Water is essential for life, but too much of anything is harmful. Water poisoning, resulting from excessive water consumption, is a serious health issue known medically as ‘hyponatremia‘. This condition occurs when excessive water accumulates in the body, causing the sodium levels in the blood to drop and leading to the swelling of cells, particularly brain cells. The consequences can sometimes be fatal.

What is Water Poisoning (Hyponatremia)?

Sodium is one of the key electrolytes that regulate the fluid balance in our body. Normally, the body maintains a balance between water and sodium on its own. However, excessive water consumption can disrupt this balance. Especially during intense physical activity, the body cannot process a large amount of water in a short time, leading to hyponatremia. Athletes, soldiers, and marathon runners are at high risk for this condition.

Polydipsia and Risk of Water Poisoning

Excessive Water Consumption Can Poison You

Polydipsia, a constant desire to drink water, can also be seen in individuals with psychological issues and can lead to water poisoning. Symptoms of water poisoning include headache, nausea, vomiting, mental confusion, and bloating. In severe cases, loss of consciousness, seizures, and even coma can occur.

Daily Water Consumption and Recommendations

Daily water consumption varies from person to person, but the general recommendation for adults is about 2-3 liters per day. Especially in hot weather or during sports, water needs may increase; however, it is important to adjust water consumption according to the body’s thirst signals.

Water poisoning is a rare condition, but conscious and balanced water consumption is vitally important. Taking in more water than the body needs can lead to serious health issues, so caution should be exercised regarding water consumption.

Source:  National Library of Medicine, Healthline , WebMd

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