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Health Alert: How Much Water Is Too Much Water?

Last summer I was not surprised to hear a ten-year-old boy drowned. Unfortunately, it happens all summer long. Children go swimming and find themselves over their heads. However, the child did not drown while swimming. In fact, he is not near the pool, lake, ocean or pool. He drowned in the hospital because he was swimming in the pool earlier that day and the water was too much. Similarly, thirty women died within a short time after participating in a radio station competition. The winner is the one who drinks the most water.

People always say to me, "Drink more water. It's good for you." It is, but not excessive. That's a lesson I learned the hard way. A few months ago I went to the hospital. I'm having trouble breathing and think I might have a heart attack or panic. Instead my problem is that I have too much water in my body. That explains why I am overweight and, despite the ongoing diet, should not maintain my weight when I can lose it. How much water is in my body? I was in the hospital for a week and after being given the medication twice daily, I weighed almost forty pounds less than when I was admitted.

After that experience I had to continue to take less and less water pills for diet and weight loss. The key is cutting salt. Salt (sodium) causes the body to retain water. Unfortunately, salt is just about everything we eat, even sugar. The answer for me is a healthy diet. I started using salt substitutes and ended up cutting them out as well. The result was better than I expected. For the first time I was able to enjoy the true taste of meat, chicken and vegetables. I'm amazed and happy.

Once you've prepared the salt for a while, you immediately feel it when you eat something that is experienced. That makes me more careful when I buy any processed food. I learned a lot too. It's not just the usual suspects like hot dogs, meat, pizza and sausages that are sodium. Breakfast cereals, margarine, most drinks, some sweets, many diets, sugars, condiments, frozen foods, canned soups, smoked meats and lunch from deli counters all have too much salt unless they are found in the form low sodium.

While doctors and dietitians need to categorize people, we know our bodies better than anyone else. That's why we need to decide how much or how little we should eat or drink. The key is being honest with ourselves. To lose weight, some people need to eat less, others need to eat less. Eating too little triggers a hunger program in our body that makes it more difficult to lose weight, so that's not an option. To lose excess weight and fluid in our body, we need to limit our sodium intake and be careful not to hydrate ourselves.


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