendly health-care system. It will be possible in my estimation to have a decidedly healthier and productive nation at 30 percent of the present health-care costs. As you see, I am not promoting a moneymaking product. I am only sharing a unique medical insight and the outcome of my many years of research that will help medical professionals and the public understand the basic cause of so many conditions of ill health.
We are in the twenty-first century, yet even at this stage of our development, the outward manifestations of regional dehydration have not been understood by us in medicine. We have always looked for a drug solution to throw at a health concern.
We have not succeeded at limiting these health concerns; rather, we have constantly expanded the list and thrown more drugs at them. We have truly caused a costly chaos in the name of modern medicine, with no end in sight. We now have significant problems that beg urgent solutions. As Albert Einstein observed: “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.” We obviously need a new approach to medical science to solve our health problems.
The solution to the present human-made and drug-industry-protected health problems of society can only be physiology-based. Understanding the molecular physiology of dehydration will restructure the future practice of clinical medicine. It will cause a fundamental paradigm change in the science of medicine. By showing the way to enhance the natural healing powers of the body within the discipline of physiology, the pharmaceutical approach to our present health problems will be completely replaced. The primary focus in medicine will become disease prevention rather than its protracted, cost-intensive, and invasive treatment protocols.
THE NEW LEVEL OF THINKING IN MEDICINE
What is a paradigm, and how can it be changed in clinical medicine? A paradigm is the basic infrastructural information, assumption, or understanding on which knowledge within a discipline of thought develops. As an example, based on the
fundamental understanding that planet Earth is a sphere, all geographic maps and models reflect the roundness of Earth. This understanding is the basic paradigm to the design of all geographic maps. The dramatic changes produced by the realization that Earth is not flat, as originally perceived, revolutionized the knowledge
we now possess about the structure of the universe. When a paradigm leads a discipline of thought toward a dead end (as in the case of a flat Earth), for those who can stand back and impartially reassess the infrastructure of knowledge, often a new paradigm emerges. All it takes is a thought-triggering association or obser-
When a valid paradigm that is basic to a major discipline of thought emerges, it illuminates the path to a vast new domain of knowledge, like a flash of lightning that reveals all in the darkness of night. A new paradigm removes restrictions and barriers and makes future progress within a discipline of thought possible.
A new paradigm is more easily born when there is a specific need and a purpose to find a solution. A solution does not establish significance unless a definite need to the emerging solution is also recognized. The following story may help explain this thought.
Sir Alexander Fleming was the Nobel laureate recognized to have discovered penicillin. He was a Scottish scientist who worked at the Wright-Fleming Institute of St. Mary's Hospital Medical School of London University when I was a medical student there in the 1950s. Many medical students have an emotional urge to become discoverers. I was no exception. Since childhood, I had been driven to study medicine and become someone who could positively affect the lives of people who fell sick.
In the introductory bacteriology course, students were divided into small groups and assigned to different tutors. Luck placed me in the tutorial group assigned to Sir Alexander. He was a refined and humble man. At the end of the tutorial, I gathered enough courage to ask him a question, the answer to which has deeply influ-
enced me ever since.
I asked him, “Sir Alexander, is there a special way to become a discoverer in medicine?” He looked at me and pondered my naive question. After a pause, in a very refined Scottish brogue he replied, “Need and purpose.” He explained that with the increasing introduction of different surgical treatment procedures into medical practice, there was an ever-increasing rate of fatal bacterial complications. To find an agent that would stop bacterial infections in the human body became a most urgent need that established a purpose and resolve for those in bacterial research. “Need” was the mother of penicillin's discovery, and “purpose” the impetus of its development for human application.
THE BIRTH OF A NEW SCIENTIFIC TRUTH IN MEDICINE
History tells us that every so often, through basic discoveries of the applied techniques of nature, important leaps of progress have become possible. Humankind, because of these fortuitous happen-stances and flashes of insight, has unraveled many of the secrets employed in its creation.
One such happenstance seems to have revealed itself in 1979. I had become a political prisoner of Islamic revolutionaries and was being held in the Iranian prison of Evin. While facing the possibility of execution, I discovered one late night that two glasses of water could relieve even the severest abdominal pain associated
with peptic ulcer disease.
A prisoner needed medication for his excruciating ulcer pain which had him doubled up and unable to walk by himself. Two friends were supporting him. The guards had not responded to his repeated pleas to be taken to the prison hospital. It was after eleven at night when he was brought to me. I was a prisoner myself and had no medication to give the man, who was truly in agony. I explained to him that I had no medicine to give him. His face showed even more pain than before. Instead of medication, I gave him two glasses of water. Within minutes, his ulcer pain became less severe. In eight minutes, it disappeared completely. This confirmed for me the abdominal-pain-relieving effect of water in a “disease” condition (I had relieved my own abdominal pain with water during a period of solitary confinement when I refused food for several days). I encouraged one after another of the inmates who had this same classic pain to take water in place of medications that were sometimes available.
During the ensuing two and a half years of my imprisonment, I successfully treated well over three thousand (3,000) stress-induced peptic ulcer disease cases with tap water only. It became obvious to me that these people were really and only thirsty. They were presenting their dehydration in the form of a painful crisis situation that we in the medical profession had labeled a “disease” condition. As a last defense at my trial— about fifteen months into my imprisonment—I presented a scientific article to be released for publication. I told the judge that even if he had me shot, to please not lose the information. “It is the greatest medical discovery in history,” I said. By then I had already treated a few hundred fellow prisoners in the confined prison block where I was housed.
The judge later came to me and said: “You have made a tremendous discovery; I wish you luck in the future.” That was the first indication that I had a future and could continue my work.
As acknowledgment of my discovery, I was not executed but given a three-year sentence. My life was spared because of what I had discovered in the prison. All my personal assets, however, were confiscated. After twenty-three months, the prison warden told me the authorities had discovered I was “not the bad person they had been led to believe,” and they were considering an early release for me. I thanked him, but said I wanted to stay on in prison a while longer. I was in the middle of clinical observations on the effect of water as a treatment of various stress-induced health problems, including bleeding peptic ulcer conditions. I explained to him that as a sort of stress laboratory, Evin was unique. Needless to say, the warden was surprised. He thought he was doing me a great favor by wanting to release me before the end of my sentence. He agreed that my work was important, however, and that I should be given the opportunity to complete what I was doing. I had for some time believed that my coming to prison had not been a chance event.
I was destined to make my discovery that the human body has sophisticated crisis calls for water when it is stressed and becomes dehydrated. I stayed in prison an additional four months and reached certain clinical conclusions that now needed scientific explanations. After two years and seven months of imprisonment, I was released with an official acclaim for my discovery.
During my prison time, I gained much new understanding about the physiological effects of water and its relationship to many disease conditions. It all started with abdominal pain. I published the first announcement of my discovery in the Iranian Medical Association Journal while I was still in prison. A translation of the article was sent to America and was eventually restructured for publication as a guest editorial in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology in June 1983.
THE STEPS IN SHAPING PRESENT-DAY MEDICINE
The explanations that follow are based on clinical observations made in one of the worst stress laboratories in the world. These observations have given birth to a new physiology-based explanation of how diseases of the body occur. My findings have been presented at several international gatherings of scientists. Detailed scientific explanations that support my findings have also been published.
It does not require a detailed knowledge of science to understand that water should be used to prevent and cure certain dehydration-produced disease conditions. Nor does the use of water as a “medicine” require Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Water is the main source of life, and everyone knows about
it. Still, there is shameful ignorance about the health dangers we expose our bodies to when we do not drink enough water. Our saving grace is that the human body understands the role of water in maintaining its physiological and physical well being, even though mainstream medicine does not. It seems we doctors have not been well informed about the different functional relationships of water in the human body. We have been caught in a most embarrassing situation. We do not yet know when the human body is truly thirsty. We do not understand what happens if the body does not receive adequate water on a regular basis.
The current practice of clinical medicine is based on the application of pharmacological chemistry to the human body. At medical schools, more than six hundred (600) teaching hours are allocated to the use of pharmaceutical products. Only a few hours are allocated to instructions on diet and food. It seems that in most
“disease” conditions, medical educators are trying to force the test-tube understanding of chemistry into the human body.
The trouble is, pharmaceutical or chemical products do not cure most disease conditions. Nor are most of these products safe for long-term use. They only temporarily mask and silence the outward manifestations of the problem. No matter how seemingly scientific, sophisticated, and appealing the justifications for the use of these chemical products might seem, they often do not remove the medical problem—except for the use of antibiotics in infections. People with hypertension, who begin treatment with diuretics or other chemicals, are not cured. They are told they must continue the treatment for the rest of their lives. They often need to supplement the diuretic and use other types of medication at the same time. People with rheumatoid arthritis are not permanently cured by any of the many analgesics on the market. They have to use analgesic medications for the rest of their pain-filled lives. No diabetic is cured; no person with myasthenia gravis is cured; no per-
son with muscular dystrophy is cured. How is it possible that, despite extensive research, no cure for any one of the prevalent conditions such as heartburn, dyspepsia, back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine, or asthma has been found?
[Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles, which are responsible for breathing and moving parts of the body, including the arms and legs. The name myasthenia gravis, which is Latin and Greek in origin, means "grave, or serious, muscle weakness."] (click here)
Dehydration eventually causes loss of some functions and produces damage (pathology). The various signals or symptoms produced during severe and lasting dehydration have been interpreted by doctors as various disease conditions of unknown origin. The signal, however, is actually for water shortage, and the local damage is because of water shortage. Because doctors don't recognize chronic dehydration as the original cause, the “disease” conditions receive all sorts of explanations and labels, and all of them are said to have an unknown cause. This is the basic mistake that has distorted the truth in medicine and devastated people
needing professional advice and guidance for their health issues. This is the crack through which all past research on the origin of some disease conditions has fallen.
Chapter 2 (click here)
WATER—THE BIZARRE AND THE SIMPLE