If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, you are experiencing winter. The cold, and sometimes damp, winter generally makes Parkinson’s symptoms worse and movement more difficult. Also, people are drinking less water in the winter. Not drinking enough water will make Parkinson’s symptoms worse and movement more difficult, too. Not only will drinking more water help with symptoms and movement, but it also will help with urinary urgency and frequency as well as constipation. Don’t you think it is time to drink more water?
In the past when I have discussed drinking more water, the most common response is pretty much like this: “But I already have urgency of urination problems and I get up 4-6 times to empty my bladder in the middle of the night, so the last thing I want to do is drink more water.” Although it may sound counter-intuitive, drinking more water will solve these problems.
My theory is that you are not taking in enough water, and that accounts for your problem. I feel that the reason frequent and urgent urination are Parkinson’s issues is because the liver cannot process and cleanse our toxins and it puts our kidneys into overdrive — you keep running to the bathroom because your body is in survival mode and you need to get the toxins out of your body. More water will change this landscape.
My not-enough-water theory is based upon my experience, the experiences of people who I am coaching, and the experiences of people who have posted comments in the past or sent me emails when I have mentioned this issue.
One of the causes of Parkinson’s Disease is: Kidney and Liver Wind Deficiency, which is caused by overwork and insufficient rest which unbalances the body’s natural rhythm. As I have written many times, the liver has been invaded by wind, so the liver is not cleansing toxins from the body as it should, and internal wind makes you shake.
When I was suffering from severe constipation, I changed to a vegetarian diet and I substantially increased my fiber intake. My research told me that a substantial increase in fiber would make the constipation worse unless it was matched with an increase in water. I, like you, thought, “The last thing in the world I need is more water. I might as well live in the bathroom.” However, since my constipation was very severe, I decided to go with the lesser of two evils and increase my water intake.
Remarkable, both problems were solved in large part by something as simple as water. Here is my analysis of what I feel occurred, which is why I feel this will work for you.
A Parkinson’s body is a polluted, toxic body. Your liver is not functioning correctly and toxins are not being cleansed from your body correctly. The body, a great survivor, reaches down deep into greater survival mode and calls upon the other wonderful toxin cleanser, the kidneys, and tells the kidneys to work overtime at cleansing the toxins the liver is incapable of dealing with.
The kidneys go into overdrive and spend their time cleansing toxins and sending them to the bladder for release from the body. That is why you not only experience frequent urination, but it is emergency (don’t know if I can make it to the bathroom) urination. It comes on suddenly and there is nothing to do but respond immediately. This certainly sounds like the reaction of a body that is saying, “Get these toxins out immediately or else.” There is absolutely no choice to hold them in even a moment longer than when they tell you, “Time to go.”
So how does more water help? The body becomes hydrated. By having enough liquid in your bowels, you become regular and release your waste normally rather than having the large intestine pulling the toxins back into our body. So, solving constipation helps reduce toxins. If toxins are reduced, the liver can function better and the kidneys are not in overdrive. Also, when the body becomes hydrated, the toxins become diluted. This makes it easier for the liver to cleanse the body, and it alleviates the emergency response of the liver and the kidneys.
If the kidneys are not in overdrive cleansing toxins and sending them to the bladder for emergency elimination, two wonderful things take place: 1. Urination frequency decreases and the urgency goes away; and 2. Instead of the kidneys being in “toxin-cleansing overdrive,” the kidneys are free to use their energy to nourish the brain and increase brain energy, something sorely needed in your Parkinson’s body.
So, there you have it. Something as simple as drinking more water can vastly improve your body’s natural ability to cleanse toxins, relieve constipation, relieve frequent emergency urination, and free the kidneys to use their energy to nourish your brain.
I know that this may seem contrary to everything you know, but what have you got to lose. People have asked me what is enough water. I recommend, at a minimum, eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (1/2 gallon per day). For our metric system friends, this is approximately eight 1/4-liter glasses per day (2 liters per day). Here is the part that takes a great leap of faith — I recommend 8-16 ounces of water (1/4-1/2 liters of water) fifteen to thirty minutes prior to going to bed.
Also, put a glass of water on the counter in the bathroom. After emptying your bladder for the first time in the middle of the night, drink the glass of water. When you empty your bladder for the first time in the middle of the night, unless you put more water into your body, then urgent and frequent urination will occur the remainder of the night because the toxins are not getting diluted anymore (you just emptied the water).
According to the Chinese body clock, your organs function at their peak in two-hour intervals. The Gallbladder is at its peak from 11:00pm until 1:00am and the Liver from 1:00am until 3:00am. At their peak during this 4-hour time period, the Liver and Gallbladder are cleansing toxins from your body. With Parkinson’s, this means highly toxic wastes are being sent for immediate elimination from the body and you go to the bathroom to empty your bladder 4-6 times per night. Drinking the water prior to bedtime and after the first urination in the nighttime helps dilute the toxicity acquired during this 4-hour cleansing interval, so the urgent and frequent urination during the night is dramatically reduced.
One last thing on the importance of drinking water: Evacuation.
Evacuation of the bladder and bowels is a topic normally not discussed in polite company, but one that is important to discuss in Parkinson’s recovery. What many people face with difficulties of urgent and frequent urination, plus constipation, and these are issues I suffered from as well, was the need for pressing, pushing, and bearing down to get urine evacuation started and to get bowel evacuation to take place at all. I researched this extensively when I had Parkinson’s, and I learned that the pressing, pushing, and bearing down was creating a bigger problem than the two I already had.
That is as graphic as I need to get. Here is what I learned was occurring. The pressing, pushing, and bearing down causes the evacuation release valves to tighten inward, thus blocking easy evacuation from taking place, and sometimes preventing any evacuation from taking place. Those release valves need to relax and open outward, thus allowing for the evacuation to flow normally. You can turn this process around by deep breathing. That’s right, deep diaphragm, deep belly, breathing. I wrote about how to do this in the previous post about the importance of proper breathing. Click here for a refresher.
With deep diaphragm breathing, the diaphragm lightly presses down on the large intestine and the bladder and helps the evacuation process in two ways: 1. By lightly pressing against the large intestine and bladder, the deep inhale/exhale creates a massage-like process that “moves” things along; and 2. The relaxing nature of the deep breathing, and that things are naturally moving along, allows the evacuation release valves to relax and open in the correct direction for easy evacuation of the bladder and large intestine.
Okay! Now go get a glass of water and help improve you life and your Parkinson’s recovery.
You are worth it!!!
All my best,