What happens if you drink too much water?

Every cell in the body needs water to function properly. However, too much water can lead to water poisoning and have serious health consequences.
It is difficult to drink too much water by accident, but this can usually be due to overhydration during a heat wave, sports events or intense training.

Symptoms of water poisoning are common and may include confusion, disorientation, nausea, and vomiting. In rare cases, water poisoning can cause the brain to swell and become fatal. This article describes the symptoms, causes and effects of water poisoning. It also examines the amount of water a person should drink each day.

What is water poisoning?

Also known as water poisoning, water poisoning is a disorder of brain function caused by excessive water consumption. This consumption increases the amount of water in the blood. This can dilute electrolytes, especially sodium, in the blood. If the sodium level falls below 135 millimoles per liter (mmol / l), doctors talk about hyponatremia.

Sodium helps maintain fluid balance inside and outside cells. When sodium rats fall due to excessive water consumption, fluids move from the outside to the inside of the cells, causing them to swell. When it occurs in brain cells, it can be dangerous and also life-threatening.

Conclusion: Water poisoning results from excessive water consumption. Excess water dilutes sodium in the blood and causes fluids to move inside the cells, causing them to swell.

The dangers of excessive water consumption

When a person consumes an excessive amount of water and the cells in his brain begin to swell, the pressure inside his skull increases. This causes the first symptoms of water poisoning, which are as follows:

– headaches
– nausea
– vomiting

Severe cases of water poisoning can cause more serious symptoms, such as:

– drowsiness
– muscle weakness or cramps
– increase in blood pressure
– double view
– confusion
– inability to identify sensory information
– difficulty breathing

Fluid buildup in the brain is called cerebral edema. It can affect the brainstem and cause dysfunction of the central nervous system.
In severe cases, water poisoning can cause seizures, brain damage, a coma and even death.

Drinking too much water can increase the pressure inside the skull. This can cause various symptoms and, in severe cases, become fatal.

What can cause water poisoning?

Water poisoning is rare, and it is very difficult to consume too much water by accident. However, it can happen, there are many medical reports making a state of death due to excessive water consumption. Water poisoning most often affects people participating in sports or endurance training, or people with various mental disorders.

Sporting events

Water poisoning is especially common in endurance athletes. It can occur if a person drinks a lot of water without properly considering electrolyte losses. This is why hyponatremia often occurs at major sporting events.

As reported by the authors of one study, of the 488 participants in the 2002 Boston Marathon, 13% had symptoms of hyponatremia and 0.06% had a critique of hyponatremia, with a sodium level below 120 mmol / l. Cases of water poisoning during these events resulted in death. One of these cases involved a runner who had collapsed after a marathon. As he had not been properly rehydrated, his sodium rate dropped below 130 mmol / l. The runner then developed water on his brain, known as hydrocephalus, and a hernia in his brainstem, which caused his death.

Mental health problems

Compulsive drinking, also known as psychogenic polydipsia, can be a symptom of various mental problems. It is more common in people with schizophrenia, but it can also occur in people with emotional disorders, psychosis, and personality disorders. Water poisoning can be life-threatening, and is more common among trained soldiers, endurance athletes, and people with schizophrenia.

How much water is too important?

Hydration and water poisoning occur when a person drinks more water than their kidneys can excrete. The amount of water is not the only factor, time also plays a role. Figures in a 2013 study show that the kidneys can excrete about 20 to 28 liters of water a day, but they cannot excrete more than 0.8 to 1.0 liters per hour. To prevent hyponatremia, it is important not to overdo the kidneys by drinking more water than they can eliminate.

The authors of the study indicate that the symptoms of hyponatremia can develop if a person drinks 3 to 4 liters of water over a short period of time, although they do not give an accurate estimate of time.

Conclusion: Kidneys can excrete 20 to 28 liters of water per day, but they can excrete more than 0.8 to 1.0 liters per hour. Drinking more than that can be dangerous.

How much water do you need?

The good amount varies depending on factors such as body weight, level of physical activity, climate and comfort. Some people still follow the 8 × 8 rule, which recommends drinking eight glasses of 20 cl water a day. However, this rule is not based on research. Relying on thirst may not suit everyone. Athletes, adults, and pregnant women, for example, may need boire plus d’eau every day. To estimate the right amount, it may be helpful to consider calories. If you need 2,000 calories a day, you need to consume 2,000 milliliters of water a day.

* Press the effort to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given cannot replace the opinion of a health professional.

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