The Importance of Hydration, Especially in Winter!

Marlenea La Shomb, N.D., LMT, P.Tr.
January – February 2023 • Vol 4, No 2

Dear Dr. Ma,
In the summer, I get hot and sweaty and feel like I’m always thirsty. Yet, in the winter, I’m hungry, not thirsty, but my lips and hands are very chapped. Why is that?
— Charlie

Dear Charlie,

Chapped lips and dry skin are the body’s way of saying you are very dehydrated. In fact, dehydration puts our nervous systems into fight-or-flight mode, whereby our brain combines the hunger and thirst signals into one message that appears as hunger. Drink until hydrated, and you will regain both signals and be thirsty again. This is only one example of how the brain/body shuts down when you need water.

In the winter, we think it’s cold, so we don’t need to drink, but the heaters in our homes, cars, and workplaces are also very dehydrating. The nose, the lungs and the eyes can all appear dry.

Our bodies are made up of the water of life—muscle, blood, lymph, brain, and spinal fluids, just to name a few. Blood is 90% water, so it’s no surprise that staying well hydrated year-round keeps all the body’s systems balanced and running smoothly. It’s a primary reason for unexplained fatigue, high blood sugar, low blood pressure, constipation, lack of urination, and mood/hormone swings—all leading to a toxic “inner landfill,” creating an environment of dis-ease and inflammation in our bodies.

So, what’s in your morning cup? Is it drying you out, like caffeine drinks? These are all diuretics that force water out of the body that was needed for a specific job that day. They leave you high and dry, so you’ll need to drink even more water.

Whether it’s water, herb teas, juice, broths, or anything in between, everything you drink has an effect on you “for better or worse!” Just like food, what you drink fuels the whole body. So, wet your whistle often to stay hydrated and healthy!
— Dr. Ma

Send your questions to Dr. Ma La Shomb, N.D., LMT, P.Tr., by text, along with your name & phone number, to (406) 224-5425. Email to Marlenea passionately works as a health coach and writer for all who are ready to find harmony and balance in body, mind, and soul through natural therapies and education.