I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

20 July 2010

Can Dehydration Cause Hallucinations?

It's never a dull moment when caring for a senior with dementia.  As a Care Giver to my mom, I have gotten in the habit of observing everything from a watchful eye.  I notice changes.  I've come to realize that subtle changes can mean big trouble for my mom.

Hallucinations are always a part of our day.  I hear about wedding ceremonies and visits from dead relatives.  She sees wild animals and domestic animals, frequently asking me when did we get 2 more cats.

Hallucinations can be unnerving for folks, to be pulled from reality and into the world of the demented, especially when the individual experiencing delirium is a parent.

Over the last 2 years, I have written my observations, thoughts and feelings about my mom's illness.  Analytical thinking has driven me to find the reasons for my mom's behaviors.  I believe there's always an answer, a simple solution.  I believe there's always a cure for everything, even when doctors tell us "there's no hope for a cure."

Really?  No hope?

I believe that there is no KNOWN cure for what ails my mom and so many other seniors on the planet.  Maybe there is a known cure but because the drug companies and medical community are profiting from the illness, the truth is being kept from us.

The reason that I believe we could be being duped is that in America, the healthcare system is in the healthcare business, a business FOR PROFIT.  These companies do not owe anything to the people who consume their poisons, they do have a legal fiduciary obligation to their stock holders.

For profit drug companies makes me wonder why people believe in drugs, drugs that seem to make a person more sick, requiring more drugs.  Until healthcare becomes NOT FOR PROFIT we won't find cures, or if cures are discovered, everything will be done to keep the public from hearing about it.  This one fact has been my driving force, it keeps me hopeful and looking because I don't believe anyone who's profiting from illnesses.

We've done a lot to help my mom to be more present so that she can enjoy her family and her life.  She's physically stronger than she's been in decades.  She's off all pharmaceutical medications, taking only natural supplements and food.  We have a Naturopath Doctor who helps prescribe plant medicines and administers Acupuncture twice a week.

My mom is doing much better.  She's lost 100 pounds through changing her lifestyle.  She couldn't change it on her own.  I was a bit of a bull with her, insisting that she change her ways or she'd be committed to a home.  It was a fight, an uphill battle to get my mom to understand that I wasn't being mean because I wouldn't let her eat junk foods, foods that I believe brought on the illnesses in her body.

It's been almost 2 years since we began down the road of renewed health.  We all are healthier and in a better state of being because of a few simple changes that we made gradually, one change at a time, slow and steady.

On Saturday we went to Maine for my mom's 81st birthday celebration.  It was hot.  Very hot and humid.  My mom is a senior, seniors with dementia lose their thirst response.  Drinking water and staying hydrated becomes difficult for a senior, especially one with dementia.  Lack of fluid in the body throws off the balance and can cause UTI's (urinary tract infections) which are prevalent among seniors with cognition issues.

UTI's cause hallucinations in my mom.   Hallucinations that talk to her and tell her things, she becomes delirious.  Believing what her hallucinations tell her, my mom often gets angry with me for no logical reason.  It sucks.  Hallucinations that turn a patient against a Care Giver leaves one with no recourse; a nursing home.  My mom has been hallucinating a lot the last few months, bringing behaviors to the forefront which are making me look for nursing homes to have her live.

I did learn that when her blood pressure and blood sugar are elevated she hallucinates.  When both are elevated at the same time, she hallucinates but she also turns on me, her Care Giver.

The most recent observation that I've made is the link between dehydration and her hallucinations.  My mom has been complaining of her kidneys hurting.  We had a pee test done and she doesn't have a UTI, but she is hallucinating like she does.  Her other symptoms in addition to wild hallucinations, are dizziness, tiredness and disorientation; all symptoms of dehydration.

I began to put two and two together.  My mom doesn't like to drink water.  She sips little amounts, little bits that don't amount to much fluid intake.  It's been super hot.   She insists on sitting out in the sun, on the patio where she can watch the ceremonies or talk to her hallucinations, her friends.  The longer she sits outside, the more wild her hallucinations.  She refuses to drink anything except decaffeinated coffee.

Searching on Google for answers, I found a few links that convinced me that my mom could be hallucinating more, even after her Acupuncture treatments, because she's dehydrated.

Here are the links that I found and used to draw my conclusion as to why my mom has been having intense hallucinations since this heatwave hit the Northeast of the US.

My mom drank a big glass of water this morning.  She is still hallucinating.  I am sure she needs lots more water to rehydrate herself.  I am on a mission to convince her that water is her friend and drinking it daily will help her to make sense of the world around her.  I know I'm hopeful; there's nothing wrong with having hope, it's how cures are discovered.  

The question that I am working on answering is, can dehydration cause hallucinations?


  1. For sure !
    Read dr Batmanghelidj´s book about the effect on the body from dehydration.

    Dehydration may not just cause hallucinations but oh so many more conditions. Too many to mention here. Check out the doctors site http://www.watercure.com/

  2. Thank you for your comment and link Borge!

    Water is definitely our life force and without it we will wither up and die.

  3. If she's somehow loosing plenty of fluids, the she looses also minerals. Give her sometimes also Gatorade, it replenishes lost minerals.

  4. She not only needs water she needs to get electrolytes back into her body I had the same thing happen to me and I had to start Drinking gatorade.. Water is great but to really rehydrate she needs to have something with electrolytes in it trust me I've been where your mother's at and I didn't realize it either I thought water was cure in it is not.


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