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when water gets deadly!!

i read this and thought i would post it here as we all drink water.

When water gets deadly

While many of us believe that it's important to drink eight glasses of water a day, too much of the good stuff can actually be deadly. Izzie Knolles finds out why.

We are always being told to drink water. In fact, magazines are saturated with advice on getting your eight glasses a day or your two litres. And for good reason, as it alleviates tiredness, aids concentration, clears the skin, flushes out the toxins, helps you to lose weight and, of course, prevents dehydration.

There are a myriad of detox diets that advocate drinking water to fill you up and even drinking when you don’t feel thirsty. However, what isn't well known is that you can drink too much and people do actually die from water intoxication - otherwise known as hyponatraemia.

Two years ago a lady in the US took part in a water drinking competition to "Hold Your Wee for a Wii", with the winner walking away with a Wii video game. After consuming around two gallons of water, she was found dead in her house the next day. The cause of her death was consistent with the symptoms of water intoxication.

Death from drinking too much water can occur if more enters the body than can be removed. When this happens water dilutes the body fluids and levels of sodium, causing blood cells to swell and cease functioning. The brain also swells, which when trapped inside the skull puts enormous pressure on the vital regions that regulate functions such as breathing.

When we drink a normal amount of water, our body excretes it through sweat or urine. If you overload the kidneys with too much water however, they’ll become overloaded and eventually not be able to work fast enough to remove sufficient amounts of water from the body.

The warning signs of hyponatraemia include confusion and headaches and the symptoms normally occur very soon after drinking the water. If the gut is absorbing the water more slowly however, it can take longer.

Of course, we are talking about extreme cases here but the message is that the amount of water needed in a day is dependent on each person, the amount of exercise they undertake and their climate. In very hot conditions, it is possible to lose five to eight litres in fluid.

Drinking several litres over a relatively short period of time could be enough to cause water intoxication. Those most at risk include people taking ecstasy, as the drug increases thirst and facilitates the release of anti-diuretic hormones so more water is taken in but cannot be excreted. Elderly people are also at risk because their kidney function may be impaired and endurance athletes.

A 22-year-old man, who was a fitness instructor from Milton Keynes died after completing his first London Marathon because he drank too much water. In 2003 St Thomas' Hospital treated 14 runners after the marathon for the same condition.

These days, sweat analysis tests are frequently carried out by athletes at the top of their game, these ascertain the rate of sweat they are losing in order to know how much fluid to replace to avoid dehydration. This involves recording a person’s weight digitally, then running on a treadmill for an hour and recording their ending weight after towelling off the body sweat. This is worth doing if you are engaging in endurance activities for four hours or longer, under this amount and you are not at risk.

Drinking too much of anything - not just water - can put people at risk of hyponatremia. Even sports drinks can be a problem, because despite what bottled water and sports drinks advertisers would have us think, a lot of the top athletes drink only small amounts.

One suggestion for monitoring your hydration on a day-to-day basis is to observe the colour of your urine; clear urine indicates that you are well hydrated, while yellow urine indicates that you need more water in your system. However, bear in mind that some chemicals that are in supplements and heavily pigmented foods (such as beetroot) can add substantial colour to your urine.

The point is to follow your thirst and don’t drink absentmindedly, as this is what we have had drummed into us. And when you do find yourself in need of water, remember that the body also gets it from all liquids and many foods.
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thought i would bump this just incase people wanna know. x


Regular Member
I've seen these stories before hun. It is worrying that people can die from drinking too much water. I think the problem seems to be when someone drinks large amounts at one time. If you have say 4 litres over the course of a day, then there are no worries, but its always good to be informed on these types of things.

Thanks for posting it hun.
no problem hun i cant drink 4 litres a day i struggle to drink the 2

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