Did You Know That Drinking Too Much Water Can Be Dangerous?

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I always thought you could never drink too much water until I became pregnant with my first daughter and learned about water intoxication.

It was something I had never really heard of until I started reading all of the ‘do’s and dont’s’ type baby books.

Yes, we need water, it is an important part of maintaining a living status because our bodies need it to function.

But yes, you can totally harm your body by consuming too much water.

What Is Water Intoxication?

If you drink too much water very fast you can get water intoxication because you are drinking faster than your kidneys can regulate it all.

When that happens you are diluting important electrolytes, such as sodium, from your blood. 

Death is rare from this, but it can absolutely happen if not treated immediately.

This is why parents are told not to give water to infants under six months of age, their kidneys are not even developed yet and water intoxication may happen.

When water intoxication happens and the sodium levels in your blood drop it can cause confusion, hallucinations, and other neurological issues.

What Are The Symptoms of Water Intoxication?

The early symptoms of water intoxication are the following (if you experience any of these you need to get checked out):

  • Headaches
  • Confusion/Forgetfulness
  • Nausea/Vomiting

If left untreated, well then you could be in some serious trouble with these symptoms:

  • Impaired brain functioning
  • Weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Muscle cramps
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Having had many of these things, I can promise… none of them are fun.

My traumatic brain injury damage is permanent and I promise you do not want to deal with anything on that list.

What Do You Do If You Think Someone Has Water Intoxication?

Water intoxication is considered a medical emergency.

If you suspect water intoxication, get them to the emergency room immediately for treatment.

In the Emergency room, they can get seizures under control and give intravenous fluids to get the sodium levels corrected.

They can also assist the patient with any breathing issues they are having.

Who Is At Most Risk Of Water Intoxication?

Infants younger than 6 months of age, people in military training, and people who run marathons.

Certain mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and psychogenic polydipsia (this causes people to compulsively drink water) also put people at higher risk.

So yes, drink your water… but slow down and don’t overdo it!

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