Water has an innate connection to our life and health, that much is clear. It is the only nutrient humans cannot live without for more than a few days. Due to water’s importance for survival, it is critical we understand the role it plays in human health. Today, we hear a lot about dehydration and the symptoms that follow, such as migraines, constipation, and fatigue. These issues can be harmful or scary, but in communities without clean water, like our partner communities in East Africa, dehydration can be fatal.
The biggest impacts these communities face are diarrheal diseases and illnesses. Significant water loss or lack of access to safe water affects the health and function of the gastrointestinal tract---think digestion. Lack of hydration prevents your organs from operating functionally, which leads to diarrheal diseases. Episodes of these diseases deplete the human body of water and other nutrients, which then plummets the functionality of the body’s immune system. Without optimal immunity, young children, infants, and adults are exposed to fatal diseases, compromising their overall health and quality of life.