An article that appeared in the New York Times on migraine prevention and a study producing some evidence on how important it is for a migrainuer to stay very well hydrated. I have to admit that if I drink 13 glasses of water a day I’ll be p*ssing like a race horse. But if it works, it works.
To stay adequately hydrated, health officials recommend that men drink about 13 cups of liquid a day — from water, juice and other sources — and that women drink about 9 cups.
Who are these ‘health officials’ and on what evidence do they rely to form the 13 cups per day rule?
I just happen to be reading one of the QI books (from the TV show of the same name) and just this morning read the chapter ‘How many glasses of water should you drink every day?’. First sentence: Eight is too many. It goes on to quote the 1945 British Medical Journal report which advises that adults consume 2.5 litres per day, specifying that '*most *of this quantity is contained in prepared foods’ before making the point that since that report that crucial last sentence has been dropped in most people’s minds leaving us with the impression we need to be constantly drinking water.
I also note the NY Times article talks about blood vessel dilation. I thought that theory of migraine was now off the table?
Personally I do drink huge amounts of water. Just do. I have not noticed any difference in migraine frequency or severity but then again, I note the article falls into the tired old trap of using ‘migraine’ and ‘headache’ interchangeably. What I have found is that very bright, glarey sunlight and/or changes in barometric pressure (summer storms) can be a trigger for a scintillating scotoma.
I’m not sure why exactly but drinking 8 glasses/2 litres of water per day seems to have become entrenched in people’s minds (in the UK at least, but it’s probably the same elsewhere). There is absolutely no need for it to be water. Any drink that’s not full of sugar is fine (tea, coffee, fruit juice, water, etc), and like Vic says a lot of the water content comes from your food anyway, so there’s no need to drink that much. Your body is a clever thing and makes you feel thirsty when you need to consume more fluid. There’s no need at all to set some kind of aim to drink an amount like this - just listen to your body and drink when you feel thirsty. (Or as David says in a far more delicate manner than I’m about to, once your pee is orange that’s a good clue too :lol: )
My gut feeling here would be that any beneficial effect on migraines would just be because migraine people are often quite sensitive to changes (needing regularity of sleep patterns, food intake etc) and letting yourself get dehydrated is probably just another variable that may decrease your migraine threshold. But I’ve not read the paper yet, so shouldn’t really comment.
Just having a moan on a similar theme, but here it’s common for primary schools (age 4-11) to let children have water bottles at their desk so they can constantly sip on water. Apparently someone seems to have decided that this helps their concentration by making sure they are well hydrated. I honestly don’t remember anyone dehydrating during my school lessons. There’s never more than a couple of hours without a break. Any now my kids drive me bonkers when they are at home, getting themselves a full glass of water about thirty times a day and just having one sip of it. But hey, maybe kids don’t get migraines or MAV because they are so well hydrated. (But I have three kids, n=1 with hemiplegic migraine and the other two are too young to have them, so it’s not really going to plan so far…)
My doctor told me the body loses 2 - 2.5 litres of water per day so the recommendation to drink that amount is based on what your body is using up.
I drink a 2.5 - 3 litres of water per day. Always have done. I always feel dehydrated (yes I have been tested for diabetes) and need to keep my water intake up. If I dont, I really dont feel too hot. All that aside, it didnt stop MAV from getting me…
Beachleaf, I believe there are important exceptions to the concept that our bodies tell us when we need liquid and do so in plenty of time. One example is during athletics. Another is in particularly hot weather. And then there’s people like our Muppo.
I’m going to go along with David here. Hubby spent a lot of time in the desert in first Iraq war (long before it actually started), and the Army was not happy about the number of heat casualties, so it decided to place responsibility on anyone with any people reporting to them: they were going to get in trouble if any of their people got dehydrated! So prevention became the order of the day. Way out in the desert, not even a tent for shelter (they had their humvees and some tarps), they used David’s method to check their hydration: my husband made everybody drop trou as a group every day and pee in the sand to check the color. (Army Rangers save lives - even by checking the concentration of each others’ urine.) Anybody’s whose pee wasn’t pale wasn’t drinking enough and he made them drink more water. He was taught that by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already behind, so thirst is NOT a good indicator.
I suspect any number of cups of fluid - 8 or 9 or 13 or whatever - is fine for starters as a suggested goal, but every BODY is different, and checking the paleness of our own urine is probably the best way to check after all. Water is ultimately the best choice, but for people who don’t or won’t drink it, then it’s on to other beverages. I know that being on Dopamax - er, Topamax - I’m at higher risk for kidney stones and it’s recommended that I stay well hydrated to avoid them, and since I’ve heard that they can be excruciating you can bet I check my pee color regularly and keep on top of my hydration!
I like the colour of urine test. Probably a good indicator as we’re all different.
I think this water drinking stuff is OTT as well but in terms of keeping a migraine brain happy, we may as well keep it full up as best we can. Bernstein is an advocate for drinking lots of water to help prevent attacks.
Of course, I live somewhere that doesn’t have extreme temperatures, so I was only talking about my own experience here, and of course things are different for anyone in a dessert, or doing a lot of sport, or someone with an upset stomach and getting dehydrated due to that.
I just don’t think people need to drink a specific amount of water each day. Our needs vary between individuals and also on a daily basis. And like Vic said at the start we also consume water through food, so most people wouldn’t even be able to guess what their water consumption is per day.
If only drinking more water would get rid of my migraines… How simple and lovely would that be?!
We have pee charts on the inside of the door of all our loos at work to show what colour your pee should be. It should be pale, pale, pale. You will notice that your first pee of the morning is always very dark with an odour because you’ve been asleep for 7 - 10 hrs with no fluid intake.
If I can steal a pee chart, I’ll scan it and upload here!! :mrgreen:
Ah what we’ve sunk to - piss color charts! LMAO! But keep in mind something. If you take high levels of magnesium (as I do), your pee is going to be a delightful bright yellow (and have a interesting odor on top of that), so you can’t gauge your hydration unfortunately based on it.