Biocid Health Good health is the pleasure day

30May/16Off

Can Drinking Too Much Water Kill You

h16Nowadays, we hear people mention the 8x8 rule more and more often. We don't only hear it on TV or at the hospital, but also in the park, at the supermarket or even at the gas station. Everyone seems to know that drinking eight 8-ounce glasses per day is a necessity if you want to stay healthy.

But is it really so? Do our bodies really need that certain quantity of water everyday? Or it's just an invention whose purpose is to make us more careful to what we drink?

Well, scientists have finally come to a steadier conclusion: It doesn't matter how much water you drink daily, as long as your body is properly hydrated and you don't feel the need to drink more.

And after all, there's no reason to question this, we all know that the human body is capable to make us aware of our deficiencies. Don't we feel the need to eat when our stomach is empty? Or don't we start shivering when we're cold? It's the same with water, we feel thirsty every time our body needs more liquids.

There's no point filling up our body with water if there's no need for it. There's actually a big reason why we shouldn't.

It's a known fact that too little water can lead to dehydration, and dehydration can easily kill you. But have you ever thought that too much water can also have the very same effect?

In everyone's body, there is a certain balance between the electrolytes (the minerals from the blood together with the fluid that carries the electric charge) and water. Once this balance is destroyed, that person's life may be in a real danger.

Physicians call this health issue "hyponatremia", but it is widely known as "water poisoning". It may sound funny, but it is a very severe condition which, if not treated properly and rapidly, can lead to renal failure and afterwards, death.

How does this happen? Well, once the quantity of water from our body becomes much higher than normal, the quantity of electrolytes will become too low for it, therefore an imbalance between these 2 would be unavoidable.

And once that imbalance appears, the person will start to experience muscular cramps, dizziness, nausea and even convulsions. If these aren't treated, they can rapidly lead to death.

Therefore, is water poisoning something we can often deal with? Is it something we should try to avoid as much as we can?

Well, fortunately for us, it's pretty hard to play tricks on a pair of healthy kidneys, even by mistake.

This means that water intoxications aren't as common in average people as they are in professional athletes. The latter are actually known for consuming a much higher quantity of water, but for good reasons, right?

Well, the results of a 2005 study published in New England Journal of Medicine claim that almost 1/6 of the 2002 Boston Marathon participants have experienced a certain level of hyponatremia.

Another study, published in the 2006 British Journal of Sports Magazine, states that physical exercises are frequently associated with hyponatremia because of the excessive water consumption.

In that article, Timothy Noakes and Benjamin Speedy, two sports medicine doctors, claim the biomedical community is in a process of admitting the risks of the over-hydration in professional athletes.

However, these examples aren't something we should worry about too much, as they are pretty rare cases in average people. The most important thing is to drink a proper quantity of water after physical exercise or effort, without exaggerating.

So, now you're probably wondering "Okay, too much water isn't good at all?", but can drinking too much water actually kill you?

Yes, it can, in theory. But just like I said before, it's not really the case to worry, because you couldn't normally drink so much water that would lead to water intoxication. Your body would show you clear signs and would make you stop.

12Apr/16Off

The Therapeutic Value of Tears

h10Human beings are the only creatures able to shed tears in response to emotional stress. This is what makes us different from animals. But because of social, cultural or parental influence, crying makes us feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. How often have we heard the admonition "Big boys don't cry." It is dinned into the minds of children, that crying signifies weakness. An advertisement on TV showed how a boy who throughout his growing years was reminded that 'boys don't cry.' He grew into an emotionally repressed adult and became moody, glum and short tempered. Later in life he turned into a tyrant and wife batterer and was convicted for domestic violence.

In ancient literature we read about great heroes who were not afraid to cry. Achilles cried at the death of his friend Petroclus. Aneas wept for the loss of his friends and companions in war. In Egyptian mythology Isis wept for the dead Osiris. In the Bible, we read that Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. In recent times Presidents like Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Regan, Clinton and Bush (Sr) have been known to shed tears in public. So crying is not just the prerogative of women. Males also shed tears in public, disputing the belief that 'boys don't cry.' Of course women cry more readily than men. But girls who break into sobs at the slightest provocation are called 'cry babies' and even suspected of emotional instability. Neurotics cry easily and alexithymics don't cry at all.

God has endowed human beings with a gamut of emotions - to feel, to cry, to be happy or sad or angry. Crying is a healthy response to some of life's problems. We shed tears of joy when we are happy. People who receive unexpected awards or recognition are overwhelmed with tears of joy. Some people cry out of frustration. Children, who cannot have their way or cannot retaliate against elders, exhibit their frustration through tantrums. But usually crying is associated with grief. The loss of a loved one or a job or a business or even a pet are hurtful psychological experiences which create a great deal of stress. Tears are one way to relieve tension and initiate the process of healing.

Crying is a normal response to bereavement. When sadness reaches a peak of intensity, tears bring therapeutic release. Once the crying stops the body relaxes, heart rate slows, breathing becomes regular and blood pressure is back to normal. So crying is actually a transitional point between tension and feeling better. It will not make problems disappear but will help put them in perspective so that one can deal with them in a level headed way.

Even 2000 years ago the Greeks and Romans were aware that shedding of tears relieved tension. "It is a relief to weep. Grief is satisfied and carried off by tears," said the poet Ovid. Aristotle was of the opinion that crying "cleanses the mind" of suppressed emotions. Freud and Breuer considered crying "an involuntary reflex to relieve tension and allow blocked negative emotions to be released."

Professor William Frey of the University of Minnesota in his study said that chemicals which build up during emotional stress are removed through tears. Tears associated with emotions have a higher level of certain proteins and chemicals such as magnesium and potassium. Manganese which affects moods was found to be thirty times of greater concentration in tears than in blood serum. So unalleviated stress was likely to cause heart attacks or even damage certain areas of the brain.

The presence of the hormone Prolactin in tears explains why women cry more easily than men.

Alexander Fleming (discoverer of Penicillin) did a chemical analysis of tears and found that they contain an enzyme Lysozyme which dissolves the outer coat of many bacteria. Through suppression of tears we may suffer both physical and emotional consequences.

Weeping is not weakness. Those who put on a brave front and bottle up their emotions are merely internalizing their pain and suffer symptoms like headache, peptic ulcers, high blood pressure, irritability or depression. Inability to cry can make a person dysfunctional. Men giving vent to tears is now acceptable in society. In Japan they call it the 'crying boom' encouraging people to express their emotions.

God has placed in our bodies a natural provision for relief of tension and grief. Everyone grieves differently depending on one's personality, coping skills, faith, nature of loss and tradition. In some cultures it is okay to cry loudly without inhibitions and make a show of their grief. I witnessed a death in a Khurdish community in Iran. It was frightening to see women tearing their hair, clawing at their cheeks to draw blood and rolling on the ground, and screaming. They believed that the departed soul would rest in peace knowing how dearly he or she was loved.

Therapeutic Value of tears:

• Crying is something personal. It is not an exhibition of grief but a physical manifestation of internal emotions.

• It is the beginning of a process of dealing with sadness. "We are healed of suffering only when we experience it the full," said Marcel Proust.

• Crying helps to visualize a new scenario for our lives. It helps accept that our loss is real and even while we continue to grieve, we begin to envisage a life without the person we have lost.

• Crying is cathartic. It releases toxins and pent up emotions, helping us to handle our loss instead of being afraid of it.

• Crying is effective in starting the process of healing. "It is not only a human response to sorrow and frustration but a healthy one," says William Frey. According to his study 85% of women and 75% of men felt less angry or sad after crying. In Ancient Middle East mourners would collect their tears in wineskins and place them on the tomb of their loved ones.

• Crying may also be a call for support from relatives and friends. "Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted," says the Bible. Friends and relatives should allow the griever to vent his pain and help validate his grief.