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[pct-l] Dehydration, Salt depletion, blisters and swollen feet, loss of appetite

I have been reading a lot of the journals that are on the web ( Yes,
William Stenzel"s site is a real treat!  Thank you, thank you, thank you! 
Looking forward to some more installations of your PCT saga.)

A common thread that runs thru many of these journals is the presence of
swollen feet and incapacitating blisters soon after leaving Campo going
North.  Many people are forced to stop for a while by Big Bear or before.

A number of posts have also mentioned feeling sore, enervated-tired,
cramps, chilled, and lacking an appetite.  These ALL are classical signs of
dehydration.  According to the Kevin Sayers site swollen feet, blisters,
and black toenails are also indicative of possible dehydration due to lack
of electolytes, not lack of water intake.  It maybe that for many of us, we
have now been trained to drink enough water, but not to monitor our
electrolyte level and take enough salts. If salt levels are low, it doesn't
matter how much we drink, we are still dehydrated.  It turns out that when
sodium levels in the blood fall below a certain level, water from the blood
plasma will be transferred into tissues external to the circulatory system,
causing feet to swell.  Those swollen tissues are less able to support the
mechanical abuse of running and walking on them. On This link, Karl King
says "Heat, not water, causes blisters.  It is heat that drives the sweat
rate up, the sodium levels down, and ultimately leads to blister
formation...Stay cool, replace your lost electrolytes and blister and black
toenails will be greatly reduced or eliminated."  The Ultra runners are
talking about a LOT OF SALT (600-800mg, one prezel is 30 mg), much more
than you get in gatorade.  A truhiker probably has a similar problem but
more moderate.

For the truhiker starting in Campo, the problem is aggravated because it is
probable that he/she is not heat adapted and is therefore sweating at lot,
losing a lot of salt.  Any very hot day, any lengthy exertion can cause a
lot of salt to be lost in sweating.

Many of the people who seem to be hardest hit with blisters and swollen
feet are women ( Is this my imagination?). The Kevin Sayers site also
mentions Anti-Diuretic Hormone (ADT) which increases in times of stress,
and for women is associated with a certain point in the menstral cycle (ERT
anybody?), and causes bloating and retained water. Are Women getting a
double whammy here?

 Of course swollen feet can also be caused by other things, especially
increased capillary permeability associated with the repeated trauma of
pounding your tootsies on the trail for long distances day after day,
uphill and then down.


(Urine color? Who pees in a nice white porcelein bowl on a thruhike?  Is
that why the Sierras have all those nice white rocks? Big Leafed Maple
leaves work well too.)

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