People in third world countries sadly often only have access to water that is highly contaminated, and as a result, people die every day from the effects of diseases that target their digestive tracts. E.coli, salmonella, and other intestinal parasites, bacteria and viruses can overtake our stomach and other connected organs necessary for digestion.
While our water in our civilized country is regulated, we still have to protect ourselves. Contaminated water supplies are responsible for stomach problems, from small upsets to severe disorders. But, making sure water is filtered within the home as an added safety measure can prevent that. A few contaminants to watch out for are lead, mercury, copper, arsenic, atrazine and cadmium. These can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and other stomach problems. Most times if water contaminates are found in a local water supply, it is public knowledge, and there will be a boiling alert put out by the local water companies until the problem is under control. Of course, this does not happen all too often and for the most part our water is safe. Still, extra measure can be taken: a small price to pay in exchange a feeling of discomfort.
But, while contaminated water may be the cause of stomach problems, safe drinking water can be a cure for others!
There are many ailments that can arise within and around the stomach, nausea, diarrhea, gas, constipation and heartburn being a few. Drinking water can be of help in several of those cases, and even aid in their prevention. Diarrhea, watery stool, can cause severe dehydration, so it is important to maintain body fluid if suffering from that. On the flipside, constipation can also use water to help break down the otherwise dry stool. (This subject can be read about in more depth on another section of this site.) Since vomiting and diarrhea go hand in hand with the nausea feeling, this ailment also contributes greatly to dehydration. Replacing fluids while nauseated is very important. Heartburn has also been said to be caused by lack of water, as water could have aided in neutralizing the acid (pH level) that caused the burning sensation.
Water is also a necessary element to just plain make sure our digestive tract works properly, which is sure to prevent stomach problems from occurring in the first place. Drinking water at mealtime aids in the digestive process, as it helps move the food through the system. More importantly, the solid food we eat cannot be properly digested if it is not broken down. This is where water comes into play, once again. Water than acts as the transportation system to bring the nutrients found in foods to where they are needed within the body during digestion. And, it also helps moved the waste product through the rest of the digestive tract, and ultimately out of our bodies. Remember that lots of acids are found within the stomach that mix with the water to break down our foods, so plenty of water will help keep things balanced!