Celiac and Water Absorption

I’ve been having this dry problem for a while now. I thought, and was medically advised, to drink more water, lots of water, to stay hydrated. I swear, I drink the water. Most days I drink close to a gallon of water, others about 3 liters or more and I’m still super dry. Dry skin, dry hair, dry eyes, dry nails, dry everything.

When I came home after my c-section and was finally able to get a shower, my skin was so soft and well-hydrated. My skin looked and felt better than it had in 20 years! I was in the hospital less than 3 days, what was different? I came to the conclusion that it was either not showering for 3 days or the IV fluids that made my skin feel so nice. I’m going with the IV fluids, I like to be clean.

I researched what was in IV fluids and found there are many different concoctions, but got the general idea – minerals, sodium and sugar. So I did some general dehydration forum surfing and found that people have had success with adding sea salt or himalayan pink salt to their water. I read that a common amount was about 1/8th teaspoon salt per liter of water.

First I tried the sea salt. I added 1/16th to 16.9 oz. bottle of water and drank water like this for two days, close to a gallon a day. I noticed that I wasn’t as dry, but I was still very thirsty. My hands were a little less dry and my skin felt a little better the first day. The night of the second day, I noticed my ankles and lower legs were starting to swell when I was in the shower. I thought maybe the salt was too much, maybe I needed the sugar, too. I had plain water for the rest of the night and tried himalayan pink salt and a little bit of coconut sugar in my water the next morning. That did not taste good at all.

Back to researching I went, this time looking up celiac disease and water absorption, and found this forum post on the inability to properly absorb water from 2008 where people with celiac mentioned they have problems with staying hydrated, that Gatorade or Propel sports drinks were the only thing that helped them maintain normal hydration levels. Others said potassium supplements helped, or just adding sea salt to water, but then someone mentioned that the salt water wasn’t enough for them, that they needed the sugar, too. I thought, “Hey, that’s me!” Gatorade or Pedialyte were offered as suggestions to get hydrated again. Now, I’m not a big fan of Gatorade and I looked up Pedialyte and the flavored ones don’t have the best ingredients, but the unflavored version didn’t look too bad, just expensive.

We went out one day and ended up stopping at a gas station, so I went in looking to see what kind of sports drinks they had, thinking I would give it a try. I found one called ‘Body Armor’ and it just so happened to be on sale. It has vitamins and minerals, electrolytes, sodium and sugar, everything I was looking for! So I bought 4 bottles to try. The ones that didn’t have grape or orange were the Fruit Punch and Tropical Punch, so I got two each of those. They’re very tasty, but super sugary. It could definitely use less sugar. I drank one bottle and within an hour or so my hands and face weren’t dry anymore. My cuticles were soft and pliable, my fingers didn’t feel rough anymore. My iPhone knew my thumbprint again! Wow! I’m amazed.

I tried diluting the second bottle in water, because the sugar is just too much, but that didn’t work as well. My hands started drying out again. So I drank the third bottle the day after that and was hydrated again. But now at night, I have been drinking salt water and find it’s not helping my nerves and muscles. They’re still very tense and I’m getting the restless-leg symptoms, but it also goes up my back and neck.

It’s weird, because water seems to do nothing for me, but drinking the sports drink is too much sugar and I end up craving plain water. I did some searching on Amazon and found electrolyte drops that you can add to your water on a daily basis, so I think I’ll try that next. I hope I can figure out this dehydrated issue soon. I’ll report back and let you know how it goes.