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Future Health






What happens when you drink too much water?

November 30, 2020 

 

Did you know that you can drink to much water? Well there is a such thing, and it can be life threating. It is called hyponatremia. This occurs when your kidneys can't get rid of the excess water, the sodium content of your blood becomes diluted. Hyponatremia occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low.

So how much water is to much water? An average health adult human needs about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men and approximately 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly. For example, water:

  • Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements
  • Keeps your temperature normal
  • Lubricates and cushions joints
  • Protects sensitive tissues

You might need to modify your total fluid intake based on several factors:

  • Exercise. If you do any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. It's important to drink water before, during and after a workout.
  • Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional fluid. Dehydration also can occur at high altitudes.
  • Overall health. Your body loses fluids when you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Drink more water or follow a doctor's recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions. Other conditions that might require increased fluid intake include bladder infections and urinary tract stones.
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, you may need additional fluids to stay hydrated.

Drinking water is not the only way to keep you body hydrated. Maintaining a healthy diet plays a major role in balancing food and hydration. Many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are almost 100% water by weight. In addition, beverages such as milk, juice and herbal teas are composed mostly of water. Even caffeinated drinks — such as coffee and soda — can contribute to your daily water intake. But go easy on sugar-sweetened drinks. Regular soda, energy or sports drinks, and other sweet drinks usually contain a lot of added sugar, which may provide more calories than needed.

Hyponatremia signs and symptoms may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Loss of energy, drowsiness, and fatigue
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Muscle weakness, spasms, or cramps
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Seek emergency care for anyone who develops severe signs and symptoms of hyponatremia, such as nausea and vomiting, confusion, seizures, or lost consciousness. Call your doctor if you know you are at risk of hyponatremia and are experiencing nausea, headaches, cramping or weakness.

Want to learn more about hyponatremia WebMD offers some basic information but speak to your doctor if you think you or someone you know maybe experiencing symptoms.