About 25 years ago, I came to the realization that I was getting headaches from dehydration. The problem started way back in 1986, after I first moved to Arizona.
I primarily blamed the dry heat, of course. After all, it was not always obvious how much I was sweating; the only real clue was salt-encrusted skin.
I’ve been checked for diabetes several times, but always get a clean bill of health on that account. About seven years ago, though, the problem became far more scary after I was hospitalized for rhabdomyolysis, a muscle complication of extreme dehydration.
For whatever reason, my body does a good job of telling me when I’m mildly dehydrated, but not when I go beyond a certain point. About the only clue I have after that is the color of my pee.
Since the hospital incident, I’ve learned to be as careful as possible. I force myself to drink water even when I don’t “feel” thirsty. Ironically, I will get very thirsty after taking that first drink of water. I also avoid sugary drinks, coffee, many types of tea and diuretics, (not counting fruits and vegetables.) I also put very little salt in my food and buy a lot of low-sodium products.
It’s a lot more difficult when eating out. Last night for example, I ordered a very salty pasta Jambalaya dish at California Pizza Kitchen. I didn’t think about the possible salt content when I ordered it, but I certainly could taste it. Pasta also is a problem, probably because it takes a lot of water to digest starch.
This morning, I woke with a headache. I’ve already consumed about a quart of water, but I can still taste the salt in my mouth. Even as I write this, I’m barely keeping the headache at bay.
But I’m curious: Does anyone else have this problem? Does the extreme saltiness of restaurant food leave them extremely thirsty or reaching for the Tylenol? Do you get headaches when you eat out?