Your body needs a certain amount of water to remain healthy. It may not seem like it, but there is such a thing as drinking too much water. Although it is not that common, over hydrating your body can lead to water intoxication. Here are the signs of water intoxication as well as a few tips for prevention.
Signs of Water Intoxication
Water intoxication can produce symptoms similar to heat stroke or exhaustion. The symptoms are as follows:
- Feeling hot
- General malaise
- Nausea and vomiting
Untreated water intoxication can result in severe health consequences or even death. Increased water in the body may cause rapid brain swelling, seizures, or coma.
Water Intoxication Risk Factors
You may be more susceptible to water intoxication if you participate in certain activities or have certain medical issues, such as:
- Endurance sports such as marathon running
- MDMA drug use
- Low body mass (in children)
- Psychogenic polydipsia, which compels patients to consume large amounts of water
- Intravenous or nasogastric feeding
So what can you do to prevent water intoxication?
- Monitor your water intake – do not consume large amounts of water which exceed your output. A healthy set of kidneys can effectively excrete around 0.21 to .026 gallons of water each hour, but the amount can be limited by stress to the body from exercise, or personal health factors.
- Only drink until your thirst is quenched, then stop until you feel thirsty again.
- Monitor your urine – if it is nearly clear, your water levels are likely too high.
- When you’re working your body hard, consume sports drinks in combination with water. These drinks have electrolytes and sodium, which can work to prevent bodily fluid levels from becoming too high.
Water is an important part of everyday life – but too much is harmful. Indiana American Water aims to educate Hoosiers on all aspects of water consumption – including what is appropriate and what can cause problems. Our goal is to deliver you the highest quality water for healthy drinking at home and on the go.