That's the saying, right? Ha ha ha. While most people recognize that they need to drink water (equal to half your body weight in ounces per day), this very simple concept is often received with a very blase attitude. 'Yea, yea, yea, drink water, blah, blah, blah.'
Let me tell you why it is so much more important than you ever imagined. First of all, even healthy (non-Lymies...even marathon runners!) people need to drink water - and probably a lot more of it. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. To read more on this, read 'Your Body's Many Cries For Water' - it's a good one, and here is a link:
In the Naturopathic Medical office where I've worked for 5 years, I have seen very healthy people (yes, marathon runners!) develop health issues linked to something as simple as chronic dehydration. One case was a pretty healthy woman who had fibromyalgia that was uncontrolled, even with prescription drugs. Turns out, she just needed to drink more water. ! It sounds fantastical, I know, but it's the truth. All she needed to do was drink water more frequently throughout the day.
Biologically and chemically, it makes sense. When I think about this, I always have flashbacks to chemistry class. (Ugh, dreaded chemistry class...my most despised subject in school) There are so many chemical reactions that take place to convert fuel into energy and almost all (if not all - I'm no good at chemistry) require H2O - it's the one compound that's required to make all those chemical processes happen. And without it, you guessed it, those chemical reactions aren't going to take place as efficiently.
Now, getting back to us Lymies. As my ND explained to me, the borrelia bacteria wants to thrive in your body and in order to do that, it requires a more dehydrated environment. So, one of the things it does is get into the messages your brain sends you about how thirsty you are and switches it. It flips the switch so that you don't feel as thirsty, even though your body needs that water. So even though you don't feel thirsty, it is vitally essential for you to drink more water. Not only for all the normal functions of your body, it is also critical especially to flush out the dead bacteria. Sure, supplements will help your body carry out the dead bacteria, but the real thing that's doing the flushing is the flow of water through your body.
I know water is boring and you don't feel like drinking it, but you still gotta. Don't rely on your thirst level to gauge how much/when to drink water. Here are some tips I do to get more water:
Drink a big glass right away when I wake up - make it part of the routine. Get up, pee, brush teeth, drink water. (One glass more is one glass more!)
Add an Emergen-C packet to a glass of water 1x/day - the vitamin C, electrolytes, and minerals help your body absorb more water and stay more hydrated.
Adding a little 100% juice gives it a little flavor - this also makes your water alkaline (helping reduce inflammation and pain in the body). I add just enough to tint the water - but not too much (it should not taste sweet), otherwise it becomes more acidic, fostering inflammation and pain in the body (this is another great tip from my ND - she really knows her stuff!).
Set a timer - truly! I set the baking timer for an hour and when it goes off - that means it's time to get out of bed or get off the couch and go drink a glass of water!
Besides drinking water, I want to talk a little bit about hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is an awesome tool in Naturopathic Medicine. And I don't mean colon hydrotherapy here - which is what most people think. (Although I have gotten colon therapy in my life, before I got Lyme Disease - and I lost 10 pounds in an hour!!!)
Epsom salt baths are GREAT, and a great form of hydrotherapy. The heat is really the best thing. Did you know that hot, hot (as HOT as you can stand) water increases your body temperature? Yes, you did. But did you also know that when your body temperature is increased, it decreases the activity of the borrelia bacteria AND increases activity of your natural killer cells?! I'm not aware of any prescription drug that can do THAT.
Did you also know that fever is actually a good thing? Of course, there is a limit, a very high fever could be of concern and there are probably contraindications (reasons NOT to induce a fever), but generally speaking is a good thing. When your body heats up, it is your body's natural response to fight infection. And since Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection, increasing your internal temperature could be a great thing. To learn more about the science of hydrotherapy, here's a link! http://www.amazon.com/Hydrotherapy-Theory-Technique-Patrick-Barron/dp/0971192618/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328915964&sr=1-9
Find yourself an LLND who can give you the all-clear to incorporate some hydrotherapy into your healing plan.
And here's a neat little quote I'd like to end on. Since I like to end that way. :0)
'The past is history, the future is a mystery, but today is a gift - that's why they call it the present.' ~ Kung Fu Panda
Find something, anything to be grateful for. Today, I am going to be grateful that I am not lost at sea, surrounded by sharks right now. I am SO glad I'm not lost at sea. ;)