The cells and organs in the body need water to function properly, but the excessive water consumption can lead to water intoxication. There are some cases when this can be fatal. The water intoxication is also known as water poisoning. It is a disruption of brain function due to drinking too much water. When you are drinking a lot of water, this is increasing the water in the blood. It is known that this water can dilute the electrolytes in your blood, especially sodium.
The sodium helps to balance fluids between the inside and outside of cells. When the sodium levels drop due to the excess water consumption, then the fluids shift from the outside to the inside of cells and this is causing them to swell.
The most common symptoms of the water intoxication are headache; vomiting and nausea. When someone has more serious case of water intoxication, then it can have some of the next symptoms: increased blood pressure; inability to identify sensory information; confusion; muscle weakness and cramping; confusion; difficulty breathing; drowsiness and double vision. There are rare cases when death has been caused by water intoxication. The water intoxication often happens during major sport events.
It is very important to consider your body weight, physical activity level and climate when you are trying to determine how much water you need. You need to talk with your doctor if you suffer from water intoxication before you start using some of the below mentioned home remedies, so in this way you will avoid side effects.
Home remedies for water intoxication
It is known that drinking alcohol can lead to water intoxication. This is a reason why people who take water – retaining medications should avoid alcohol completely or they should drink only small amounts. Trekkers and athletes should include foods rich in sodium and other minerals in their diets.
Advice for athletes
When athletes are running marathons or long cycling races, they should intermittently switch between electrolyte drinks and regular water. Also, physicians are advising athletes to measure their body weight before and after the sport event. Based on these measures, they can habituate themselves with optimal quantity of water intake for themselves. It is recommended for athletes to drink from 16 – 20 ounces of fluid for every pound lost.
Water for exercises
While you are exercising, you should try to drink from two to four ounces of fluid per hour. If you are exercising for longer than an hour, then you can drink sports beverages. These drinks have sugar, along with electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, which you lose in sweat. Also, you should let the thirst to guide you while you are exercising. If you are thirsty, then you should drink more.
Treat the underlying cause
It is very important to visit your doctor to find the underlying cause for the water intoxication, so you can treat this condition and in this way you also treat the water intoxication.
Listen to your body
When your body tells that is thirsty, then you should drink water and this can help you to have good hydration levels. But relying on thirst is not working for all people. Pregnant women, older adults and athletes may need to drink some extra water each day. Also, some people want to stay on the 8×8 rule, which is recommending eight ounce glasses of water per day. But this rule is mostly arbitrary and it is not based on research, so talk with your doctor if it is okay for your condition.
Increase the fluid intake in some situations
If you are migrating from a cold to a relatively hot climate, then you should increase your fluid intake and you should change your habits.
Reduce the amount of water
If you are taking water – retaining medications, such as anti – diuretics, then you should try to reduce the amount of water intake at a time.
Do not drink more than you sweat out
There are many doctors who are recommending not drinking water more than you sweat out. But this is hard to measure so you need to consult with your doctor which is the best dosage for you.
Can You Drink Too Much Water? https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/water-intoxication#1 . Published August 14, 2014
What happens if you drink too much water? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318619.php . Published July 21, 2017
Water Intoxication in Infants. https://www.stlouischildrens.org/health-resources/pulse/water-intoxication-infants .
DRINKING TOO MUCH WATER CAN BE DEADLY, DOCTORS WARN. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/drinking-too-much-water-intoxication-deadly-dangerous-doctor-a7452736.html . Published December 3, 2016