Can Dehydration Cause Asthma & Allergies?
Most people understand that drinking water and maintaining good hydration is an important health principle. Unfortunately, most have no idea how important hydration is when it comes to the symptomatic presentation of asthma and allergies. This article goes into the science of the relationship between dehydration and histamine mediated inflammatory processes. Can dehydration cause asthma and allergies?
Years ago, an Iranian doctor named Dr Batmanghelidj found a relationship between the development of asthma and allergies and chronic dehydration. In the 80’s and 90’s as he was researching, the connection was thought to be plausible but the science was just emerging.
Why Is the Body Not Healing?
Many scientists and medical professionals, scoffed at Dr. B’s assumptions. Today, however, more science has been conducted to look at this relationship and it appears more valid than ever. Asthma and allergies are abnormal immune responses. Under both conditions, simple irritants cause massive inflammatory attacks that damage tissue.
The key question is always: Why is my body not healing itself? The answer comes down to some level of toxicity or deficiency within the body that is interfering with the bodies innate healing rhythms. A common and easily addressed deficiency that is present in what is estimated to be anywhere between 80-98% of society is chronic dehydration (1).
All life began and revolves around water. We begin as a developing fetus living within a water bound environment in the amniotic sac. A water rationing system takes effect immediately in response to any form of dehydration. A neurotransmitter named “Histamine” becomes active & redistributes water throughout the body (2).
Some areas of the body are of much more significance than others. The body has an inborn triage system that creates a circulatory priority. At the top of the triage system is the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys and hormonal glands. Of least importance are the muscles, bones & skin.
Histamine’s responsibility in a dehydrated state is to ensure that these vital organs have enough water to function properly. If the dehydration issues become chronic; then water must be taken from major regions within the body to sustain the vital organs.
Additionally, chronic dehydration can cause histamine to become excessively active which may lead to symptoms that are often mistaken for other disorders. The most common symptoms associated with dehydration and elevated histamine include asthma, allergies, acid reflux, tension headaches, constipation, irritable bowel, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches and chronic pain in various regions of the body.
During times of chronic dehydration the body must prevent against unnecessary water loss and will make dynamic changes to conserve water properly. Every time we breathe, we lose a large amount of water as vapor expired through the air.
Histamine plays an important role int he contractions of the bronchial muscles and may attempt to restrict this water loss by constricting the bronchials (3). This mechanism could result in chest pains, hyperventilation and asthmatic symptoms.
In mainstream medicine, the goal is to suppress the symptom and ease suffering. This helps the individual in the immediate moment, but it never gets to the underlying cause. In the case of asthma and allergies, mainstream practitioners give anti-histamines. These medications interfere with the bodies attempt to protect vital organ function through the water triage system.
This approach does not take into account the body’s natural homeostatic balancing systems and causes long-term dysfunction with the bodies self-healing mechanisms. Research is now indicating that regular anti-histamine use impairs the immune system and contributes to the development of cancer (4, 5).
Research on Anti-Histamines and Cancer:
The Journal of the National Cancer Institute: May 18, 1994: “Antihistamines enhanced malignant cell growth in mice (6).” This study discussed how antihistamine molecules diffuse through cell membrane’s and effect key genetic components that result in disrupting normal tumor inhibiting mechanisms.
The drugs are designed to bind to the histamine receptors, causing them to interfere with the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system, a group of enzymes within the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum of the cell that help to detoxify poisons and aid in regulating cell growth (7).
Healthy cells can withstand the disruption. However, if the cell has been hit by a lot of oxidative stress or if a cancer initiator has been activated, than the alterations in the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system may be enough to tip the scales and cause oncogene formation. That means that the cell would begin to divide in an out of control fashion characteristic of cancer.
Key Tips for Optimal Hydration:
1. Purity: A pure source of water is essential. The best systems are reverse osmosis, natural ionic alkalizers, or a very high quality carbon filter. Best to avoid plastic containers (chemicals such as phylates & BPA are known to disrupt hormone function and have carcinogenic properties). Use glass whenever possible.
2. Wake up with Water: Sleeping utilizes energy and water stores and leaves us dehydrated in the morning. Begin your day with 32 oz of water or more to replenish used stores and for detoxification and colon cleansing purposes. In addition, this process will enhance metabolism and help you burn fat.
3. Drink Continuously: 4-8 oz every 15-30 minutes during the day. Cut this off about 30-60 minutes before and after each meal.
4. Use Volcanic Salts: Natural pink salts contain anywhere between 60 & 84 trace minerals that replenish deficiencies and provide valuable alkaline buffers. These salts help regulate fluid volume in-out of the cell, and along with enough water provide an extremely efficient energy source, “hydroelectric energy.”
5. Think Water First: Whenever you are experiencing low energy and/or bodily symptoms, go to water first. Sprinkle a little pink salt in 16-24 oz of water and drink up. The minerals, alkalinity, & hydration will fuel, replenish & stabilize your cells.
6. Decrease Potassium Containing Foods: People with asthma/allergies often have abnormal trace mineral ratios; therefore foods that are both high in potassium & sugar further trigger reactions. Avoid orange juice, bananas, & regular/baked potatoes. Add a bit of good salts to other fruit such as melons.
7. Reduce Caffeine & Alcohol Consumption: Diuretics such as caffeine & alcohol further dehydrate the body and strip it of valuable mineral and alkaline buffering stores. This leads to chronic conditions and further tissue insult.
8. Drink Magnesium Throughout the Day: Magnesium helps to calm the brain and relax the blood vessels. It also helps to optimize hydration. I drink brain calm magnesium throughout the day. Simply take 1 scoop in water 2-3 times throughout the day and you will notice better hydration and reduced stress hormone production. I notice increased energy and mental alertness during the day and better relaxation and deeper sleep at night with the magnesium.
Sources For This Article Include:
- Popkin BM, D’Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, Hydration and Health. Nutrition reviews. 2010;68(8):439-458.
- Kjaer A, Larsen PJ, Knigge U, Warberg J. Dehydration stimulates hypothalamic gene expression of histamine synthesis enzyme: importance for neuroendocrine regulation of vasopressin and oxytocin secretion. Endocrinology. 1995 May;136(5):2189-97. PMID: 7720668
- Eiser NM. Histamine receptors in the bronchi. Eur J Respir Dis Suppl. 1983;128 (Pt 1):21-5. PMID: 6578069
- Nadalin V, Cotterchio M, Kreiger N. Antihistamine use and breast cancer risk. Int J Cancer. 2003 Sep 10;106(4):566-8. PMID: 12845653
- Scheurer ME, El-Zein R, Thompson PA, Aldape KD, Levin VA, Gilbert MR, Weinberg JS, Bondy ML. Long-term anti-inflammatory and antihistamine medication use and adult glioma risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 May;17(5):1277-81. PMID: 18483351
- Robinson A. More questions than answers: antihistamines’ link to cancer. CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal. 1994;151(6):797-801.
- Renwick AG. The metabolism of antihistamines and drug interactions: the role of cytochrome P450 enzymes. Clin Exp Allergy. 1999 Jul;29 Suppl 3:116-24. PMID: 10444225