The other day I had a consultation with Jennifer (not her real name) who complained of headaches. She took OTC tablets to relieve it. But the headaches would just come back.
She also started to have muscle aches in both her legs and low back.
After examining her I thought that this would be a great consultation to help you, if you are suffering with headaches and muscle cramps.
Often time we go to the doctors office for a pill to take away the pain. And you know what? I so get that. I personally cannot tolerate any pain. I am the worst when it comes to pain.
The problem is we can give you pain medication but why not get to the root of the problem? And if it is a bad root then lets pull it out so the tree doesn't bloom. In this case the Headache and Muscle Ache Tree. Do you see my logic?
After I did a complete exam on Jennifer I noticed that she was very dehydrated: her mouth was really dry and her skin had tenting.
What's tenting? It's when you pinch the skin on the top of your hand and if you are well hydrated the skin pulls back quickly back to your hand. This indicates you are well hydrated. Bravo!
However if the skin doesn't pull back and stays up like a tent, then you are dehydrated.
Back to the story:
Both tenting and a dry mouth are signs of dehydration. Dehydration can cause you to have headaches and muscle cramps.
I asked "how much water do you drink Jen? "She sheepishly said "Hardly any. I can't stand the taste."
After giving her my Water 101 Seminar she started to understand.
In a nutshell here is the Dr. Isabel Water 101 Life Lesson:
- We are 70 % water.
- We need 30ml per kilogram of water per weight or 1 ounce for every pound of weight, to be hydrated.
- If we are sweating a lot then guess what? You got it. You need to drink up some more. You'll know when you have when your mouth isn't dry, you don't have any tenting and you are visiting the rest room frequently.
A 70 kg person needs 30ml/kg of weight x 70 kg = 2100 mls or 2.1 liters of water per day.
A 154 pound person needs 1 oz./lb of weight x 154 lbs. = 154 oz, or 1.2 gallons of water per day.
I don't recommend you drink this all in one shot. It will dilute the well balanced chemicals in your brain, and you could have a seizure.
Try this: Drink 1/2 of it in the morning and the other 1/2 in the afternoon.
- Put in a slice of lime, lemon, strawberry or if you must, and I mean absolutely must sprinkle in a 1teaspoon of coconut or plain table sugar (not 1 tablespoon) in your water jug to get it down.
Remember we only need 4 teaspoons of sugar a day and for comparison sake, one banana has 4.25 teaspoons of sugar.
One little banana can use up your sugar quota for one day. Baam, just like that!
- If you drink anything with caffeine in it, make sure you replace with 2 cups of water.It's a 1 to 2 ratio.
Great question. Because caffeine dehydrates you.
So we need to keep that in mind.
For example: 2 cups of coffee = 4 of water ON TOP of your daily required amount of water intake.
If you have heart problems, make sure to consult your physician.
- Another cause of headaches and muscle aches can be a magnesium deficiency.
Sign of magnesium deficiency can be constipation, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, sensitivity to loud noises, heart palpitations, in addition to headaches and muscle cramps.
Now your blood test for magnesium can be normal in the face of a total body deficiency, so the treatment is best based on symptoms.
Treatment consists of magnesium glycinate, citrate, or aspartate in doses that relieve symptoms or until you get loose bowels. And if you have kidney disease of any kind, do this only with a doctor's supervision please.
To wrap up.
- Drink your water and stay hydrated.
- Try adding Magnesium supplementation.
Dr. Isabel MD