Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Biotech Science

Thirsty People Feel More Pain 273

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the ouch-i'm-thirsty dept.
Bifurcati writes "Being thirsty makes you more sensitive to pain, according to a recent study. By simultaneously doing brain scans, new areas of the brain were activated when both pain and thirst were present, apparently making the pain more "painful" - perhaps a survival method so that pain is prioritized over thirst. They'd like to do more research, but ethical issues make it tough - even these subjects had to spend three hours being poked and prodded!"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Thirsty People Feel More Pain

Comments Filter:
  • The relationship between dehydration and pain has been studied for nearly 30 years by the late Fereydoon Batmanghelidj M.D., an expert in the body's water chemistry. Many such links are documented on his web site [watercure.com] and in his books [abebooks.com].

    I am currently reading Your Body's Many Cries for Water [watercure.com] and it has been very eye-opening about body chemistry, and covers the subject with medical and scientific rigour. I highly recommend it to people for whom conventional medicine is at best 'managing' and not reversing their

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:45PM (#14613029)
      "He is arguing for a new scientific approach that turns clinical medicine on its head."

      Daily Mail, London, UK


      That sounds credible.
    • by RomulusNR (29439) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:48PM (#14613049) Homepage
      by the late Fereydoon Batmanghelidj M.D.

      Does he introduce himself by saying, "I'm Batman!...ghelidj" ?
    • by jsprat (442568) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:49PM (#14613053)
      What few people realize is that Dr. Batmanghelidj is really Bruce Wayneghelidj's alter ego. Everybody knows that the Wayneghelidj Water has a stranglehold on the world's water distribution networks, so who really benefits if everyone drinks more water? ;)
    • by Copid (137416) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @11:01PM (#14613119)
      I particularly like Dr. B's statement:

      I hold the idea that the AIDS is not a viral disease, but is a metabolic disorder precipitated by an exaggerated way of life.
      Although, I must admit that, "'Bad' Cholesterol: A Myth and a Fraud" was nearly as interesting.

      While it's interesting when somebody smart posits a contrarian view or two, the people who seem to think that essentially everything about prevailing theory is wrong are usually... well... nuts. I couldn't help but notice that very few of his papers had anything in them that indicated that they were actually published by a journal other than his own. Coincidence?

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @12:14AM (#14613433)
        AIDS develops in people infected with the HIV virus and not elsewhere, it happens in 100% of cases, given a long enough time, and it happens in all regious of the world, to peopel of all different lifestyles. Thus it's orety well proven that indeed the HIV virus is the cause of AIDS.

        Now of course it's always possible that this is wrong, but you'd need some pretty major proof to make that case. My guess is you are right, the guy is a crackpot. Doesn't mean that he doesn't perhaps have a good idea or two, but I'd be wary of what he says in general.
        • Thus it's orety well proven that indeed the HIV virus is the cause of AIDS.
           
          I've read this sentence several times and can't figure out what the heck "orety well proven" means. Is it like "understanding a priori"?
      • While it's interesting when somebody smart posits a contrarian view or two, the people who seem to think that essentially everything about prevailing theory is wrong are usually... well... nuts.

        There's an ocean of difference between being thought nuts and being nuts. Challenging conventional thinking practically guarantees the former, in our age of deadly conformity. However, I find no evidence for anything other than solid scientific research in his book. Dr. Batmanghelidj is certainly not alone in ques [virusmyth.net]

        • by Copid (137416) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @01:30AM (#14613725)

          There's an ocean of difference between being thought nuts and being nuts. Challenging conventional thinking practically guarantees the former, in our age of deadly conformity. However, I find no evidence for anything other than solid scientific research in his book. Dr. Batmanghelidj is certainly not alone in questioning orthodox theories about AIDS.

          As I said, it's great when somebody brings in a refreshing point of view. At the same time, when your points of view are always "refreshing" it might mean that you're just stirring up trouble to sell books (or you're simply a kook). The probability of being right given that you're unable to convince the astounding majority of experts of your case is generally not high. It happens, but I'm afraid that Dr. Batmanghelidj is not in good company on the average. Yes, he's not alone in questioning the HIV => AIDS orthodoxy, he is damn near alone, and while serious research in antiretroviral drugs has made a dent in the appearance of AIDS in HIV infected people, I'm not sure what the people who deny the link have managed to do to treat the disease.

          The fact that his Foundation chooses to make additional research available under their own banner, in addition to the several papers in independent journals, does not prove it is all hokum.

          No, certainly not. At least, not by itself. However, if you combine it with the fact that only a small portion of his work is actually published and the larger volume of it is self published, that's a little more suspect. Add to that the fact that his really controversial stuff and the work that's really central to what makes him stand out as a "scientist" is also the stuff that has never made it through peer review, and it starts smelling a little less authoritative. This is the same set of arguments creationists and other groups selling pseudoscientific nonsense tend to use. Sometimes we need to remember some of the lessons Carl Sagan taught us: But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

          It is not as if peer reviewed journals have a clean slate, given the continual trickle of hoax results (recently Korean Hwang Woo-Suk, Bell Labs' Henrik Schon) so I am not sure that your point is as strong as you may think.

          Knocking the peer review process generally earns you some kook points as well. What percentage of peer reviewed articles do you suppose are fraudulent? What percentage of ground breaking work (which his AIDS work certainly would be) that makes it through peer review do you think is wrong? Now compare that number with the percentage of "ground breaking" work posted by random folks on the web. There's a reason good college professors try to teach their students that "got it from the web" is second only to "heard it in a bar" as a serious academic reference.

          Dr Batmanghelidj was certainly well aware of the disinterest of industry in his findings; imagine if the popular conception that chemicals should be the universal first resort were rejected in favour of treating chronic dehydration as a first step! That his views are commercially unpalatable (like those of AIDS iconoclasts) is hardly commentary on the quality of his research.

          And then the appeal to the widespread conspiracy. Adding up the points...

          Certainly, our society does tend to over medicate. Medication is a profitable industry, too. But don't you think you'd be seeing more whistle blowers if it were all some conspiracy to keep us taking AIDS drugs? Something doesn't smell right with that assumption. Sometimes when nobody agrees with you, you're just wrong. It doesn't always mean you're a misunderstood genius or you're tearing down The Man.

          I stop to defend the man because I am tired of the sam

          • his really controversial stuff and the work that's really central to what makes him stand out as a "scientist" is also the stuff that has never made it through peer review

            Well, first, by definition "controversial stuff" is less likely to survive review. That's how Schon got his stuff through: it looked very, very plausible; it was just not reproducible in any way (heck, it was fake). I have no doubt Dr Batmanghelidj believed his results reproducible - and from what I've read, his assertions are not only b

            • Well, first, by definition "controversial stuff" is less likely to survive review. That's how Schon got his stuff through: it looked very, very plausible; it was just not reproducible in any way (heck, it was fake). I have no doubt Dr Batmanghelidj believed his results reproducible - and from what I've read, his assertions are not only based on his own trials, but are easily tested. Secondly, it is odd that you would use the construction "what makes him stand out as a scientist". Is that your own phrase? I

          • Sometimes you have to choose between exploring a diverse swath of revolutionary ideas from a generally broad perspective and making a single revolutionary idea your life's work to prove.

            If you're not willing to get down to the nitty-gritty-detail level of research for the benefit of you're theory, it's not likely that anyone else is going to do it for you. So, what to do? Drop the other potentially great ideas that you have so you can perform mind-numbing studies and give yawner-lectures? Or... D
            • If you're not willing to get down to the nitty-gritty-detail level of research for the benefit of you're theory, it's not likely that anyone else is going to do it for you. So, what to do? Drop the other potentially great ideas that you have so you can perform mind-numbing studies and give yawner-lectures? Or... Do you hit one idea after the next, milk them for all you can without sacrificing diversity, get labeled as a kook for not having enough "proof" for any of it... I'll take the latter, thanks. Recogn

          • Carl Sagan taught us: But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

            well, Columbus turned out to be wrong, didn't he? Lucky he stumbled into America or he'd have died for it
        • Well, no matter what this guy is saying, if it helps people great. I personally think that it is all just the power of suggestion but does that make it any less valid? Now, I am not saying stop takin your meds, but if your open to suggestion....but wait...not that i said that it probbly wont work anymore.....sorry

        • Let people assess it for themselves, try his therapies, and perhaps add to the rather impressive roster of testimonials he offers in his book!

          Bullshit. Repeat after me: the plural of anecdote is not evidence. Only controlled experimental studies can show us if any of these BS "therapies" work.
      • Dr. B.: "I hold the idea that the AIDS is not a viral disease, but is a metabolic disorder precipitated by an exaggerated way of life."

        Me: "I have a needle with HIV in blood sera. So you would not mind if I..."

        Dr. B: "Uh, wait..."

        >> Jab.

        Me: "Oops."

        Dr. B: "Croak."
    • Particularly compelling in that book is Dr Batmanghelidj's thorough scientific explanation on how 'diet' sodas actually substantially contribute to weight gain.

      Could you expound (summarize) on that, please?

      I quit diet soda myself a while back on a diet, but since I was eating less, I can't say whether it made much difference. A friend of mine quit Diet Coke a while back without changes in eating habits and did lose 20 pounds.

      I didn't know why, but I attributed it because Diet Coke contains quite a bit of c

      • Dr Batmanghelidj heads a section in his book, "Diet Sodas Can Cause Weight Gain." He does touch on the liver's role in the body's reaction to artificial sweeteners in particular, but there are several processes which contribute to the gain, including confusion between thirst and hunger signals. All in all it is an interesting argument to follow.

        The following is no substitute for reading the text or classroom study of the text (emphasis and links mine):

        This paradox in our understanding of the relationshi

    • He identified that dehydration elevates histamine levels. Higher levels contribute directly to pain. Quite clever really...

      He may have said some wacky things... as do most docs that figure out one aspect of physiology and assume they have the whole figured out. In this regard, he is typical
    • +5, Informative? More like -50,000, fucking retarded batshit insane troll.

      http://www.snopes.com/medical/myths/8glasses.asp [snopes.com]

      Drinking more water, "cures many diseases like arthritis, angina, migraines, hypertension and asthma." Sure thing, Doc. Speaking of water, have I got a bridge to sell you...

      • Depends on what they mean by "cure". I guess when he says "cure asthma" he means "it's good to drink more water when you have asthma" (which is true). But that wouldn't sell books as any doctor will give you that advise without the "magical properties" part. I helps, but only a little and that has medical basis: more liquid in the body helps unclog the alveoles in the lungs. And I mean helps. I doesn't save the day.
    • Mod parent down (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mose250 (724946) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @12:00AM (#14613384)
      Will somebody please mod the parent comment down? I don't think I have to do much more than quote from one of the "Doctor's" papers [216.122.230.12]:

      From "AIDS: More Convincingly A Metabolic Disorder:"

      Although the total attention of AIDS research is directed toward its predicted viral etiology, the intestinal stress and tissue cortisone release factor inducd physiology of the body, over a long period of time, and dependent on the mode and frequency of homosexual practice, can possibly be the precipitating cause of this condition. It is proposed that in homosexuals, AIDS is an intestinal stress induced metabolic disorder and, opiod peptides being markers of stress to the regulatory systems of the body, excessive use of opiates can possibly cause an indirect promotion of stress physiology that can bring about the associated immune system inhibition and disturbance"

      Translated: Gay people get AIDS because they have too much anal sex.

      This "doctor" is entirely incredible, possibly homophobic, and a quack in the most negative sense of the word. No creedence whatsoever should be given to anything that he's written.
    • Sounds like conspiracy theory type thinking: "I know this thing that all the rest of the people are wrong about."

      It has to be true, because you have a lot of your self-worth invested in the fact that you're smarter/more informed/more open-minded than everyone else. You're on the inside, and all the rest of us have you to thank for telling us this amazing new counter-intuitive "fact" that contradicts the conventional wisdom. Hence the bold in your comment, I guess.

      Careful of falling into that trap.

      I'm pre
  • what about pleasure? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Douglas Simmons (628988) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:21PM (#14612896) Homepage
    If not drinking water amplifies pain, wouldn't the same be true from a not-so-distant-cousin, pleasure?
    • by dzarn (760066) <dzarn+slashdotNO@SPAMamovita.net> on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:36PM (#14612977)
      If not drinking water amplifies pain, wouldn't the same be true from a not-so-distant-cousin, pleasure?

      If getting shot causes pain, wouldn't the same be true for its not-so-distant-cousin, pleasure?
      • Erh, yeah... It seems the comment was in jest, but you'd be surprised.
      • If getting shot causes pain, wouldn't the same be true for its not-so-distant-cousin, pleasure?

        Well, some people get off on hot wax and whips, so yeah.

      • It is true, which is why I always keep my partner properly hydrated.
      • by TWooster (696270)
        I know you're being witty, but, to modify the saying: causation != amplification, and thus your argument (however intended to be humourous) is falacious.

        I didn't RTFA, but from the summary, I'd assume that the effects measured were mainly on the psychological side, rather than the physiological side. That is to say, I'm not sure whether or not the nerve endings were hyper-sensitive due to dehydration, or a change in the chemicals in the brain (which I'm terming here as psychological) affected the pain ampli
    • by jd0g85 (734515) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:59PM (#14613110)
      If not drinking water amplifies pain, wouldn't the same be true from a not-so-distant-cousin, pleasure?

      I dunno, but where can I sign up for the study?

    • Well, alcohol does dehydrate you, right?
  • This might be true. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CyricZ (887944) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:22PM (#14612898)
    I used to work with a fellow named Mike. He suffered from severe carpal tunnel syndrome, perhaps caused by the decades of typing he had done while programming. He would always drink massive amounts of water and juice while working, saying that it helped his wrists. We'd make fun of him because he had to piss every half hour, but perhaps he was on to something.

    • by tool462 (677306) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:32PM (#14612951)
      I'm betting that taking a couple minute break every 30 minutes wasn't hurting anything either ;)
    • by rolfwind (528248)

      He would always drink massive amounts of water and juice while working, saying that it helped his wrists. We'd make fun of him because he had to piss every half hour, but perhaps he was on to something.

      It sounds like he may have diabetes II. Especially if he's drinking a lot of juice (this is sugar water for blood sugar purposes).

      If you're still see him from time to time, make sure he sees a doctor about that - I drink water all day long and have to visit the bathroom maybe every 4 hours.

      It could also be a

      • the bladder is capable of stretching to several liters....
        I'm not sure about that, It's my understanding that it's uncomfortably full at about 1 liter. Though not all the water you drink will end up there, you'll lose it through your lungs when breathing and sweating as well.
      • oh come on. i drink several bottles of mineral water at work and usually go every half an hour to the toilet. i keep it like that at home, only that i use tap water.

        it is just much more comfortable to have an empty bladder.
    • by shawb (16347) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @12:36AM (#14613531)
      There's a couple possibilities for why this helped: 1)Taking the hand off the mouse and keyboard to grab the glass to drink rests your wrists and allows for a different movement: one of the biggest suggestions for CT sufferers is to take short breaks and exercise your wrists a little. Also the resultant trips to the bathroom give another break from typing (hopefully not exercising his wrists there, though.)

      2)Could have a medical condition: diabetes and some liver and kidney disorders can cause polydipsia and associated polyuria: a desire to drink a LOT of water, and then of course the resultant urination. Someone who does not drink this large amount of water could potentially be not flushing out certain toxins or other chemicals.

      3)Placebo(tm): the drug against which all others are tested.
    • by WotanKhan (150429)
      Staying properly hydrated also helps address the root cause of the injury, by promoting flexibility of the connective tissue, and allowing the fascia to function properly.
  • Ethics (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pclminion (145572) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:23PM (#14612904)
    Why would it be unethical if the test subjects were made fully aware of what was to be done to them, and were willing to undergo the experiment? Unless somebody was deceived or coerced I don't see how ethics would even come into it.
    • Re:Ethics (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fafalone (633739) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:47PM (#14613044)
      You wouldn't even make it to getting people to consent to something like that because no institutional review board would ever approve it. It's considered unethical regardless of their consent, for so many reasons anyone with any experience in a field that researched on humans should be aware of. And furthermore it's alot easier to get permission to conduct a study with deception, as long as its not deception that's going to really harm them.
      • Re:Ethics (Score:2, Interesting)

        by weisen (461536)
        I didn't see the specific "ethically difficult" tasks that they were proposing, but pain research that involves *causing* physical pain *is* done and IRB approved. One way to cause moderate pain without physical damage is to inject capsaicin (the heat inducing oil in chili peppers) under the skin. In the article's description of the ethical difficulties, the problems cited (radiopharmaceuticals, plastic facial mask, IV lines) are somewhat specific to PET scanning and wouldn't be experienced in an fMRI set
    • Why would it be unethical if the test subjects were made fully aware of what was to be done to them, and were willing to undergo the experiment?

      1. You see someone feeling pain and even probably asking for help
      2. You know how to help him/her.
      3. You don't do it because you have some experiment to work on. Probably you even cause more pain

      I see the last one as an ethical problem, even if those people agreed to undergo experiment.

  • by megla (859600) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:23PM (#14612907)
    ...all true!
    Whenever I've been without a beer for a while, the pain just kicks in man. Oh the terrible pain!
  • Foreplay (Score:5, Funny)

    by imoou (949576) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:25PM (#14612917) Homepage
    That's why foreplay is so important so that one can sustain prolonged poking.

    Dry == Painful.

    I'll probably be modded off topic since no one here would understand what I'm saying.
    • I think everyone here understands what you're saying ... they just can't relate to it.
    • Re:Foreplay (Score:5, Funny)

      by panaceaa (205396) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @11:58PM (#14613374) Homepage Journal
      I'll probably be modded off topic since no one here would understand what I'm saying.

      Hey man, we're a lot more oldschool than you think. When my family got our first 286 computer I started to program BASIC and learned all about peeking and poking [wikipedia.org]. A couple times I accidentally poked inside an infinite loop, and the 286 held up quite well -- even over prolonged periods of time.

      I'm not sure what foreplay has to do with it, but I did enjoy a good game of Snarf!
  • Nothing new here (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pHatidic (163975) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:25PM (#14612920)
    As a former lightweight rower I can vouch for this. Rowing a balls out 2K is hard. Doing it the day after sweating off 10 pounds is just sadistic.
  • Okay... and? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:26PM (#14612925) Journal
    Previous studies in rats have shown that mild thirst makes the animals feel more pain but severe dehydration actually dulls pain, he says.
    So basically, what they're saying is that dehydration & pain follow a curve of some type and that curve peaks relatively early on.

    Their conclusion: Be hydrated.
  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:27PM (#14612927) Homepage Journal
    I am one of the least sensitive-to-pain people you'll ever meet. I used to always feel pain, because I was afraid of feeling pain. But I learned years ago how to ignore that fear -- avoid fearing entirely. Since then, my tolerance for pain is huge. I've broken bones, lost teeth (punch to the face in a bar) and had my share of other situations (cat bites, skateboard accidents, car accident, etc) and my tolerance to pain is impressive. I've even done major dental work without pain killers and passed kidney stones the same way.

    I don't drink a lot of fluids. I should (considering the kidney stones), but I don't. I love water, just don't drink a lot of it. I love tea, too, but forget to drink it.

    I think feeling pain is often a mind over matter kind of thing. I had a carpenter friend who cut two of his fingers off and didn't feel pain until he noticed it. I had a friend who broke a foot snowboarding and didn't feel pain until he looked at it.

    Have there been studies on pain and mind-over-matter situations?
    • I must agree. I've always had a major fear of needles, and thus even a simple shot has always hurt for me, yet once I cut my finger open (somewhat deeply) after I thought it would be clever to hit a sheet of plexiglass with a sledgehammer (which exploded and cut me open), and this barely hurt at all, simply because it was unexpected, however stupidily.
    • I don't know about studies, but I think adrenaline is a great pain-killer. I broke my ankle playing basketball. My foot kept falling off the gas pedal on the drive home. I didn't feel any pain until I sat on the couch at home and put ice on it. It quickly became excruciating. I can think of several other similar abeit less severe experiences in my life as well.

      It could be that in moments of extreme pain the brain quickly releases endorphins to dull the pain so you can focus on the task at hand of, say, ru
    • by fafalone (633739) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @11:20PM (#14613218)
      Considering I've met people with various levels of HSAN, I'm sure your sensitivity to pain is actually quite high. Sensitivity and tolerance for pain are also different concepts. Unless you have late developing CIPA or a similar HSAN disease, I suspect your sensitivity is normal. However, extensive research has been conducted and shown that perception of pain can be controlled by the higher parts of the brain, and thus can be selectively or conditioned to be ignored to various degrees of success. Now this is also different from pain from massive trauma, which is probably an evolutionary mechanism to let you get out of situations that are severely harming you before you have to deal with the pain.
      It's not mind over matter, it's just how the mind works. Guess what controls parts of higher order affective pain response? Some abstract construct people call the "mind"? No, hows about parts of the insular cortex.
    • There are people that literally cannot feel pain - therefore they would be able to, for example, sit with their knee twisted in what would be an excruciating position with no awareness that they're actually hurting themselves.

      Few of these people make it to adulthood because of a death that could have been prevented if they could feel the pain.

      Be thankful you can feel pain. It means something's wrong, and it means that whatever the hell you were doing or just did, you need to change it, *now*. That's w
    • I think feeling pain is often a mind over matter kind of thing.

      It is, but only to a point. I broke my neck about 20 years ago - I don't care who you are, THAT SHIT HURTS!

    • But I learned years ago how to ignore that fear -- avoid fearing entirely.

      Hal?

      Hal Jordan, is that you?
  • They'd like to do more research, but ethical issues make it tough - even these subjects had to spend three hours being poked and prodded!

    I don't know... sounds like something quite a few people would pay good money for.
    • Actually that raises an interesting problem. There are people who are very averse to pain. How many of these people are going to sign up for this study? Few if any. What you're doing is selecting for a group of people who for whatever reason don't mind pain. Odds are they're going to give selective test results as well.
  • by Bananatree3 (872975) * on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:34PM (#14612965)
    Find a self-inflicting sadist, and voila!
    • Don't we have lots of "terrorists" in cuba, afghanistan, egypt, lebanon, syria, kuwait, iraq, western europoe etc.

      We are already torturing these people why not conduct experiments at the same time. Strike that we are already experimenting by injecting them with new and classified drugs why not use that for scientific studies too?
  • Flawed Logic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NoData (9132) <_NoData_@NoSPAM.yahoo.com> on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:35PM (#14612971)
    Fromt the article:

    Survival instinct

    He says pain is accentuated because it is more important to survival than mild thirst.

    "The sensation with the most immediate implications for survival is pushed to the forefront of attention," he said.

    Dr Farrell says the findings suggest it could be wise for people who are about to go through a painful experience should drink more water beforehand.

    He says evidence from different types of studies also support this relationship between drinking water and pain.

    But could people deliberately use dehydration to maximise pain, say via torture?

    "We suspect if they got dehydrated enough that the overwhelming sense of thirst would probably make pain less rather than more," he said.

    Previous studies in rats have shown that mild thirst makes the animals feel more pain but severe dehydration actually dulls pain, he says.

    He says this too makes sense from the point of view of survival.

    "If you were very dehydrated it would pay to suppress pain because it might get in the way of your search for water," he said.


    Wouldn't that imply that the more hydrated you are, the more salient the pain should be, because then thirst is particularly irrelevant to your current needs? They say that "mild thirst" is not as pressing a survival need as experienced pain--well then, wouldn't NO thirst be even less pressing than the pain? I don't get it. They predict the situation switches for severe dehydration which makes sense (the thirst is more salient than the pain) but they don't explain why the pain should be more salient for mild thirst as compared to slaked thirst.

    I would guess the logic in the actual PNAS paper is better. Perhaps it's the reporting here that's got something screwy.
    • If you're not thirsty at all, you're not going to waste time looking for a drink. The pain is made stronger so it gets noticed over the thirst.
  • by Hellasboy (120979) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:37PM (#14612984)
    What I mean is this:
    There was an experiment where they stuck a cat and mouse in a cage. The cat ignored the mouse. Absolutely showed no interest in it. But pain was then inflicted on the cat and the cat attacked the mouse until it was dead.

    Did the researchers test to see if it's not only pain that the subject feels? Maybe the subject will feel more agitated, stressed, angered, emotional, or a combination?
  • that's funny.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nihilanth (470467) <(chaoswave2) (at) (aol.com)> on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @10:45PM (#14613026)
    we just learned this today in anatomy and physiology. It didn't seem like ground-breaking science, just common sense. If you're thirsty, neurons in the pre-optic nucleus are shrinking (crenating) because your plasma fluid compartment is drying up. This creates a hypertonic (or hyperosmotic) environment that literally sucks the water out of your cells. Since your plasma is more concentrated (or has a higher osmolarity), the resting membrane potential goes up because the crenation of your nervous cells causes chemically-operated protein channels to open when they otherwise wouldn't be. This happens all over your body, not just in the pre-optic nucleus (also called the supra-optic nucleus). The crenation at that location (right near where the optic nerves cross eachother) causes those particular cells to pump more Anti-Diuretic Hormone through the pituitary gland, causing your urine volume to decrease (by causing the nephron tubules in your kidneys to reabsorb more water instead of making urine with it), but the same thing happens to cells all over your body when your plasma becomes too concentrated (too dry). In lab today, I had to drink 80ml of water with 7g of NaCl in it, and my feet would fall asleep whenever I stood on them for more than a few minutes. Oh, and I was thirsty and sensitive to pain. Hooray for science!
    • Couldn't it be because as your body lacks in fluids it raises the sodium and potassium levels in your nervous system, thus raising their efficiency in transmitting?


      (These are the sort of questions you get from people who went out with nursing students, lol)


      Oh...having looked at your comment again I find thats almost exactly what you said...oops.

  • I think this is an interesting study. When I nurse, I work hospice. When people are close to death they often tell us to allow them to become dehydrated because it decreases pain sensations. I am curious how this information fits into that.

    Of course, we get orders to pump enough morphine into them that the whole thing might be considered mute.
  • by mondoterrifico (317567) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @11:06PM (#14613144) Journal
    I will get first post in 30 minutes, when everyone that ran off to drink water
    has to go pee. My evil plan is working!
    Muhahaha
    haha
    ha
    :)
  • curiously opposite (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CupBeEmpty (720791) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @11:31PM (#14613268) Homepage
    I have been the victim of "heat stroke" at least once. I set out for a hike at Navajo National Monument [nps.gov] that was deemed a "strenuous dayhike". At the time I was engaged heavily in wilderness trips in the desert conditions of NM, AZ, CO, and UT. On this trip we ednded up running out of water (that we were promised we would be able to refill by rangers) and getting seriously bonked by dehydration. This is the one and only time I have ever hallucinated. On the 8 mile return trip we started to get loopy at about mile 6. I fell into a very "sharp" bush at about mile 7 or 7.5 and did not feel any pain at all despite the fact that this bush almost left me with permanent scars. This was also very problematic because the "falling into bushes" occured VERY close to the edge of the canyon itself, but we (at the time) did not seem to care about nearly falling over the 300-500ft drop. These problems were reflected in the behavior of the entire group (I was not the only one to experience a lack of pain/conern). Lack of hydration left us with an impaired sense of judgement and an impaired ability to sense pain/danger.

    I have also been trained as a Wilderness First Responder and can tell you that at least "extremely thirsty" people have such an incredibly deranged world view that definitions of "pain" get thrown right out the window.

  • Huh. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Mithrandir86 (884190)
    Does this mean I should hold my next S&M party out in the desert?
  • without the need for technomumbojumbo, sometimes.

    Consider having the flu, feeling miserable, not wanting to piss to save your life, not wanting to eat, and not wanting to get in the shower to perk up the spirits.

    Well, tho I've been told that showering while having the flu could kill me, I don't give a damn. I just CAN'T be in bed filthy, salty and sticky from sweating my ass off from the flu. I drink water like mad, eat Vietnamese chicken noodle/veggie soup if I can (and not campbells-- that shit makes me e
  • Does this mean some of the effect of painkillers is due to drinking water?
  • Huh. (Score:2, Funny)

    by xx01dk (191137)
    so that's why I didn't feel a thing when I fell of the balcony at that kegger...

    oh, wait...
  • Oh, man... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Silencer-7 (930802)
    As if that coyote didn't have it bad enough. "meep meep!" WHAM!!! "Agh....I'm so....thirsty."
  • They'd like to do more research, but ethical issues make it tough

    Just perform the research on yourself. One person is not a large enough sample size, of course, but just find more "researchers" willing to help.

What ever you want is going to cost a little more than it is worth. -- The Second Law Of Thermodynamics

Working...