Scientific studies show that even mild dehydration, from short periods of fluid restriction, decreases alertness and ability to concentrate and impairs performance. German researchers have found that dehydration contributes to and exacerbates many chronic diseases. For example, dehydration increases the risk of developing urinary tract infections, kidney stones, constipation, asthma during exercise, high blood pressure, clots, stroke, chronic lung disorders, and diabetic ketoacidosis. Dehydration has also been linked to an increased risk for falling, dental disease, and impaired cognitive functioning and is an independent predictor of mortality in the elderly.
Scientists at Stanford University note that dehydration with its ensuing insufficient water in the blood can trigger activation of the sympathetic nerves. Abnormal sympathetic hyperactivity plays an essential role in high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, sleep deprivation, fibromyalgia, inflammation, and cancer. Dehydration is then one trigger to many diseases.
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Manz, F. and Wentz, The importance of good hydration for the prevention of chronic disease. Research Institute of Child Nutrition.
Yung, A.J., et al, Clinical benefits of hydration and volume expansion in a wide range of illnesses may be attributable to reduction of sympatho-vago ratio, Med Hypotheses.