How much wa­ter do we re­ally need?

South Waikato News - - Your Health -

Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz. Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered. the level of ac­cu­racy that can be ob­tained when mea­sur­ing your body com­po­si­tion out­side a lab­o­ra­tory set­ting. Rather than look­ing to a mea­sure­ment, I can­not en­cour­age you enough to sim­ply bring aware­ness to your body and any signs or symp­toms that may in­di­cate de­hy­dra­tion or fluid re­ten­tion.

A mea­sure­ment of to­tal body wa­ter doesn’t tell us the full picture, as it doesn’t in­di­cate where the fluid ac­tu­ally is in the body (how much is in­side our cells, be­tween and around the cells and in the blood and lymph). Fluid ac­cu­mu­lat­ing out­side the cells is what can lead to feel­ings of fluid re­ten­tion, such as feel­ing ‘‘puffy’’ or feel­ing your clothes dig in as the day pro­gresses. Swollen an­kles can also be a sign of fluid re­ten­tion.

Many women ex­pe­ri­ence fluid re­ten­tion at cer­tain stages of their men­strual cy­cle, due to an im­bal­ance in oe­stro­gen and pro­ges­terone. How­ever, fluid re­ten­tion can also be driven by sub-op­ti­mal liver func­tion, min­eral de­fi­cien­cies or im­bal­ances, and/or poor lym­phatic flow.

123RF

Thirst is the body’s way of sig­nalling to you that it re­quires wa­ter.

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