Joint pain is one symptom of a lack of sufficient water in the human body, also known as dehydration. Ingesting less fluid than your body requires on a daily basis can lead to long-term symptoms, including fatigue, headaches, and, yes, joint pain.
The best thing to do is to determine how much water your body requires, and endeavor to fulfill that daily need through a combination of frequent water breaks and well-chosen foods that can also help hydrate tissues.
How Much Water Do I Need?
You'll hear recommendations that state "Drink X glasses of water per day," and setting yourself a minimum amount of water intake per day is a safe way to try and prevent dehydration. If you prefer a more scientific and individual methodology, use this equation: Take your weight in pounds, divide it by two, and you'll have a fairly accurate measure of your body's water demand in ounces. Plenty of plastic water bottles have oz. measurements on the side or bottom to help you keep track. Some research has indicated that 80 percent of joint pain sufferers can ease their symptoms by hydrating properly.
Another rule of thumb is to add two glasses of water per day to your requirement for every five degrees Fahrenheit beyond 85 degrees, particularly if you plan to exercise.
If drinking large amounts leaves you feeling waterlogged and sluggish, some of your daily needs can be met by eating the proper foods. Fruit portions contribute to good hydration, as do foods like zucchini, cucumber, cottage cheese, green beans, and tomato sauce.
What Causes Dehydration?
In a healthy person, dehydration is usually caused by a simple supply problem -- you're not drinking enough water, or eating the right kinds of foods. Even so, heavy exercise or high temperatures, let alone a combination of both, can increase your body's demand for hydration beyond the usual, and additional water will be needed.
Illness can also sap the body of fluids. Vomiting and diarrhea often cause dehydration, and fever can also dry up the body's moisture quickly.
Diuretic drinks (coffee, tea, cranberry juice, soft drinks, etc.) or medications can also speed up the excretion of water, depriving the body and causing symptoms of dehydration. This is especially dangerous when used as part of a weight-loss program coupled with intense exercise.
What Are Some Other Causes of Joint Pain?
Maintaining adequate hydration is a good idea in general, and no harm can really come from attempting to treat your joint pain with a few glasses of water and an apple a day. However, if joint pain is persistent or severe, it may be caused by one of these other health factors, and you should consult your physician.
Other causes of joint pain include:
• Arthritis • Gout • Lupus • Flu • Mumps • Lyme Disease • Tendinitis • Sprains, strains, and other overuse injuries
Take care of your joints, and they'll take care of you.