One doctor attributes a high toll to dehydration:
Chronic pain, arthritis, asthma, and even an increased risk of heart disease and depression. "Chronic dehydration is the cause of 98 percent of all disease and discomfort," says Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, M.D., a retired physician living in Falls Church, Va. In his book Your Body's Many Cries for Water (Global Health Solutions, Inc., 1997) [ 1 ] Your Body's Many Cries for Water: You're Not Sick; You're Thirsty: Don't Treat Thirst with Medications
ISBN-13: 978-0970245885 , he claims that drinking approximately two liters of water a day (equal to about eight 8-ounce glasses, the standard recommendation) is the key to preventing and curing all illness.
Batmanghelidj discovered the healing powers of water while held as a political prisoner in Iran from 1979 to 1982. He acted as resident doctor to his fellow prisoners with virtually no medication at his disposal. "I cured 3,000 peptic ulcer patients in the prison by prescribing only water," he says. "My success rate was 100 percent."
That statistic, however, appears to be the only research backing up this doctor's claims. In the September 1998 issue of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, the editors dispute most of the healing powers that Batmanghelidj has attributed to water. "None of this is based on scientific research," the editors write. "Water, though essential, is not a panacea. It won't cure ulcers, lower blood pressure, or prevent heart attack."