Water, water, everywhere

Here’s another thing I learned about the human body over the last couple of years: though people do of course require at least 8 glasses of water a day, the amount each person needs beyond that varies. Three different doctors have told me that I need more water than I usually drink (even though I drink a LOT). I’m still not sure why this is the case, but I do know I tend to get dehydrated more easily than your average Jan. And that means I need to be drinking pretty much all the time. (And when I’m not drinking I am of course needing to go pee enough to drive my friends crazy. Gone are the days of the no-pit-stop road trip—now I must stop at least every hour, which means my record-time road trips are behind me.)

For years now, my mom has said to me, “Honey, are you drinking enough water?” and, “Honey, you really should be having much more water than you do.” I brushed her off most of the time, claiming I felt fine and wasn’t thirsty. [Hold on a sec, gotta take a swig…] Now I am wishing I would’ve taken her advice much sooner. (But don’t tell her I said that! J/k.)

I do know that lack of water is often partly to blame when it comes to my migraine attacks, but because it takes awhile to get dehydrated, it’s almost like a silent culprit. Though I am well aware of how important water is, it’s still sometimes surprising that such a simple action—drinking many glasses a day—can lead to significantly better health.

I’m curious, though: how many of you migraineurs seem to require more water than others? Have you been told by your doctors that you dehydrate easily? I’m wondering who else is in my boat.

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Comments

View Comments (29)
  • Samira SJ
    7 years ago

    oh no , I have to say this.. I figured it out myself that I need to drink more water than usual. There are things your doctor wont tell you, so mirgrainuers need to pay close attention on how they are feeling , really. & sometimes, somethings can only be learned from a fellow migrainuers, as Migraine headache is still a mystery for doctors.. that’s why I m regular reader of this website : ).

  • Karen Mullins
    7 years ago

    I have recently come to the same conclusion on my own. It is nice to have some back up. Although, every time I enter the ER with a migraine, they say I am dehydrated.

  • Janet Marshall
    7 years ago

    Last Saturday I was in the emergency room with a migraine so severe I was vomiting, couldn’t open my eyes….you know how it is. After a liter of saline and a couple of shots in my IV, I was sent home. One of my boys’ football coaches told me a while ago to drink a 50/50 mix of Gatorade and water. Since then, I’ve been drinking LOTS of that, and even more “just water.” I also quit drinking coffee, for the most part. I still have a (1) cup in the morning, but that’s it. Yeah, it stinks. I love coffee, but do not want to have another migraine. Since then, and it’s only been 5 days, I’ve never felt better!

  • Kathy Spinks Shevlin
    7 years ago

    I’ve never thought about this, my neuro or fam. Drs. never mentioned it. I do drink a good bit.. but how is it related to getting a migraine? What is the direct link, cause and effect? I’ll have to pay more attention but 99% of the time my migraines are set off by weather/barometric changes. Would like to see more documentation/info on this.

  • Allison Tartal Bratnick
    8 years ago

    I ALWAYS carry a water bottle with me, everywhere I go. I also bring snacks with me. I need to be drinking and eating all day so I don’t get a migraine. By never letting myself get too hungry or thirsty, I am able to control those types of migraines.

  • Sally Colby Scholle
    8 years ago

    Some of the meds I take cause dry mouth, so I drink a lot of water anyway (we have great-tasting deep well water). Not sure how to tell if I’m getting enough, but sometimes I’m too full of liquid to eat a meal – that seems like enough!

  • Carolyn Nelson Doherty
    8 years ago

    I’ve come to understand how important water is to all of our organs. I’ve also heard having enough water in our system helps with losing weight.

  • Harriet Williams Berg
    8 years ago

    I drink and drink and drink. I have diabetes, and some of my meds make me extra thirsty. So, I’m always drinking. I take water with me everywhere. Most people probably think I’m pretty strange. When I’m out to eat a meal, I usually have water, and maybe another drink also. I still get my headaches, but they are fewer and less severe (usually) since beginning my topomax treatment.

  • Zeena Haddad Cook
    7 years ago

    I had a severe loss of memory recall and some loss of balance. I was on Topamax for 8 years I think. They never told me about that possibility. I was even tested for MS by my Primary doctor. Then a new neuro immediately asked me if I was having memory problems. I was so relieved that I now knew what the problem was. Weaned off of Topamax and feeling so much better. But, unfortunately the migraines have come back badly.

  • Bob Grebe
    7 years ago

    Barbetta Reedy I also had an extremely hard time concentrating while on topomax. It helped relieve the headaches, but the trade off was too much. I stopped taking it.

  • Lynn Mackey-Szczepaniak
    7 years ago

    Also watch for twitching muscles in your face (my lower eyelid started twitching uncontrollably and the muscles around my mouth were twitchy and shaky. Also loss of balance is another bad side effect from topomax. I had to stop taking it due to these problems.

  • Marietta Johnson
    7 years ago

    Barbetta Reedy WOW, they just told me that it was a side effect of Topamax to loose words and not be able to concentrate etc. I was on it for yeah, over 5 years too. But my new doc weaned me off of it when i first started seeing him.

  • Barbetta Reedy
    8 years ago

    watch topamax if you have any concentration problems or losing your thought get off of it they don’t tell you that at least they didn’t tell me until I said something to my dr he took me right off the topamax and I was on it for 5 yrs

  • Tina Summerton
    8 years ago

    I am so happy that the Topomax is helping you.

  • Jessie Fobbs Leggett
    8 years ago

    Happy for you that the head-aches have eased up.

  • Kim Ferrentino
    8 years ago

    my doctors all said water is important for our body.you should drink 8 glasses a day.

  • Åsa Stenström
    8 years ago

    Hold your horses for a moment. You can actually get “poisoned” by drinking too much water! In Sweden where I live, people started to drink water like crazy by health reasons, always carrying their waterbottles around but that caused new problems with some of the most fanatic water-drinkers. Too much water is not good for your body! You need to check this out more before you start to indulge yourself to water….

  • Jane Carty MacNealy
    8 years ago

    Thanks for the reminder about water. I am curious about how your doctor could tell you were dehydrated? If there were signs we can look for to see we are dehydrated.

  • Alexis McMillen
    8 years ago

    I wish I could say…since my heart attack 5 years ago, I’m limited to 2 liters of water of day… although I do drink sometimes 3 liters.. can I drink a liter while training so I don’t count that one… heehee.. I do and did dehydrate really easily but back then I drank caffein and I don’t anymore. I also don’t use any sugar artificial or otherwise… I am very careful about the new sneaky corn sugar maltdextrim (?)

  • Tammy Gregory
    8 years ago

    Add me as a hard core water drinker. Minimum 6 liters. I am constantly sipping a bottle of water. Gave up soda years ago….

  • Kimble Glessner
    8 years ago

    I gave it up 18 months ago,…one of the best things I ever did!!

  • Katie Robinson
    8 years ago

    Has anyone been told how much water to drink? I drink 6 – 8 Just Chillin’ glasses advertised 32! oz, holds 23 oz+ice per day and still get still get migraines and feel yuckky!

  • Lynn Mackey-Szczepaniak
    7 years ago

    You should drink 1/2oz of water for each pound of body weight. So if you weigh 120lbs you should drink 60oz of water a day. This was told to me by an atomic/medical physicist doctor.

  • Teri Robert
    8 years ago

    There really isn’t a set amount that’s right for everyone. It depends on your body, your health, your activity level, and other variables.

  • Crystal Kimball
    8 years ago

    me too, drink more and I do feel better. but makes my bladder crazy!

  • Apryll Marie
    8 years ago

    Great advice! Thanks : ).

  • Shelly Stokes
    8 years ago

    My doctor is always telling me to drink more water! Even though I try to drink more, it’s so hard sometimes. But I do notice how much better I feel when I do, and how blah I feel when I don’t. So the minor inconvenience of having to pee more often isn’t quite so bad. 🙂

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    8 years ago

    Oh boy, yes this is a big one for me for a couple reasons…

    Like Stormlaughter, I have MVP. I also have an autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s Syndrome. This causes the exocrine system to be attacked and stop functioning along with other organs and tissues to be damaged. For me this means the constant need to drink and stay in humid areas. Because my kidneys don’t function normally as a result of Sjogren’s Syndrome, I get very dehydrated and kidney stones very easily. For me it is drink, drink, drink and never get hydrated enough. (Not to be confused with another condition that can cause thirst and dehydration called Diabetes Insipidus) It just goes *Whoosh* and its gone. Very frustrating for someone who hates water anyway. So, I found a way to get past all that by pampering myself a bit by making drinking water fun… I posted about it here along with some ideas how to do it yourself, and a photo – “Getting through the holidays, one glass at a time…” http://bit.ly/e0Z90C

  • Stormlaughter
    8 years ago

    *raises hand* Me! 🙂

    I’ve also got mitral valve prolapse though. The cardiologist said that MVP causes a person’s blood volume to be lower than normal on average. The only way science has figured for us to overcome this on a day-to-day basis is to force-drink fluids.

    I’ve found that juicy fruits and salads help me as well. I’m into nourishing herbal infusions at the moment (compared to therapeutic infusions) and they’re helping me get more trace minerals.

    Found out something interesting though: stinging nettle, which is usable in some of the same ways you’d use spinach, has a lot of natural sodium. Increased my Meniere’s symptoms! I use it mostly for cooking now rather than drinking 2 or 3 cups of infusion a day. LOL

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