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Dehydration & Your Allergies

Health authorities have stated this is one of the worst seasons for allergies (in Ontario). If you've already changed your diet (ditched the common food sen
May 23, 2013 | Joy McCarthy

Health authorities have stated this is one of the worst seasons for allergies (in Ontario). If you've already changed your diet (ditched the common food sensitivities), gone the natural remedy route and yet still suffer from allergies please I beg you don't clog up your liver with anti-histamines. This will only make matters worse and definitely won't dry up your runny nose!

I've got some information for you that will not only improve your health, but it may just be the secret to combating your allergies once and for all. It's simple, drink more water. Before you get your knickers in a knot that it couldn't possibly be that simple, let me tell you why it really is this simple. :)

Dehydration and Histamine

As noted in a fantastic book called "Your Body's Many Cries for Water" by Dr. Batmanghelidj, when you are dehydrated this causes a production in the neurotransmitter histamine which is the sensor regulator of water metabolism and its distribution in the body.

Elevated histamine will promote the thirst response.

Apart from it's obvious water role, histamine has responsibilities in antibacterial, antiviral and anti-foreign agents which are your body's defense system. When your body has a normal level of water, histamine levels are in check. When you are even slightly dehydrated this can elevate histamine causing allergy and asthma symptoms.

It has been shown in animal studies that histamine will decrease with water intake and increase with dehydration. Upping your water intake can help alleviate allergies and asthma within one to four weeks states Dr. B.

Dehydration and Asthma.

We need water to breathe. In fact, our lungs must be moist to take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. Now if concentrated blood (dehydrated blood) reaches the lungs, histamine will be produced and this promotes bronchial constriction. Your lungs use up to 1 pint of water per day so it only makes sense that bronchial constriction will occur to preserve water. If the tens of millions of children suffering from asthma would simply drink more water, I think we would see a drastic decrease in asthma and perhaps even fewer deaths too.

Dehydration and your snotty nose.

Since water is needed to keep the air passageways moist, more mucus will be produced in response to dehydration. In fact, in the first stages of asthma, mucus is secreted to protect the tissues.

Side note: One of the most common causes of constipation is dehydration. Your gut is a very moist water-rich environment. Your body has signals in place to uptake water from large organs like the colon for other life-sustaining organs like the heart and lungs which is why constipation is yet another sign of dehydration. In simple terms, where water is plentiful, the body will steal from these areas to sustain other organs.

Salt is a natural antihistamine.

I have admit, it drives me kinda bonkers that health authorities spend so much time pushing anti-sodium campaigns because this sends the wrong message that sodium is bad for us. It's very narrow-minded thinking.

In fact, in some people who have a salt shortage will produce the same symptoms of water shortage. Guess what? Salt is a natural anti-histamine -- POW! So if you have allergies, increase your salt (sea salt mind you, not table salt). Now please don't start dumping buckets of salt on to your food. Sprinkle some high quality sea salt you buy at the health food store. Of course, focusing on good quality "whole" foods is one of the easiest ways to get refined salt out of your diet.

Hopefully now you are convinced that taking anti-histamines will merely mask the problem.

Yes, sometimes the simplest answer, really is, the truth. I hope this knowledge inspires you! Please share with me how you hydrate your body!

Do you add lemon to your water? Do you carry water with you every where you go? What are your best tips? 

May 23, 2013 BY Joy McCarthy
Sally   •   May 23, 2013

I always have a glass bottle of water with me when I am in the car. I make it a point to sip on my water every time I get to a stoplight. It's amazing how much water I intake by the time I get to my destination :)


Pamela   •   May 24, 2013

I never really thought about relationship between water and allergies / asthma, but it does make sense. This time last year, my allergies were out of control, I was having a lot of difficulty breathing and was never sure if I constantly had a cold or not (mostly because I only developed allergies after giving birth to my son 6 years prior). This year my symptoms are next to nothing and I believe it's due to the changes I made in my eating habits, including eliminating dairy, most gluten and basically eating a much more holistic diet. Whenever I do have a little bit of congestion in the morning (which is rare) I find oil pulling with coconut oil 1st thing in the morning while in the shower really helps loosen everything up! Even more reason to love coconut oil :)

Joy McCarthy   •   May 24, 2013

Dina   •   May 27, 2013

I've found vitamin C powders that contain a high amount of vitamin C alongside other goodies to be a powerful anti-histamine with my clients who suffer from hayfever and asthma - will definitely speak to them about increasing their water intake too after reading this!

Joy McCarthy   •   May 28, 2013

RobinM   •   July 11, 2013

My mother was hospitalized last year TWICE with sinus infection and dehydration. She has RA and is on meds which lower her immune system AND we (her kids) struggled to get her to drink more water (you would think with all the meds she takes she would be hydrated, but she takes the barest sip to wash them down!). While in the hospital the last time she even argued with my sister and me about drinking water--but the next day when I came in she had done a turnaround! I truly thank whoever on staff that talked to her and told her she needed to drink more. It's a struggle for her (as it is with many elderly persons due to age related decreases in thirst response) but she is doing it. She often has sinus infections in the summer, this summer she has been free of these for the first time in many a year! Water...yep, a miracle drink!


Martin   •   May 15, 2014

Drinking beer seems to make my asthma worse. The more I drink, the longer it takes for albuterol to work, especially at night. I hate taking drugs. It doesn't feel right. Is there a link between alcohol consumption, dehydration and the severity of an asthmatic reaction? Thanks. (Great reading!)

Kate McDonald-Walker   •   May 16, 2014

Joanne goodman   •   May 21, 2015

Freshly squeezed lemon water every morning before breakfast!! No more pantripozol (heartburn/gone) I also carry a water bottle with me at work! Drink water with my meals and snack times!


Alicia   •   November 20, 2015

Thanks for this explanation! It motivates me to drink more water!!

Kate McDonald Walker   •   November 23, 2015

Ang   •   May 11, 2017

Starting about 3 weeks ago, I dink 8 ounces of room-temperature filtered or spring water infused with 1 tsp. of sole' (a 26% saturated solution of pink Himalayan salt and filtered or spring water) every single morning. Where salt goes, water goes, so it set you up for a 24 hour period of being supremely hydrated. For the rest of the day I just follow my thirst drinking water, juice or milk. (I long ago stopped consuming caffeine or alcohol. Both are very dehydrating.) I've never felt so hydrated in my life! Dry eyes, mouth, and nose gone! And with those things, the nasal allergies I've suffered for over 10 years are gone too. Thank goodness for simple solutions to aggravating chronic problems. :)

Rachel Molenda   •   May 12, 2017
Denise   •   November 9, 2020

Stacy   •   August 17, 2017

Interesting. I was researching the thirst part after my son and I went on a bike ride through a nearby park. It seems at this time of year (late August/September) he is more tired, and hivey when we go. He was recently diagnosed with mild Asthma, but has only had to use puffers 2 times this year. He drank before leaving, but was extremely thirsty, to the point of being really out of character. His face was hivey, (which is normal for him on and off...he has food allergies, and likely an allergy to the cold, and scratch Urticaria) but the strange thirst complaints were troubling to me. I will definitely ensure he is fully hydrated and see if it makes a difference for him! Thanks!

Rachel Molenda   •   August 17, 2017

Vinko Lonich   •   January 17, 2018

Thank you for sharing your knowledge concerning health. I agree with you 100%, because I drink lot of water last few years and use lot of salt as I born on island in Croatia. I use to see room spins in morning and dizzy, than I learn to drink lot of water. I learn how body organs works and what they need to stay healthy. The immune system needs water, protein and stimulation to keep us from infections. I had idea that allergies and sinuses are lacking water, that is how I got here. Ihanks

Rachel Molenda   •   January 17, 2018

Mrs.A.Gilbert   •   April 9, 2018

Thanks! The information u gave about sea salt was what i needed to here!!! I drink about a half of gallon or more of water each day! And i make a sole drink b4 bedti me! I pee a lot but I DON'T care Lol! In life u have to take the good w/ the bad.🤣

Rachel Molenda   •   April 10, 2018

Denise   •   November 9, 2020

I’ve heard so much about amounts of water to drink. I am consistently dehydrated I think with such dry nose and eyes. Antihistamines kill me with painful dry out. What do you consider appropriate amount of water for a female 70, 5,5 tall, 120 lb. I so look forward to your answer since I’ve been flailing in this area for years!!


Susan   •   March 27, 2022

Drinking more water is not the answer. You need water AND electrolytes. Without the electrolytes the water just runs through you. Your body is not properly hydrated. I started adding electrolytes to my water and noticed huge differences in my health. I have WAY less histamine reactions to high histamine foods, less headaches, less urination, less fatigue, more energy.. it's been life-changing. But water alone which is what I've been told all my life, is only half the answer. I really appreciate the information about the link between hydration and histamine though. Definitely having less sinus/nasal issues too now that I'm hydrated. :)

Joy McCarthy   •   March 27, 2022

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