Water is essential for life and well-being. But drinking too much (overhydration) can lead to water intoxication. And this can lead to hyponatremia, impaired brain function, and sometimes death.

1. Causes Hyponatremia

A decrease in sodium levels below 136 mmol/litre of blood serum is called hyponatremia. It happens due to excess intake of water. Sodium is an important salt that helps in cell functions and various other functions in the body. If serum sodium levels drop, a person feels nauseous, disoriented, fatigued, or gets a headache and in severe cases, it might also lead to death.

2. Causes The Cells To Swell Up

When sodium decreases in your body, then water enters the cell through the semipermeable cell membrane. This results in swelling up of the cells. The swelling of the body cells (including the brain) causes serious damage to the muscle tissues, organs, and brain.

3. Causes Hypokalemia

A decrease in potassium ions is called hypokalemia which is caused by overhydration in the body. The balance between intracellular and extracellular potassium ions is disturbed when a person drinks too much water. In fact, 1% change in potassium ion distribution can lead to 50% change in plasma potassium ion concentration. This can result in severe diarrhoea and prolonged sweating.

4. Affects The Brain

Hyponatremia ie low sodium in the blood can cause the brain to swell up which results in speech disability, disorientation, walking instability, psychosis, and even death.

5. Overburdens The Heart

The heart performs the vital function of pumping blood throughout the body. The volume of blood inside the body increases due to overhydration. The increased blood volume exerts unnecessary pressure on the blood vessels and the heart, leading to convulsions in some cases.

6. Overburdens The Kidneys

Consuming too much water can put pressure on kidney’s function constantly. Kidneys can filter about a litre of fluid per hour from the body. Beyond that, they have to work extra hard to maintain homeostasis.

7. Causes Liver Problems

It happens by drinking too much water with iron in it as iron overload is not exactly analysed, but in rare cases, it may cause liver-related problems as well.

8. Frequent Urination

Frequent urination means once in every 15 minutes causes frustration, whether you are at home, work, or school. When you drink too much water, your kidneys function constantly, and as a result, you have to rush to the washroom again and again.

9. Posses the Risk Of Chlorine Overdose

Overhydration causes the chlorine overdose. It results in developing cancer. So, stay hydrated and not overhydrated.

10. Coma

Excess intake of water may cause brain and visceral organ damage which lead to coma and death. Do not drink too much water within a short period of time.


2 Comments

sharif · July 3, 2018 at 4:02 pm

Then how much water daily a person can take

    Dr Shikha's NutriHealth · July 16, 2018 at 11:02 am

    Hi! A person should have approximately 2 litres of water in a day.

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