Overload

Dehydration

Category: Illness or disabilities

Type

Involuntary and voluntary

Introduction and description

 

Dehydration (hypohydration) can be defined as an ‘excessive loss of body fluid’. 

It is literally, in more generic terms, the removal of water from an object; however, in physiological terms, it entails a deficiency of fluid within an organism and despite the name, does not simply mean loss of water, as water and ‘solutes’ or electrolytes are also lost.  Hyponatremic (hypotonic) dehydration, for example, occurs when the lost fluid contains more sodium than the blood, whilst Hypernatremic dehydration occurs when the lost fluid contains less sodium than the blood.  This negative fluid balance results from 

  • decreased intake of fluids
  • increased output of fluids (renal, GI, or insensible losses)
  • or fluid shift (ascites, effusions, and capillary leak states such as burns and sepsis)

It may seem incomprehensible to anyone reading this - given the numerous benign alternatives there are to achieve a spiritual experience - why anyone would deliberately choose to deprive themselves of fluids in order to get a spiritual experience, but the answer is that those who use fasting do and those who discover it works for them do. 

Symptoms

 

Symptoms may include one or more of the following at various levels of dehydration according to severity

  • Extreme thirst and discomfort
  • Constipation
  • decreased urine volume and  abnormally dark urine
  • unexplained tiredness, lethargy, overwhelming fatigue
  • irritability, moodiness
  • increased body temperature because of decreased sweating
  • lack of tears when crying
  • dry mouth
  • insomnia
  • headaches similar to those experienced during a hangover
  • decreased blood pressure (hypotension) and dizziness or fainting when standing up due to orthostatic hypotension
  • nausea
  • delirium,  hallucinations or visions
  • unconsciousness/coma

 and, in extreme cases, death.

Causes

 

The causes are many and varied.  Apart from dehydration induced by deprivation of fluid by accident or by design, there are also a number of illnesses that cause dehydration and a number of drugs.  For example [this list is not exhaustive]; 

  • Old age - In people over age 50, the body’s thirst sensation diminishes and continues diminishing with age. Many elderly people suffer symptoms of dehydration without knowing they have it. Dehydration along with hyperthermia can result in the elderly dying suddenly during extreme hot weather.
  • Gastroenteritis:  -  is one of the most  common causes of dehydration. If both vomiting and diarrhoea are present, dehydration may occur very soon.   Diarrhoea, Cholera  and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract can all lead to dehydration.
  • Prolonged physical activity  - profuse sweating without consuming adequate water, especially in a hot and/or dry environment can result in dehydration.
  • Prolonged exposure to dry air, e.g., in high-flying airplanes (5%–12% relative humidity).
  • Burns – fluid losses can be extreme.
  • Malnutrition and fasting, nutritional deprivation  - starvation or voluntary refusal of nutrition and hydration.
  • Drugs - Various drugs both pharmaceutical and other including caffeine, amphetamine and methamphetamine. 
    The eHealthme site collects the Adverse Drug reports submitted by doctors to the FDA and SEDA in the USA.  It then summarises them for ease of use.  We originally provided a direct link to the entry for Dehydration listed on this site and the pharmaceuticals that can cause it, but the eHealthme website developers frequently reorganise the site and thus break the links.  Thus in order to find out which pharmaceuticals are implicated in Dehydration
    • Follow the LINK to the eHealthme website
    • Using the ‘All conditions’ index find the appropriate entry
    • Now scroll down until you get to the section marked ‘Drugs that could cause

    The list shows you all the drugs implicated in CAUSING Dehydration as well as the number of people who have made a complaint to their doctor and had their case reported by him.  Note that it is up to the doctor whether he reports or not.
    As of October 2016, about 2,550 pharmaceuticals were in this list

Hyponatremia-induced psychosis in an industrial setting
Rakesh Kumar Singh and Suprakash Chaudhury;Department of Psychiatry, Ranchi Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Allied Sciences, Kanke, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India

Hyponatremia has also been reported as an unusual side effect of drugs like tricyclic antidepressants (Sharma and Pompei, 1996), thiazides (Haensch et al., 1996), carbamazepine (Schmitz and Trimble, 1995) and lisinopril (Giupponi and Erfurth, 1998).

  • Alcohol  - in excess
  • Fever and Hyperthermia both of which result in sweating and consequent fluid loss
  • Diabetes – diabetic  ketoacidosis (DKA): Dehydration is caused by osmotic diuresis. Weight loss is caused by both excessive fluid losses and tissue catabolism. Diabetes insipidus: Excessive output of very dilute urine can result in large free water losses and severe hypernatremic dehydration
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: This may have associated hypoglycemia, hypotension, hyperkalemia, and hyponatremia
  • Cystic fibrosis: This results in excessive sodium and chloride losses in sweat, placing patients at risk for severe hyponatremic hypochloremic dehydration
  •  Thyrotoxicosis – which results in severe weight loss and diarrhea.

 

Treatment

Treat the cause. 

See also Heal yourself and Water!!

How it works

Physically the mechanisms in operation are described in the section I have provided the Chemistry of dehydration. 

Functionally, however, depriving yourself of fluids is understandably regarded by the body as a threat.  The messages being received from all the sensory systems is HELP HELP HELP – you are killing us, we are dying!!!!  DO SOMETHING!!

Occasionally, having realised we are dying the Will releases endorphins, on the basis that if we are going to die, we might as well die happy.  This is where the euphoria comes from – it means we are close to death.  This is where the bliss comes from – it is chemical bliss – nothing more, not spiritual in the least.

During the lead in to this final act of desperation, there will be a gradual shut down of function that will be evident in reduced reasoning power and memory.  A body deprived of fluids is, in effect, gradually shutting down. And in cases where the body is shutting down it reverts to core autonomic system functions – the functions it needs to maintain itself. 

Any function which is closed down may never be capable of being revived again.  Thus people who have faced severe dehydration may have permanently damaged memories and reasoning power.  Furthermore there may also be permanent damage to other organs of the body – kidneys, heart, liver etc.

The Will gets all these messages but is unable to do anything.  It may attempt to push us into finding water, but with reduced reasoning we may drink the wrong things.  This is why men on life rafts occasionally drink sea water when they know in normal life that it just makes things worse.

So the Will can do nothing.  But it is being bombarded by messages of total panic from the body – YOU ARE KILLING US, HELP HELP HELP. 

At which point it gives up and the composer takes over.  And we have a spiritual experience, which in a number of cases appear to be near death experiences.

Observations

Related observations