Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dehydration During Grief Can Cause Problems

Unrecognized chronic dehydration is a condition affecting a good majority of people who are grieving.

According to Dr. Lou LaGrand, grief counselor and author of eight books, this is a hidden condition occurring in non-mourners and mourners alike at any age and plays a major role in your health. From this condition you can develop headaches, confusion, stomachaches, sluggishness, dizziness and falling. Grieving exacerbates dehydration due to the emotional swamp that has to be navigated.

“Daily water consumption is an essential part of self-care and a critical coping technique when mourning a death,” he said. “Grief work is highly stressful demanding great energy and endurance. Water will help in reducing the physical pain of grief and in supporting brain maintenance.”

Dr. LaGrand in this ezine article lists what you should know about daily water consumption and dehydration while grieving.

1. Drink water at specific times before you get to the “I’m thirsty” stage.
How much water should you drink? At least 40 ounces per day. That is equivalent to five 8-ounce glasses.

2. Before each meal drink 8 ounces. It is good for your kidneys. After each meal drink another 8 ounces. Already you have taken in six of the eight glasses. Two other glasses during the day is attainable. You will know if you are drinking enough water if your urine is clear or lightly colored, not dark.

3. You must eat. One reason is that you need to keep your electrolytes normal. Thesee are substances like sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium. If you do not, you could have blood pressure problems and confused thinking. Just drinking water (not sports drinks or sodas) will not give you those minerals. Veggies, fruits and nuts help and at a time when you don’t feel like eating a whole meal, this will suffice.

4. Developing new routines such as drinking enough water and creating a new normal (the title of my new book that came out this month dealing with coping techniques and strategies) will help you immensely during your grief period to stay healthy, reduce the physical pain associated with grief and give you the energy you need to deal with whatever you must face to move on with your life.

NOTE: Next week I will report on the National Compassionate Friends Conference I will be attending and speaking at July 2-4 in Washington, D.C. I hope to see some of you there; please come up and introduce yourselves. I'd love to meet you.

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