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Water Can Heal

 

COUGHS AND COLD

We all succumb to a cold and/or cough a few times a year. In fact, each year, Americans suffer through one billion colds, says the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, MD. Children catch up to 10 colds a year, while adults average up to four. The yearly economic burden through lost workdays? Around $5 billion! And, there is nothing we can do about it. Or, is there?

The runny nose, fever, sore through, etc are all familiar (and dreaded) symptoms of the common cold, an ailment where doctors and pharmaceutical companies haves still not made a miracle cure discovery. In fact, the over-the-counter drugs available only battle the symptoms, and not the cause. The fact of the matter is that little can actually be done for a cold or flu virus sets in, except to ride them out.

However, the best way to fight a cold is just to prevent it from overtaking the body in the first place. There are ways to prevent the flu and colds, including washing hands frequently, taking vitamins and avoiding people who have them. But perhaps the most important and easiest form of prevention is of the common cold is sometimes also the most overlooked: sufficient fluid replacement. Fluids flush out harmful impurities and toxins in our bodies, and aid in the production of mucus. Since the body uses even more fluid than usual when fighting off a cold or the flu, the body can be left severely dehydrated without it. Dehydration, among many things, can result in high fever. This is why extra water should be ingested when suffering these symptoms. In fact, the lack of water can make the cold and/or cough worse.

Water is obvious the fluids of choice, but juice, tea and soup broth are also acceptable. Water in other forms can be of help too. Hot beverages can be soothing to sore throat and can even help with decongestion. Also recommended is gargling salt water, and inhaling moist air, possibly through a humidifier.

In natural medicine, colds are looked at as the body's way of detoxifying. During the autumn and winter, our bodies actually attempt to harmonize with the season. The body then condenses waste and cleanses excess mucus and congestions from tissue, which will improve circulation and get the blood pumping to keep us warm. However, this process gives flu like symptoms. Drinking more water will help the body detoxify. Exercise and sweating can also help keep the body clear of toxins.

In the way of coughs, drinking the proper amount of water will keep the mucus lining in the lung area thin and lubricated, making it easier to have a productive cough. Water will also help loosen phlegm, and just plain soothe an irritated throat.

Not only can water help prevent a cold, but it can also help sufferers feel better. More water in essence can build a stronger immune system, so drink up and stay healthy, and actually enjoy the cold season.

WATER AND STOMACH PROBLEMS

People in third world countries sadly often only have access to water that is highly contaminated, and as a result, people die every day from the effects of diseases that target their digestive tracts. E.coli, salmonella, and other intestinal parasites, bacteria and viruses can overtake our stomach and other connected organs necessary for digestion.

While our water in our civilized country is regulated, we still have to protect ourselves. Contaminated water supplies are responsible for stomach problems, from small upsets to severe disorders. But, making sure water is filtered within the home as an added safety measure can prevent that. A few contaminants to watch out for are lead, mercury, copper, arsenic, atrazine and cadmium. These can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and other stomach problems. Most times if water contaminates are found in a local water supply, it is public knowledge, and there will be a boiling alert put out by the local water companies until the problem is under control. Of course, this does not happen all too often and for the most part our water is safe. Still, extra measure can be taken: a small price to pay in exchange a feeling of discomfort.

But, while contaminated water may be the cause of stomach problems, safe drinking water can be a cure for others!

There are many ailments that can arise within and around the stomach, nausea, diarrhea, gas, constipation and heartburn being a few. Drinking water can be of help in several of those cases, and even aid in their prevention. Diarrhea, watery stool, can cause severe dehydration, so it is important to maintain body fluid if suffering from that. On the flipside, constipation can also use water to help break down the otherwise dry stool. (This subject can be read about in more depth on another section of this site.) Since vomiting and diarrhea go hand in hand with the nausea feeling, this ailment also contributes greatly to dehydration. Replacing fluids while nauseated is very important. Heartburn has also been said to be caused by lack of water, as water could have aided in neutralizing the acid (pH level) that caused the burning sensation.

Water is also a necessary element to just plain make sure our digestive tract works properly, which is sure to prevent stomach problems from occurring in the first place. Drinking water at mealtime aids in the digestive process, as it helps move the food through the system. More importantly, the solid food we eat cannot be properly digested if it is not broken down. This is where water comes into play, once again. Water than acts as the transportation system to bring the nutrients found in foods to where they are needed within the body during digestion. And, it also helps moved the waste product through the rest of the digestive tract, and ultimately out of our bodies. Remember that lots of acids are found within the stomach that mix with the water to break down our foods, so plenty of water will help keep things balanced!

ASTHMA AND ALLERGIES

Most sufferers of asthma and allergies attempt to modify their environment to help cut down on the sneezing, sniffling and wheezing. Although physicians focus primarily on cutting down on air pollutants and toxins in the home, sometimes they overlook the part that ordinary tap water and can play in making asthma and allergies worse.

Checking out your drinking water might be a good idea if you or a family member has asthma and allergies. A Belgian study recently concluded that chlorine, a common chemical added to water to help kill bacteria, could be making asthma in children worse. Fumes from chlorine in pools, and even in the shower, could trigger an attack for some people with asthma and allergies. Those who suffer from asthma and allergies are often sensitive to gases that are produced when chlorine sanitizes bacteria in sweat or urine. These gases can build up in an enclosed shower, irritating the lungs of children and adults who have asthma and allergies.

Other chemicals in drinking water can affect people with asthma and allergies. Fluoride is added to most municipal water supplies to help fight tooth decay in children. But for some people with asthma and allergies, fluoride can compromise their health. Allergists for decades have known that documented cases exist of both adults and children with asthma and allergies who have suffered severe reactions to fluoride. In 1967, the Annals of Allergy published a study finding infants, children and one adult who had allergic skin reactions and asthma attacks after being exposed to tap water treated with fluoride. Households with members who have asthma and allergies can filter their tap water with a good filtration system to eliminate chlorine and fluoride from their water.

A recent study found that dehydration could play a significant role in asthma and allergies. One researcher believes that the lack of water vapor in the lungs causes the airways to constrict and for the asthmatic's lungs to produce mucus, the two factors that cause an asthma attack. The researcher recommends that people with asthma drink at least 10 eight-ounce glasses of water every day, along with a pinch of salt, and to avoid caffeine. This is because salt regulates water in the body and caffeine robs the body of needed water.

Interestingly enough, folk remedies for asthma and allergies bear out the water theory as well. Home cures include drinking hot water and inhaling steam from a bowl or kettle.

Purifying with the BelKraft water systems can remove all the chemicals and pollutants for your drinking water. This method of filtering can remove virtually all of the fluoride and chlorine out of tap water. This can be helpful for the family member with asthma and allergies who has sensitivities to these chemicals.

People with asthma and allergies can control their home environment even more by filtering chlorine and fluoride out of their tap water, allowing everyone to breathe easier.

WATER AND STROKE

Along with its many other benefits, drinking adequate water offers significant protection against heart problems, including strokes and heart attacks-even in those who have already experienced a stroke.

Although strokes are more common in the elderly population, stroke prevention can-and should-begin early in life.

Preventing Strokes

Studies have shown that people who are afflicted with heart disease and/or have previously suffered a stroke can reduce their risk of a future, fatal stroke by half just by keeping properly hydrated.

Although an excellent, simple, preventative measure for everyone, it is of particular importance for those with, or at risk for, heart disease to consume a minimum of one cup of water for every 20 pounds of body weight daily. It is most important to forego the morning cup of coffee in exchange for a mug or two of water. This is the time of day when our bodies are most dehydrated, as we do not consume any water while we sleep, as it is important to increase hydration as quickly as possible.

A lack of water leads to thickening of the blood, making a stroke all the more likely. Blood is at its thickest in the morning when we awake, a leading reason why strokes and heart attacks disproportionately occur in the morning. Beverages like orange juice and coffee temporarily thicken the blood, so if you must drink something other than water, wait until your hydration has been fully restored later in the day.

Water and Stroke Onset/Recovery

A person who feels a stroke coming on should drink water as soon as they begin to feel weak and as they wait for help. Receiving medical attention as quickly as possible is crucial, as damage to brain cells (which are irreplaceable) begins as quickly as four minutes after the beginning of the stroke.

In an attempt to restore oxygen flow to the brain, the body increases the size of the arteries around the area of the blockage. The more hydrated the blood is, the thinner it is, and the easier it can pass oxygen through to the brain. This, combined with your overall state of health, can be the key difference between minimal long-term side effects and permanent disability.

Many stroke victims experience difficulty swallowing and a dry mouth during their recovery. Although this usually subsides after a few weeks, it helps to take frequent small sips of water, or to use a spray bottle to keep the mouth moist.

KIDNEYS AND BLADDER PROBLEMS/STONES

People who do not drink enough water can easily develop bladder and kidney disorders due to the heavy concentration of urine that is passed.

Bladder

It almost seems like a paradox. The bladder aids in the passing of fluid from our body. Yet, to remain healthy, it needs water. The urinary bladder is a hollow organ made up of elastic muscle fibers, which allow it to expand without damage. Ordinarily, the bladder has the capacity to hold up to 750ml of fluid. According to the amount of fluid collected, pressure is exerted on the walls of the bladder and, as it mounts, this triggers the feeling of needing to pass water, or urinate. A bladder infection (or urinary tract infections, UTI), caused by bacteria getting into the urine, creates the same urge, but often the patient is able to produce only a few drops of water while suffering pain and discomfort. This discomfort is avoidable. Drinking the recommended 6-8 glasses of pure water a day will keep the bladder active and bacteria-free. Also, avoiding coffee, tea, carbonated beverages and alcohol can help, as they irritate the bladder and cause a slight amount of bleeding to occur. When bleeding occurs, bacteria may enter the blood vessels.

If a UTI is left untreated or undetected, it can turn into a kidney infection, as the bladders is connected to the two kidneys through ureters. Both can be treated with antibiotics, but as the infection passes to the kidney, lower back pain may develop as well, making a need for pain medication. Which leads us to kidneys..

Kidneys/Kidney Stones

While they don't sound as important as the heart and lungs, kidneys are very important to our health. The kidneys, along with the liver and or urinary tract rid our body of waste materials. If the kidneys were to stop operating for only two days, it would cause a retention of metabolic toxins, and then uremia would set in. The accumulation of waste products, normally excreted in the urine, would cause metabolic poisoning.

Build-up of bacteria and proteins can cause crystals to form, which are known as kidney stones. These are very painful to pass. Some studies show that dehydration increases the chances of having kidney stones, and drinking plenty of water may very well prevent the formation of them. People living in the southeastern United States may have more kidney stones than people living elsewhere, and it is thought that the cause may be related to temperature and dehydration.

Avoiding situations or controlling the other diseases that contribute to kidney disorders may sometimes prevent chronic kidney disease, where patients may have to rely on a kidney machine for survival. The earlier a person can alter factors that damage the kidneys, the better. Among the ways to help prevent chronic kidney disease are:

- Maintaining blood pressure at less than 130/85 mm Hg
- Maintain strict blood glucose control in people with
- Maintain healthy levels of fats (lipids), such as cholesterol and triglycerides
- Stop smoking or using other tobacco products

But perhaps one of the easiest and most effective ways is to avoid dehydration. Dehydration is not only a symptom, but also the cause of many aliments, especially kidney infections and other disorders that can lead to more serious matters. If someone is prone to kidney and urinary ailments, they will want to avoid dehydration at all costs. People will want to drink at least 48 ounces of pure water per day, and will want to promptly treat any illnesses that cause dehydration, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or fever. During hot weather and exercise, it is even more important to replenish fluids that may have been lost through water and even the occasional sports drink. Also, they will want to avoid caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and colas. They increase urine output and dehydrate the body faster, as do alcoholic beverages.

WATER AND DRY EYES/ SKIN

Picture a dry, scaly, cracking desert. Then, picture what water can do to moisten the land. Skin, for some, can be a dry terrain as well.

Many factors can cause dry eyes and skin, however, one of the most overlooked solutions is drinking water. Dehydration is becoming more and more of a contributor to health issues today, with studies finding that everything from allergies to chronic fatigue may be linked to something we all have plenty of - drinking water. Dryness included.

Drinking plenty of pure water - not soda, juice or other beverages - can help ease the discomfort of dry eyes and skin. Experts say that we need up to eight glasses a day of water, and if other factors exist, like living in a hot, dry environment, taking antihistamines, exercising or drinking alcohol, our need for water increases. For people with skin conditions, experts recommend up to two quarts of water every day.

In some cases, however, water also can actually cause dry eyes and skin. Chlorine is added to most drinking water supplies to kill bacteria and other potentially harmful agents that seep into lakes, rivers, streams or ground water. However, chlorine, and other chemicals in your water, the very chemical there to help in one area, could be causing problems for you every time you shower or relax in a hot bath.

Anyone who has ever gotten green hair or burning eyes from a swimming pool knows the effects chlorine can have on our bodies. The amounts of chlorine in drinking water are much lower, but it can still have the same, although milder effects, when we shower with it, including dry eyes and skin.

Showering with hard water, water that contains higher levels of calcium magnesium and other minerals that naturally exist in water, can contribute to dry eyes and skin. These elements often will react with soap and shampoo to leave a dry residue on your skin and scalp. This can make the skin itchy, and leave people uncomfortable all day.

Some people suffer from very painful or uncomfortable skin conditions such as eczema. Removing the chemicals from the water they use to bathe and shower can help cut down on their symptoms. Sometimes the chlorine and minerals in water can be even more irritating to people who have diseases of the skin.

Equipping your home with a whole house filter can remove the chlorine from your water before it ever touches your skin. It eliminates the chemicals that exist in water. Removing these elements from your water can help tremendously to cut down on the discomfort of dry eyes and skin.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND CHOLESTEROL

The number one killer in America is heart disease. And, two huge health risks that can lead to serious heart conditions are high blood pressure and high cholesterol. But, these can be prevented.

Let's start with high cholesterol. The American Heart Association says that one in five American's have too high a cholesterol level. But first, just what is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance called a lipid that is found inside cells and blood. It is produced naturally in the liver, but some of the 'bad' cholesterol comes from the food we eat, mainly in animal fats. While too much cholesterol can be harmful, a certain amount is necessary for bodily functions, such as making cell walls and acting as a building block to produce various hormones, bile acids, and Vitamin D.

Having too much cholesterol can block blood flow, resulting in a thickening and hardening of artery walls, a disorder called arteriosclerosis. Since this also narrows the arteries, blood flow can be slowed down, or even blocked. With less blood, the heart therefore gets less oxygen. That can result in chest pain, heart attack, or something as drastic as death. Lowering your blood cholesterol level is one of the best ways you can decrease your risk of heart disease. And, even if your cholesterol is close to the desirable range, 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood, you can lower it and reduce your risk of heart disease.

With all this thickening going on, water can play a very important role. Drinking water can actually thin the blood, making in a natural way to help the blood pump more smoothly. Drinking plenty of water will keep your blood ways clean! Since exercise, along with a healthy diet, is an important contribution to the lowering of cholesterol, once again, water needs to be drank in order to replenish what was lost. In fact, consumption of water so you are fully hydrated can increase your metabolic rate!

Let's move on to high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against artery walls as it makes it way through the body. Just like air in a tire, blood fills arteries to a certain capacity, and anything over that capacity can have damaging effects. (Ever have too much pressure in your tires?) Just like high cholesterol, high blood pressure can threaten healthy arteries and lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke. And what's scary is that there are not any real symptoms until, which is why high blood pressure is known as the silent killer.

Hypertension can be combated in many ways, such as quitting smoking, drinking alcohol or overweight. Water can also help lower this pressure, as blood is mainly comprised of water. If water levels drop, that can affect your blood pressure. So, drinking the healthy amount of pure water each say can maintain a healthy heart. Also, the kidneys clean the blood. If blood flow is limited to the kidneys because of lack of water or high blood pressure, it will think the body is low on water, and react by telling the brain to constrict veins and arteries, which will make pressure even higher.

Heart disease is a serious issue in America today, with two of the top causes being high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Drinking enough water can combat both of these.

WATER AND CONSTIPATION

Constipation is a gastro-intestinal symptom that occurs when bowel movements are made less often, and stool is harder, making it difficult to pass. Most people at some point in their lives will experience constipation. In most cases, constipation is only temporary and not serious. Understanding its causes, prevention, and treatment will help most people find relief.

There are two types of constipation, one being more severe than the other. Slow transit constipation is the most common form. Lack of fiber and inadequate water in the diet are common causes of slow transit constipation. One of the major symptoms of this type is dehydration. The other method, outlet delay, has to do more with loss of function in the pelvic area, and occur morex in senior citizens.

How do we get constipated? Well, food flows through the small intestine as a liquid mixture of digestive juices and the food you eat. By the time it reaches the large intestine, all the nutrients have been absorbed. The large intestine has one main function: to absorb water from the waste liquid, and turn it into a waste solid, known as the stool. The hard and dry stools of constipation occur when the colon absorbs too much water, or if the colon's muscle contractions are too slow or sluggish, which results in the stool moving through the colon at too slow a pace. These hard, dry stools are difficult to pass, as they cause strain. The reason they are difficult to pass is that the hard, dry stool actually sticks to the dry wall of the colon and requires that the colon develop high-pressure waves to be moved. Since the body needs help to remove the stool, strain is then placed on the abdominal muscles to contribute the necessary force to push out the stool. This straining can have negative effects to the body, such as the development of hernias, varicose veins, hiatus hernia (upward pressure forcing the stomach into the chest), diverticulitis and diverticulosis (weakening and infection of the colon wall), hemorrhoids, anal fissures and fistulae. Colorectal cancers may also be more common in patients with lifelong habit constipation. Doesn't sound pretty does it?

There are ways to prevent this. Liquids, like water and juice, add fluid to the colon and bulk to stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass. Because the colon needs water to do its job, dehydration can be a major cause of constipation.
Since many constipation sufferers are dehydrated, a major way of preventing this uncomfortable disorder is to drink an extra two to four glasses of pure water per day. That is on top of the recommended 8-10. Along with that, alcoholic and caffienated beverages should be avoided. However, water may not be able to do it totally alone. Fluids will not promote normal bowel function on their own, as the small intestine can also absorb of this fluid. It is best to combine a high fluid intake with a high dietary fiber, otherwise, people will just urinate more.

Constipation could also be caused by other disorders, which also stem from dehydration, such as uremia, a kidney disorder. Chronic constipation can also lead to more severe gastro-intestinal disorders if left untreated, such as colorectal cancer, as noted above.

Stay hydrated, and the food you eat will move through your systems much more smooth, resulting in comfortable bathroom breaks.

WATER AND GOUT

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night, in excruciating pain from a throbbing big toe. Congratulations. It is your first gout attack.

Gout is a painful disease that is caused by deposits of uric acid crystals in the bloodstream, ending up in the joints of the body. It is characterized by pain, swelling, redness, and heat/inflammation as well as stiffness in a joint or joints. Gout is also a form of arthritis, or inflammation of the joints, and is most common in men. Gout was once thought of as a disease that only affected the rich and famous, as drinking lots of alcohol and eating rich foods are a cause to the disease. Those activities are associated with the glitz and glamour of show biz! Alcohol is a symptom though, and we know that's not just for the stars!

How gout happens is this: The body produces too much uric acid, or does not excrete it with the urine. The excess uric acid may not be able to be removed by the kidneys, which then builds up and may form crystals in bloodstream, which find their way to their final destination- the joints. Causes of crystal formation include drinking too much alcohol, taking medications that may increase the uric acid concentration, eating foods that are high in purines (liver, peas, beans) and being overweight. Experts say that while alcohol is a key factor, metabolism has more to do with it, so weight is important to take into consideration.

Gout begins with an attack, usually in the middle of the night, with extreme swelling and throbbing in the joints, and most commonly in the big toe. Gout is in fact a recurring disease. People who have gout may have a few very painful attacks in one or two joints, usually the big toe, foot, ankle, or knee joints. The attack can last a few days or as long as several weeks, and then the symptoms can totally disappear, not to return for months or years. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious forms of arthritis.
Water can help out gout in many ways. For starters, since water can serve as a joint lubricant, one who is at risk for gout should be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Also, being that gout can be caused by frequent alcohol intake, it can leave people dehydrated. Beer is the worst type of alcohol to drink in terms of getting gout, as in contains more purines than any other alcoholic beverage.

Dehydration can also lead to kidney infections, stones and even failure. All this can create that excess uric acid that causes gout in the first place. In addition, people on high protein diets are actually consuming more meat, which means they are at risk for consuming uric acid found in their food source. Drinking more water can flush the body of these harmful toxins. Drinking more water can also help someone overweight lose excess weight, or maintain weight.

On a final note, lead poising can also be attributed to causing gout. It is a great idea to get water checked for unsafe levels of this toxic metal.

WATER AND INSOMNIA

Did you ever jab a friend with a pencil in grade school, and get reprimanded and told that it could cause lead poising? Well, so can water. Lead poising is nothing to joke about, and in fact, can cause many types of disorders, including difficulty sleeping. The sleeping disorder insomnia can be severe, as it can affect one's work and family life. There are many factors that can cause insomnia, but let's explore an environmental factor that can cause this disease, and also how water can treat it.

The statistic is alarming: about 30% of Americans are drinking water that contains lead levels in excess of the EPA maximum contaminant level. Lead, in larger quantities, is considered a metabolic poison and has caused people many untold ills such as damage to the kidneys and liver, nervous, reproductive, cardiovascular, immune and gastrointestinal systems.

In addition to insomnia, lead consumption in childhood can lead to a lower IQ and impairment in reading, writing, math, visual and motor skills, language, abstract thinking and concentration. Exposure to the toxic metal may contribute to crime and anti-social behavior in children.

Another element found in water that can cause insomnia is, MTBE is a chemical added to gasoline to reduce carbon monoxide emissions from automobiles. MTBE has, throughout the years, leaked into ground water. Reports of hundreds of people becoming ill have come to light and are connected to MTBE contamination in drinking water. Neurological symptoms aside from insomnia include headache, nausea, palpitations, anxiety, and some visual disturbances.

It is important to filter your water to prevent the side effects of these toxic metals, which include insomnia. If it is too late and the disorder has already invaded your life, you must treat it. To treat insomnia, it is best to get a consultation from a sleep doctor, usually a neurologist. They will determine if you need a sleep test to make the diagnosis. There are many medications used to fight this disease, as well as behavioral changes that can also be made.

Being that alcohol and caffeine can influence body rhythms, as can sugar, it is best to avoid those types of drinks. Some people think they can use alcohol to fall asleep, but it does not help. Also, caffeine and sugars act as a stimulant, so it should be obvious to avoid beverages with either or both to aid in falling asleep. Instead, drinking water- without lead of course- can help insomniacs sleep better.

Another reason insomniacs should drink plenty of water during the day is to stay hydrated. (But not 4 hours prior to bedtime, as the urge to urinate can wake them up during the night!) Water is our internal cooling and temperature balance system. Dehydration can lead to increase of toxins in your bloodstream and can cause irritability in your physical levels of comfort and becomes more noticeable at night. Drinking pure water throughout the day can flush those toxins out of the body. That said, a healthy body is a more restful body!

WATER AND CANCER

More and more communities are becoming concerned about potential links between cancer and chemicals found in their drinking water. Whether you drink municipal water or drink from a well, additives and contaminates linked to cancer probably exist in your water.

Although water providers are required by federal law to follow guidelines that are designed to keep these cancer-causing chemicals at "safe" levels in the water, there is much debate at what actually is "safe." Because of these concerns, water providers are now required by law to publish the results of their water testing every year for public review.

Some of the chemicals added to water to keep us healthy could oddly enough actually be contributing to cancer rates. Studies concerning chlorine and fluoride have determined high levels of these chemicals could cause cancer.

Chlorine, used to disinfect most community water supplies, produce Trihalomethanes (THMs), chemicals formed when chlorine reacts with organic material, like bacteria, in water. The American Journal of Public Health published an article in regard to a 1992 study that linked trihalomethanes in water to incidences of rectal, bladder and pancreatic cancer.

Citizens groups frequently target fluoride, which is added to the water supply of most municipalities to help cut down on tooth decay in children, as a possible carcinogen. The Journal of Epidemiology, in 2001, linked fluoride as the genetic cause of cancer. A 1990 National Toxicology Program study determined fluoride could be the cause of cancers affecting the mouth, pharynx, colon and rectum. Another study, with results published in the Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology in 2001, linked osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, with fluoride.

Natural occurring radioactive agents like radium, uranium and radon, seep into the water supply. High levels of these elements can cause cancer of the brain and bone.

People living in rural areas with their own water wells are also at risk of drinking potentially cancer-causing chemicals. Fertilizer, insecticides and herbicides contain carcinogens that can filter down into the water supply. Nitrate, a by-product of fertilizer, also shows up in water supplies. In the human body, nitrate breaks down into nitrosamines, which are potentially cancer-causing agents.

Atrazine, an herbicide used on crops, is also found in drinking water. It is suspected of causing breast cancer. Another chemical, trichloroethylene, a solvent used in dry cleaning, is found sometimes in water supplies near facilities that do not dispose of their chemicals properly. It is considered a possible cancer-causing agent as well.

Most municipalities do not have the costly technology to filter these and other potentially harmful chemicals from the water. Neither do most bottled water companies, which frequently get the water they bottle from the same sources as municipalities. Filtering is one of the few effective ways to remove potential cancer-causing chemicals from your water.

WATER AND PROSTATE CANCER

Prostate cancer is mostly thought of as a senior citizen disease, with over 75% of diagnoses made on men over the age of 65. However, this means that over one-fourth of all prostate cancer patients are not yet of retirement age. Everyone, no matter how young, can benefit from certain preventative measures.

Preventing Prostate Cancer

Certain water contaminants have been linked with higher rates of prostate cancer. These include atrazine, a widely used weed-killer that permeates through the soil into water supplies. Atrazine is particularly prevalent during the springtime, when most crops are fertilized. Although the Environmental Protection Agency imposes a limit on atrazine levels in water, this limit is based on a yearly average, meaning low levels during off-season can off-set alarmingly high levels during growing season.

Another outside contributor to developing prostate cancer is the plastic packaging used for bottled water. Multiple studies have shown that the toxic chemicals used to create plastic packaging can break down and seep into the water within, wreaking havoc on the body. Prostate cancer is especially sensitive to environmental factors, making bottled water a particular concern. Avoid large water containers whenever possible, as these transmit the highest levels of toxins.

A diet high in fiber is credited with reducing the risk of contracting prostate cancer. However, in order for a high-fiber meal plan to be effective, one must drink at least one cup of water for every 20 pounds of body weight daily, and supplement their diet with additional sources of calcium, zinc, and iron. Drinking the required amount of water provides as much as one-third of the recommended daily intake of calcium.

Consuming a minimum of eight glasses of atrazine-devoid, non-bottled water each day keeps your body running at its best to prevent cancer from the start, helping to eliminate toxins from the body and keeping the prostate in working order.

Water and Prostate Cancer Treatment

There is hope for those who have already been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Over 70% of diagnosed men die from causes not related to their cancer, and many can go on safely with no treatment, under the supervision of a physician.

Water consumption is of even greater importance for those who already have prostate cancer. Certain hormones affected by the cancer also regulate bodily processes like water regulation, and when the body is dehydrated, these hormones are unable to work effectively. Thirst is a sign that the body is already dehydrated; so don't wait until you feel the urge-keep drinking water throughout the day. Consuming adequate amounts of water each day can help to maintain good health and a strong immune system to help in your battle against cancer.

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