Water for Health, for Healing, for Life by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.

a Book Review by Guest Writer Tony Rovere

I had never heard of this book, Water for Health, for Healing, for Life or the author, Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, before being exposed to an interview "Dr. B" did with Tony Robbins.

After listening to that interview, I decided it would be beneficial to take the time to read the book. At first, the topic seemed rather mundane. After all, it was just about water.

As I got more into the book, I realized it was about so much more than just drinking 8 glasses of water a day.

It was about the body’s natural ability to cure itself.

This definitely intrigued me because another book that profoundly influenced me and aided in my weight loss, Dr. Dean Ornish’s Eat More, Weigh Less, also covered the same premise.

In Eat More, Weigh Less, Dr. Ornish shows how it is possible to REVERSE heart disease without surgery or medication just by making different lifestyle choices.

It took him 25 years of effort to finally get the community to come around to his way of thinking. Dr. Ornish has been making progress in this regard as the FDA has certified his program and Medicare now pays for his treatments.

Key Premise: Unintentional Dehydration Leads to Disease

Dr. Batmanghelidj faces a similar challenge in convincing the medical community with his ideas as well.

Dr. B’s main argument is that the ramifications of unintentional dehydration actually are a primary cause of many of the diseases that we suffer from.

And that modern medicine is fueling this by manifesting several fallacies:

  • That a dry mouth is the first sign of dehydration, whereas it is in actuality one of the last indicators of dehydration.
  • Any fluid can replace the body’s need for water.

As Dr. Batmanghelidj puts it in the first chapter: “The new scientific understanding is that chronic unintentional dehydration in the human body can manifest itself in as many ways as we in medicine have invented diseases.”

This creates a situation where the medical establishment and the drug companies can treat the symptoms of the diseases rather than the diseases themselves.

After reading this, I was hooked and really started to dive in, but also saw that I needed to open my mind a little. Dr. Batmanghelidj’s theories are novel and do require one to be willing to shift your thinking, as many of his arguments I can guarantee you have not heard before.

Batmanghelidj Successfully Treats Iranian Prisoners with Water

When the author relates his own personal story, you see the passion that he has for the subject. Dr. Batmanghelidj’s ideas began as a political prisoner in Iran after the fall of the Shah in 1979.

Imprisoned in the notorious Evin prison and certain that he was going to be sentenced to death for ‘crimes against the revolution’, Dr. Batmanghelidj treated over 3,000 cases of stress-induced peptic ulcers with nothing other than tap water.

Two to three glasses of water was all that it took for these patients, under the most horrible of conditions, to start to feel better, and often within 15 minutes were pain-free!

He was so shocked by what he found that he actually volunteered to stay in the prison for an additional four months to treat patients with water for health and to continue his work in studying the positive effects of hydration on the prisoners.

It was these medical findings that also saved his life as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard allowed him to be released and have a medical paper published to let the world know of his discoveries,which was eventually published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology in June of 1983.

46 Reasons Your Body Needs Water

The book continues with a detailed analysis of 46 reasons why your body needs water.

Everything from the obvious, such as the fact that you cannot live without it, to other principles that I found to be very profound, explaining the body’s needs for water on the cellular level, with concepts such as:

  • Water aids in the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen through the body.
  • Water is the main solvent for all foods throughout the body.
  • Water improves your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat.

And these are just a few of the 46 ideas Dr. Batmanghelidj covers in Water for Health, for Healing, for Life.

Dehydration and Obesity

But what really struck me more than anything were Chapters 9 and 11. Chapter 9 deals with obesity, and as someone who was morbidly obese, this chapter caught my immediate attention.

Dr. Batmanghelidj argues that it is a lack of water that contributes to obesity, a rise in our LDL cholesterol levels, as well as high triglyceride levels.

What excited me about this is that I had previously confirmed some of Dr. Batmanghelidj’s arguments from previous reading I had done.

I know that if you drink 16 ounces of water before a meal you will consume about 15 percent less calories at that meal. But there is more to it than that.

Dr. Batmanghelidj takes that a step further and adds that proper hydration allows us to better metabolize the foods we eat and also to more efficiently burn body fat when we exercise, and these were points that I was unaware of.

As a result of this, I have changed my hydration strategy:

  • I immediately have 16 ounces of water when I wake up to start the process of re-hydrating.
  • I have 16 ounces of water before every meal so that I can limit my calorie intake so I do not put the weight back on that I lost.
  • I make sure to drink 16 ounces of water before every workout, to give me the energy to get through the workout but also to enable me to properly break down fat and get the most out of that workout.

Hydration as Possible Cure for Disease

Chapter 11 deals with the diseases and ailments that we encounter, and how proper hydration could be the cure for these.

Dr. Batmanghelidj lists everything from high blood pressure to chronic fatigue syndrome and depression as sicknesses that can cured with proper hydration.

For me, the most interesting one was the effect of histamine on the body. As someone who has suffered from allergies throughout my life in the spring, I have to say I was highly skeptical that my symptoms would disappear just because I drank enough water. But what did I have to lose?

Did my symptoms disappear? No, that would be a lie. But this year was one of my best allergy years ever. I only had symptoms for a few days and they weren’t as bad as normal.

To conclude, Dr. Batmanghelidj’s theories will no doubt remain controversial due to the author’s contention that we can cure ourselves with the most abundant material on the planet. Even if only some of his ideas are valid, the benefits of proper hydration are far more profound than the established medical community is willing to admit to at this point.

I highly encourage you to read this book and make up your own mind.

About Tony Rovere, the Author of This Book Review

I have lived a very similar life to most Americans. Active as a kid and an adolescent, but not as active as an adult as the pressures of a job and family became more and more paramount in my life. My wake-up call came in 2007, as I relate in my own personal weight loss testimonial. I had grown to over 250 lbs. and standing 6’ tall was definitely considered obese according to any measure that you think of.

It was the start of the chest pains, which became more and more pronounced, that was my wake-up call that if I didn’t do something quickly I could have a very serious problem. Compounding this effect was the fact that at the time I didn’t have health insurance, so I couldn’t even get these sharp, stabbing pains in my chest investigated by a doctor.

It was easy enough to know that I needed to lose weight and start eating right. So, like so many people, I made the New Year’s Resolution and started a serious exercise and diet program on January 1, 2008. But unlike most people, I have stuck with this program ever since. I guess that is what having your first health scare will do for you.

Six months later, I had lost 60 lbs. and have never looked back. I don’t consider myself to still be on a ‘diet’ but to be living a new lifestyle, focused on consuming the right foods and exercising.

It was to share these good health ideas that I started health-and-weight-loss-tips.com, striving to teach what I have learned to others so that they can benefit the same way that I have revitalized my life! 

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