Can You Drink Too Much Water

– Learn The Truth!

By: - Disease & Illness - May 26, 2011
can you drink too much water

Few people are accused of drinking too much water, but it does happen.  However, no doubt your are very puzzled by this and scratching your head, even rolling with laughter.  Can you drink too much water? Well, yes, you can, but it is hard to do unless you either have serious medical issues or you have some psychological problems.  No, you do not have to be crazy to do this!

Drinking too much water can produce varied conditions, including overhydration, water poisoning and hyper-hydration.  These potentially fatal conditions occur in your brain when your electrolyte levels are way too high, going beyond normal safety boundaries because you drank too much.  Most mentally, nutritionally and physically healthy people rarely ever will have to think about the dangers of drinking too much of any type of drink, let alone water.  However, the majority of such deaths occur during drinking contests where people compete against each other to drink the most.  Can you drink too much water just by drinking water? Actually, water is contained even in other drinks, so plain tap water may not be your only source of high water consumption.

Sometimes if you are exercising far too much and have not replenished your needed electrolytes at the right times, your need to drink lots of water might be almost insatiable.  You may feel that drinking too much water only becomes an issue if you continue drinking after you no longer feel thirsty anymore.  This is when you usually have to be the most cautious because water, like any other type of consumable liquid or food can be poisonous in excessive amounts.  However, another word of caution has to be given to those who are drinking too much water because of drug abuse or because the medications they are taking make them unusually thirsty.

For people who take medicines that cause additional thirst, quite often their doctors will advise them or the place where they fill their prescriptions will give them information warning them about the dangers.  Take those warnings seriously! The general rule of thumb for the average adult is to drink no more than one to two liters of water daily, depending on what your overall body mass is.  You can get your body mass to water calculated by your doctor or go to any gym and they can help you do this yourself.

There are many risks that you face when your body’s cells are too over-filled with electrolytes and sodium, natural salts found in water.  The cells swell and this increased type of pressure on your brain causes specific symptoms, which worsen as you continue to drink too much.  If you are having any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention urgently or go to your nearest emergency room:

  • headaches
  • changes in personality and/or behavior
  • irritability
  • confusion
  • sleepiness
  • breathing problems
  • weakening muscles
  • cramping or twitching
  • vomiting and/or nausea
  • extreme thirst
  • increasing inability to interpret any sensory type information and/or perceive things
  • increased blood pressure
  • edema

Know this: you can drink too much water and become ill, eventually having your nervous system stop working properly.  In the end, your brain will suffer damage as the edema spreads to it, causing potential seizures, coma, brain damage or even death.  People of all age groups who are most susceptible to this include people with gastroenteritis, low body masses, heat distress, overexertion, kidney disorders, diabetes, AIDS, injuries, lack of consciousness, trauma and/or psychiatric disorders.  Be especially careful if you do high endurance sports such as marathon running and always monitor your fluids by spreading your water consumption throughout your day versus drinking it all in one go.

Photo: water, water all about, but too much makes you sick! – copyright 2007, Kim Hansen; reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License 3.0

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