It takes about 6 liters of water to kill a 165-pound person, according to a YouTube video recently released by the American Chemistry Society. Surprisingly, death by water, or water intoxication as it’s officially known, happens quite a lot. It’s common among young people who challenge themselves to “water drinking contests,” or athletes who mistakingly over-hydrate while training, Scientific American reported.
Although water is essential to life, when a person drinks too much their blood becomes dangerously diluted of salts. According to Scientific American, this causes a condition called hyponatremia, and severe cases of hyponatremia lead to water intoxication. Some of the main symptoms of water intoxication are headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, and mental disorientationI
(RNN) – Drinking too much water left a woman with a urinary tract infection and seriously ill, doctors said water intoxication can kill you !
After drinking the excess water to, as she said, “flush out her system,” the 59-year-old woman in London developed hyponatremia, also called water intoxication, according to a new BMJ Case Reports.
The condition is marked by an abnormally low level of sodium in the blood. Sodium helps regulate the quantity of water in and around cells.
The report said there is a death rate of nearly 30 percent for patients whose sodium level drops drastically below normal.
The woman arrived at the hospital “shaky and muddled,” the report said. “She vomited several times, was tremulous and exhibited significant speech difficulties.”
To treat the patient, doctors restricted the quantity of water she drank. The next day her sodium level returned to normal, and she was released from the hospital.
“It took about a week to feel ‘normal’ again,” the woman said, “and if I am honest I think I was tired for at least another week.”
The report highlights the importance of not drinking excessive quantities of water, an emergency physician in New York at Lenox Hill Hospital told CBS News.
“The old adage to ‘drink plenty of water’ should be approached with caution if you are not vomiting, or experiencing diarrhea, or excessive sweating,” advises Dr. Robert Glatter. “Your thirst is often the best guide to gauge when you think you need to drink more water if you have no history of kidney disease.”
Signs of water intoxication include headaches, nausea and vomiting, confusion, loss of energy and fatigue. The illness can cause the brain to swell, coma, seizures and death.
Doctors said among the few healthy people with normal kidney function who develop water intoxication are endurance athletes who drink more water while exercising than their kidneys can excrete.
Although doctors commonly advise patients with many ailments to “drink plenty of fluids,” the report said, little evidence supports the recommendation.
The report called for research to determine the risks and benefits of increased fluid intake.
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