Overfed But Undernourished

As a nutritionist, I know one thing’s for sure: the road to chronic disease often begins on our plate! While many people turn to pills for relief, the downside of this strategy is that meds often address symptoms rather than treat the root cause(s) of disease.managing chronic pain

Here are nine signs that your lack of health and happiness might actually be a nutrient deficiency:

1. You’re suffering from anxiety and depression.

According to the National Institutes of Health, about 21 million American adults suffer from a mood disorder every year. A deficiency in the following nutrients may be linked to anxiety and depression: B vitamins, biotin, vitamin Cvitamin D, calcium, chromium, seleniumomega-3 fatty acids, and iron.

2. Your bones are weak.

No matter how old you are, strong bones are vital to feeling fit and healthy. If you have troubles in this department, you might be lacking: vitamins A, vitamin Cvitamin D and vitamin K, copper, chromium, zinc, magnesium, and molybdenum.

 

3. You have brittle hair & nails, or hair loss.

It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, beautiful hair and nails are really nice to have. If you’re not too happy with yours, you could be needing vitamins B5, B6, B12, biotin, or chlorine.

 

4. You’re tired all the time.

Do you sometimes feel like you want to do so much but are just too tired to do anything? Fatigue is a huge problem for many of us and keeps us from living life to the fullest. If you’re lacking energy, you might be missing: vitamins B1, B3, B11, B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, biotin, iron, potassium, or magnesium.

5. You’re experiencing hyperactivity/ADHD.

Sometimes meds are necessary to help you calm your mind. But maybe you’re lacking attention and calm “simply” because you are deficient in: vitamins B1, B2, B5, E, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, magnesium, or zinc.

6. You have poor immunity, or you experience infections often.

Nobody wants to be sick all-the time or constantly deal with inflammation or infections. A strong immune system can fend off a lot and help you heal. If your body’s defense is constantly letting you down, however, it may be calling for vitamins A, C, D & E, chromium, seleniummagnesium, or zinc.

7. You have skin troubles.

Acne, rashes, eczema and age spots can be very annoying and undermine our self-esteem. There’s a lot we can put onto our skin, but if you want to heal your issues from within, it’s good to know that skin troubles are often caused by a deficiency in:vitamins A, B3, biotin, B8, C, E, omega-3 fats, copper, selenium, or zinc.

8. You’re dealing with digestive issues.

If you don’t digest and absorb your food properly, the best diet in the world is pretty useless. If you’re suffering from poor digestion, constipation, diarrhea, bloating or other GI tract troubles, you might be lacking: vitamin B11 & iron, B8, B12, C, D, E, K, selenium, magnesium, or zinc.

9. You can’t sleep.

Did you know that 90% of people who suffer from sleeplessness also suffer from other chronic conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease or high blood pressure? They are also more likely to feel depressed or gain weight.

If getting enough zzz’s seems impossible, you could be deficient in: Vitamins B11, E, calcium, magnesium, or zinc.

What to do if you’re worried that you’re nutrient-deficient

Keep a diary and note down when exactly you experience which symptoms. Once you’ve got a good overview, call your doctor to schedule a comprehensive blood test and, if possible, discuss the results with someone experienced in orthomolecular therapy.

Also, make sure to eat a balanced diet, rich in a rainbow of colors. Aim to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Some ideas to help you do this:

  • Have “liquid salads” (aka green smoothies).
  • Put a bowl with fruit on every table in your home.
  • Keep containers with a mix of veggies in your fridge to take with you when you leave the house.
  • Dehydrate veggies.
  • Make your own veggie chips.
  • Schedule actual fruit breaks in your agenda (with reminders).

If our body and mind are out of balance, there is a lot we can do ourselves to make things better. Start slowly with simple and real food, find alternatives for coffee, alcohol, and white sugar (because these affect the absorption of nutrients) and learn about a holistic approach to health and happiness.

by Nathalie Chantal de Ahnapain relief
I noticed a significant change in my chronic pain just by removing processed foods and adding a high quality multivitamin to my diet. Hope this information helps. Brian

5 Things To Know About Pain

1. What is pain?

Pain is such a simple word, but the problem is that what people think it means is not really what it means. All of my patients tend to associate what’s going on in their arm or their back as pain out there in the body. But it’s not. It’s something we call nociception — electrochemical signals generated in our body in response to injury that get transmitted along nerve fibers to our spinal cord and up to our brain, where they’re processed and become the experience of pain.

PAIN

For example, if you cut your finger, that’s not pain in your finger, that’s nociception. But nociception is such a terrible word; it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, and it’s not easy for people to remember.

Pain can be an acute event, which signals there is harm and you need to get away from it. Unfortunately, when pain becomes chronic — when it’s present for long periods of time after the tissue has healed — we can still have this perception of pain even though there is no obvious tissue damage or injury. At that point, pain fundamentally causes rewiring and alterations in our nervous system.

We need to think about pain as a disease in and of its own right — much like any other chronic disease, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease.

2. What are common myths about pain?

One is that it’s all in your head. This has some basis in truth, but we have to be careful. Yes, pain is all in our brain, but that doesn’t mean it’s made up. I spend a lot of time with my patients validating their experience of pain and then helping them understand how pain really is influenced in the brain by a multitude of factors — stress, anger, catastrophizing, anxiety, belief systems, expectations — all of these play a significant role in our experience of pain.

Another myth is that you have to live with it. We need to first find out if there are any medical causes that can be corrected for someone’s pain, so it’s not just a matter of telling someone you have to live with it. But it’s up to us physicians to show people how to best manage that pain, whether through medication, surgery, physical and occupational therapy, or mind/body approaches — all of these show significant benefit in reducing patients’ pain and helping them improve quality of life and physical functioning.

One other myth is that patients sometimes think medication is going to cure pain. Most of the time, medications help reduce or alleviate patients’ pain, but in very few cases do they have disease-modifying properties. The truth is, for many of these chronic painful conditions, we haven’t found specific cures for the pain, but we have found wonderful ways to manage it.

3. Is chronic pain different for men and women?

Yes. This is a hot topic right now. What we know is there’s a larger percentage of women who experience chronic pain –the data in my clinic is two-thirds women to one-third men. Women are more likely to get certain chronic painful conditions, such as fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome. Some conditions tend to affect men more, such as cluster headaches.

Women are also more sensitive to experimentally evoked pain (pain produced in a laboratory or research study) — heat, cold, electrical stimuli, pressure. But we have to be careful not to interpret this increase to mean that women are weaker than men because there are genetic, hormonal, and central brain differences in women that we believe may be playing a role.

4. What promising new drugs or treatments are on the horizon?

There are drugs under investigation that modulate [adjust] the immune response in certain autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, that lead to chronic pain. Some of these are showing promise.

Researchers are working on gene therapy approaches to chronic pain, using viruses to turn on and off our own internal chemical plants to release pain-relieving substances. An example of this is when you get a runner’s high: You can have gene therapy that turns that on continuously. These are still in the early stages, but they hold promise.

Scientists are investigating different ways of implanting stimulators into our nervous system and into our brain to turn off the signals responsible for pain. I think we’re going to be seeing exciting treatments for chronic pain in the future.

5. What do we now know about pain that we didn’t a few years ago?

The mind and body are very linked, and research is showing that linkage more and more.

Recently, we developed technology [a type of MRI scan called fMRI, or functional magnetic resonance imaging] that allows us to focus on a specific region of the brain responsible for the perception of pain. We had people think about their chronic pain as being this terrible, horrific experience. Then we asked them to think about it in a calming, soothing, pleasant manner. We found their brain activity went up and went down as a consequence. They could see their brain activity, and over time they would eventually learn how to control a specific area of their brain and their pain.

Even so, we’re still predominantly using fMRI as a way of better understanding the brain and its relationship to pain, but it’s not yet ready for prime time as a treatment. We’re just at the tip of the iceberg in understanding the role of the brain in pain.no pain no gain

http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/webmd-5-what-you-need-to-know-about-pain

 

Tips On How To Deal With Chronic Pain

  • Take control of your overall health and the management of your pain. Start by making healthful lifestyle changes such as eating well, moving/exercising, reducing stress, etc.
  • Insist on a thorough assessment and a treatment plan that includes options.
  • Insist on care that is person-centered and tailored to your individual needs. The plan should consider who you are—in mind, body, and spirit, and in the context of your environment, not just what condition you may have. Insist on care in which there is open communication between you and your health care providers.
  • Recognize that there is no single medication or procedure that will make you better. Learn about and consider all appropriate modalities (both conventional and complementary and alternative), approaches, and clinicians to achieve wellness (including your physical and mental health, function, and meaning and purpose).
  • Get engaged. Get active. As much as possible, start doing things that bring pleasure and meaning to your life.
  • Above all, accept that there is hope—that you can get better. You can become stronger and healthier in your body and mind, and with that, regain function, reduce your pain, and restore meaning and pleasure to your lifeyou are not alone

Pain Relief: Walking

Walk more: It’s one of the best prescriptions we have to help chronic pain. Daily pain tends to make people less active, and that often makes pain worse. Exercise also releases endorphins — the body’s natural painkillers. Aim to walk — or exercise in other ways — five times a week for 30 minutes a day. Work up to it slowly, adding a few minutes a week.

Pain Relief: Distract Yourself

We sometimes think of distraction as a bad thing that stops you from getting stuff done. But it can actually be a treatment if you have chronic pain. Studies show that when you’re distracted — by a conversation, or a crossword puzzle, or a book — the areas in your brain that process pain are less active. Getting your mind off your pain really does help — even on a neurological level.

Pain Relief: Diet Changes

Could food be affecting your pain? It’s possible. People with migraines often find that specific foods — like red wine and cheeses — trigger attacks. Fatty meats may worsen the swelling and pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Keep a food diary for a few weeks to see whether any foods seem to increase your pain. Then cut them out and see if your symptoms get better.

Pain Relief: Track Your Hurts

Pain is elusive — it can be hard to describe. Make it more concrete by keeping a pain journal. Note how much you hurt each day using a pain scale. A popular one asks you to rate your pain from 1 to 10, from least severe to worst. Others use smiling and frowning faces and add details about what you did that day. After a few weeks, you’ll have a valuable record to share with your doctor.

Breathe Deeply

Take a minute to breathe deeply and slowly. Put your hand on your belly and feel it rise and fall. After a few minutes of deep breathing, you may feel some pain and tension melt away. What’s great about deep breathing as a pain treatment is you can do it anywhere — when you’re stuck in a traffic jam or at your desk.

Pain Relief: Strength Training

Strengthening muscles — with weights or resistance exercises — may reduce pain as effectively as many drugs for back pain and arthritis. Building strength also improves your balance and flexibility. Aim to strengthen muscles twice a week.

Pain Relief: Supplements

Ask your doctor about supplements for daily pain. Studies show that some seem to help. Fish oil, glucosamine, and SAMe, which is believed to reduce inflammation, may help with the stiff, painful joints of arthritis.

Avoid Prolonged Bed Rest

In the old days, people treated pain with rest. Now, doctors say that while a little rest is OK after a new injury — like an ankle sprain — it won’t help with chronic pain. Lying on the couch for too long will weaken muscles and may make pain worse, not better. Instead, try to keep active.

Physical, Occupational Therapy

Physical and occupational therapy both can help with chronic pain. In physical therapy, you’ll learn exercises and get treatments that help increase mobility and build strength. Occupational therapy helps you work around pain — teaching you new ways to do things, from buttoning buttons to cooking dinner.

Pain Relief: Talk Therapy

Some people with pain feel reluctant to get help from a counselor or therapist — they think it’s an admission that the pain is not real, that it’s “all in their heads.” That’s not true at all. Therapists can help you grapple with the impact of pain on your life — and work through practical solutions to the problems you face each day.

Don’t Overuse OTC Painkillers

When it comes to pain treatment, don’t do it yourself. Over-the-counter painkillers — such as acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen — are good for occasional pain, but they may be risky if you take them in high doses or for a long time. Always follow the instructions on the medicine bottle and don’t use OTC painkillers for more than 10 days in a row unless a doctor is supervising.

Seeing a Pain Expert

If you’re in chronic pain, see a specialist. A pain specialist focuses on one thing: getting rid of your pain. Many work at specialty pain centers. There, you may get all sorts of treatment — from medication to massage — under one roof. Ask your doctor for a referral — or call local medical centers to see if they have a pain management clinic.

How to Talk About Pain

Don’t just tell your doctor it hurts. Have specifics so your doctor can really understand how pain is affecting you.

  • Describe exactly what the pain feels like. Aching? Burning?
  • Describe how pain affects your life. Does it slow you down? Make it hard to work?
  • What makes the pain better or worse? Specific times of day or activities? Medications?

 

Pain Relief: Surgery

For hard-to-treat pain, surgery is sometimes an option. Possibilities range from operations to correct the underlying cause — such as a slipped disc for back pain — to implanted pain control devices. Although surgery can bring relief, it has risks and works only in specific circumstances. Talk about the possibilities with your doctor.

Substance Use

Don’t rely on alcohol or illicit drugs to control pain. Self-medicating may ease pain in the moment, but over time substance abuse can make chronic pain worse. Alcohol and illicit substances can have dangerous interactions with other medications. If you’re leaning on alcohol or substances to get through the day, get help.

 Healing your pain

For most people with ongoing pain, there is no single, miracle cure. Instead, good pain management is usually a combination of approaches. That might include a new exercise routine, improved habits, medication, and therapy. It may take time, but you’ll most likely find a combination that works for you

7 Things That Are Hurting Your Brain And Mood

1. Sugar

Refined sugar and its many synonyms are ubiquitous on ingredient lists. For a healthy brain, the first thing you should dump is sugar. There are at least two potential mechanisms through which refined sugar intake could exert a toxic effect on your mental health. First, sugar actually suppresses activity of a key growth hormone in the brain called BDNF. BDNF levels are low in people with depression. Second, eating sugar-containing foods will trigger a myriad of chemical reactions in your body that will upregulate chronic systemic inflammation. Over time, inflammation will disrupt the normal functioning of your immune system, and wreak havoc on your brain.

2. Grains

There are many ways in which eating grains will affect your brain. Just like refined sugar, grains can cause inflammation in your body that will affect your brain. Grain proteins like gluten and lectins are also well linked in the literature with having a negative impact on your gut, which in turn affects your brain.

3. Artificial sweeteners

Those little yellow, blue and pink bags are wreaking havoc on your mood. In a double-blind study of the effects of aspartame on people with mood disorders, findings showed a large increase in serious symptoms for those taking aspartame. Fifty percent of aspartame is the isolated amino acid phenylalanine, which is neurotoxic and goes directly into the brain, depleting your serotonin levels. When you lower serotonin, it can trigger a variety of different mood disorders.

4. MSG

Monosodium glutamate or MSG is a processed flavor enhancer that is commonly added to many convenience food, soups, processed meats, Asian foods, and frozen dinners. MSG is an excitotoxin which can affect your brain chemistry and your body’s endocrine (hormone) system. Sometimes it’s difficult to spot a food containing MSG because it hides in food ingredient labels behind many different names, including glutamic acid, glutamate, autolyzed yeast protein, textured protein, natural flavors and hydrolyzed corn.

5. Toxic household products

There is no doubt that we are inundated with toxic chemicals in our world. As far as environmental toxins, there are some things that are out of our immediate control. With that said, here are many things that we can control what we are exposed to. Chemicals that are used in common household cleaning products have been linked to altered brain function. The majority of beauty products used today are filled with chemicals that will literally interfere with your body’s hormones, affecting how you feel and think. These ingredients in beauty products are anything but pretty. The Environmental Working Group found that one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, many of them linked to hormone and mood disorders. Remember, your skin is your largest organ and highly absorptive. If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.just breathe

6. Heavy metals

Chronic heavy metal toxicity is overlooked as a factor for brain problems. There are two types of heavy metal poisoning: acute and chronic. Chronic heavy metal levels of mercury or lead can be an insidious issue for chronic conditions like depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue and brain fog, and can be linked to almost any mood or brain disorder. One reason why chronic heavy metal toxicity goes undiagnosed is because unlike acute poisoning, which is circulating in your blood, chronic metal toxicity has leached in your bodies tissues like your bones, fat, and brain. Because of this, a blood test might come back normal. Proper diagnostic testing is essential for this issue. Pulling the metals from the body using chelating agents and measuring those levels using a Urine Heavy Metals test is how I uncover this piece of the puzzle for my patients.

7. Chronic gut infections

To have a healthy brain you need to have a healthy gut.  I’ve written extensively about a healthy gut in my MindBodyGreen series. Your gut is your second brain, with around 95 percent of your serotonin residing there. Underlying infections of yeast, fungus or bacteria will wreak havoc on your gut and brain. Many mood and brain disorders are linked to an unhealthy gut.

Everybody has a unique combination of factors that are causing them to feel the way they feel. A comprehensive health history, labs and customized health program should be designed for the individual.

by Dr. Willian Cole

The Arthritis Society

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Don’t Stop Looking

Brian’s journey with arthritis did not end when the surgeries did, however.  He tried many different medications for pain, and experimented with alternative therapies such as light therapy, hot and cold, massage and “more creams and lotions than you’d think could exist.”  Even while having to take morphine, Brian was still experiencing a high degree of pain, and was feeling very desperate.  It was a time he describes as having “no quality of life.”   He decided to make significant changes.
“I changed the way I ate.  I shop and prepare food and do most of my own cooking now.  I don’t eat any processed food, eat only pure foods and take vitamins. The adjustments to my diet have resulted in a greater quality of life and freed me from constant pain.”  With these adjustments, Brian says he “went from surviving the day to living it.”
Now at the age of forty eight, Brian is on permanent disability, which is not how he pictured living his life.  Originally trained as a mechanic and a Service Manager, he had to give up his career and devote his time to taking care of himself.  Brian personifies determination and strength and says that having a good support system helped him through, along with the fact that he never stopped looking for a solution.  He feels that there is a reason that he came through all of this, and says that he wants to help others, and is even taking the Arthritis Self Management Program through The Arthritis Society to learn more.  By sharing his story, Brian hopes it will provide a benefit to people like him.

Natural Forces Within Us Are The True Healers

Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease

|Physician| April 14, 2011

In my forays into the history of medicine I came across these six little words by Hippocrates. 

They seem strangely modern, almost like something you might find on a Hallmark-card for today’s medical school graduates. I don’t know how old the translation is and I couldn’t understand the original text if I tried – but these simple words really touched me when I first read them.

In family medicine we don’t often cure our patients’ diseases. Many of the things we think of as medical cures are possibly only spontaneous recoveries from ear infections, pneumonias, strep infections, indigestion and acne.

Mostly we treat chronic conditions in hopes of mitigating their effects on our patients’ vital organs – eye, kidney and nerve damage in diabetes or strokes and heart attacks in patients with elevated blood pressure and cholesterol. Sometimes we only treat the symptoms – pain from degenerative arthritis or cough, congestion and shortness of breath from chronic lung disease.

The one thing physicians always can and should do is the thing we may be inclined to forget when the everyday frustrations of modern medicine make us watch the clock, the reimbursement schedule or any one of the distractions that get in the way of real doctoring.

Comfort and hope should be offered to every patient, every fellow human being, in every encounter. We must never lose sight of the power we have in changing our patients’ perceptions and expectations of their diseases.

In Hippocrates’ era, doctors believed that patients had a natural ability to overcome disease. Medical treatments were meant to support the natural healing processes. Hippocrates is said to have written: “Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease”.

How ironic that twenty-five centuries later we are re-discovering and proving, through the modern science of neuroimmunology, that patients’ frame of mind and perception of their disease predict their treatment success and cure rate more than many of the technical details of their condition or its treatment.

When we comfort a patient, we may be doing more than consoling him or her. We may be stimulating the patient’s immune system to overcome disease and return the body to a healthful balance.

We used to call that the Placebo Effect.

Are You Dehydrated?

Are You Chronically Dehydrated

by Phillip Day – Investigative Journalist & Founder of “The Campaign For Truth In Medicine”
As Featured in Food Matters

“Chronic pains of the body which cannot easily be explained as injury or infection, should first and foremost be interpreted as signals of chronic water shortage in the area where the pain is registered. These pain signals should first be considered and excluded as primary indicators for dehydration of the body before any other complicated procedures are forced on the patient.” – Dr F Batmanghelidj

The human body is a bio-electrical water machine that requires a quart a day for every 50 lbs of body weight. The blood alone is made up of a large percentage of watery serum. The lymph fluids which transport waste and nutrients, comprising four times the volume of blood in the body, are made from the water we consume. Every cell that makes us who we are literally owes its life to an adequate supply of fresh, clean water.

When the body does not receive a constant, reliable supply of water, it has to ration what is available and cut back on certain functions to make the supply go round. Essential systems like the brain are prioritised, others are impaired or cut back until the brain has decided a reliable source of water has been garnered.

Here’s the rub. Most citizens have become chronically and dangerously dehydrated (especially the elderly), since we decided water was too bland to drink and ignored it in favour of tea, coffee, beer, wine, addictive sodas, flavoured water and other chemical-laced water alternatives. A disastrous and dangerous move for the body and society’s health in general, to be sure, compounded further since most doctors today cannot readily identify the many water-deficient diseases and associated pains. Thus the underlying dehydration process continues to wreak its havoc while the inevitable drugs given will switch off the warning signals (symptoms).

Consider the following conditions:
Heartburn,
arthritis,
lupus,
asthma,
‘high cholesterol’,
high blood pressure,
heart disease,
cancer formation,
hot flushes and menstrual problems,
obesity,
allergies,
bulimia,
chronic fatigue syndrome,
ME,
angina,
lower back pain,
gout,
kidney stones,
skin disorders,
diabetes,
fungal/yeast overgrowth,
multiple sclerosis,
migraine headaches,
general aches and pains,
morning sickness,
depression,
heavy/burdensome periods,
colitis,
dyspepsia and
peptic ulcers…
Are all of these conditions linked to a chronic state of dehydration?

World-renowned water expert Dr Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, in his latest bestseller, Water and Salt – Your Healers From Within, maintains that the above conditions are the body’s many cries for water, complaints dramatically improved with a consistent and long-term intake of the fresh, clean water. Dr Batman’s timely work has helped thousands quash long-term health problems effortlessly and inexpensively.

He writes: “The report of my having successfully treated with water more than three thousand people with symptoms and clinical signs of peptic ulcer disease was published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology in June 1983. I came away from that experience with the understanding that the people I treated were thirsty, and I uncovered the phenomenon that ‘pain’ in the body indicates thirst, even though the condition is classified as a disease.” Water is used by the body for digestion, detoxifying cells, watering the lungs, lubricating joints, keeping the body alkalized and a host of cleaning duties.

Many warning signals (‘symptoms’) arise out of the body’s inability to neutralize or rid itself of acid, a common enough complaint given the number of antacids sold around the world each day.

‘I drink coffee, tea, diet sodas, beer and a host of other liquids. They contain water, don’t they?’

This is a common and dangerous misconception. Many of today’s designer drinks are diuretic in their effect (water-expelling) because their mostly acidic compositions require the body to give up water and alkalizing minerals to eliminate their harmful residues. Diet sodas especially are harmful in that they require large amounts of body-water to neutralize the phosphoric acid component (2.8 pH). Cells that started off healthy and ‘plum-like’ shrivel to prunes as water, the stuff of life, is progressively denied them. The sick in our hospitals are fed the sodas, tea and coffee they ask for in woeful ignorance of the damage wrought to the micro cell-world within them.

Batmanghelidj’s extraordinary work should rightly be considered by a mainstream medical community ever fixated on the drug cure. Below is a summary of body functions and that rely on an adequate intake of water:

Brain function:

The brain comprises 2% of the body’s total weight, yet receives 15-20% of the blood supply, mostly comprised of water. Dehydration will affect cognitive ability drastically, and, through histamine’s action, can create depressive states (many anti-depressant medications are anti-histamines).
Bone function:

Bones require plentiful supplies of water. 75% of the weight of the upper body, for instance, is supported by the water core contained within the fifth lumbar disc, the remaining 25% by muscle fibers around the spine.
Nerve function:

Microstreams exist along the length of nerves which transport nutrients and conduct energy along microtubules to the synapses to transmit messages. Dehydration disrupts proper nerve function, resulting in the sensation of pain.
Hydrolysis:

Water, far from being an inert solvent, is intricately involved in the body’s water-dependent chemical reactions. Lack of water means incomplete or faulty metabolic processes, with obvious implications for continued health and well-being. Proteins and enzymes, for instance, do not function as well in acidic solutions of higher viscosity (stickiness) where the body is dehydrated.
Cellular energy:

As water is drawn through the cell membrane, its osmotic flow generates a voltage gradient which can be used in the manufacture of ATP and GTP energy. Dehydration will obviously affect the proper functioning of cells and even kill them.
Histamine:

This neurotransmitter plays a major role in activating systems which encourage water intake when dehydration is detected. Functions in the body which consume large quantities of water are cut back, namely the bronchial tubes constricted to cut down on water use in the lungs; increased peristalsis in the bowels to wring more water out of fecal material, and so on. Other signs of histamine’s activity, namely allergies, asthma, depression and chronic pains, are interpreted by the physician as ‘disease’ and treated with anti-histamines, pain-killers (analgesics), etc. Thus the signals of thirst are turned off and the dehydration state continues unabated.
Dyspepsia (heartburn/reflux):

Over time, this can lead to ulceration and even cancer. Dr Batmanghelidj recommends that these conditions – also gastritis and duodenitis – be treated with water alone as they are one of the body’s major thirst signals. Arrested in his native Iran by the Revolutionary Council during the troubles of the late 1970’s, Dr B was confined to Evin prison, Tehran, during which time he successfully treated with water alone over three thousand people complaining of dyspeptic pain and associated symptoms.
Digestion:

Requires plentiful supplies of water. The stomach relies on mucus lining the walls to shield it from the effects of the stomach’s hydrochloric acid. A bicarbonate solution is produced from the cells in the lining which neutralizes any acid attempting to break through the mucus. Water is needed to maintain this effective defense system. Too little water, and the mucus barrier is ineffectual, the acid will penetrate and will lead to pain. Ideally, water should be consumed half an hour before a meal, in time to anticipate the production of digestive acid from glands in the stomach wall.
Ulcers:

Often located at the valve between the stomach and duodenum. Said to be caused by curved bacteria known as helicobacters. Yet many people have helicobacters in their small intestine, yet not all of them suffer from ulcers. Histamine-producing nerves are located at this site, which monitor the through-put of acidic food chyme from the stomach into the intestine. Histamine has growth-hormone effects on these micro-organisms, resulting in small intestine bacterial overgrowths (SIBOs). Once again, an adequate regime of water intake will allow all the functions relating to digestion to normalize. Prolonged water intake should therefore be considered before more drastic drug treatments are entered into.