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Poisonous Pure Water

Harmful Effect of Too Much Water

By Oluwagbenro Priscilla AjayiPublished 7 months ago 3 min read
Poisonous Pure Water
Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

What do you suppose when you hear the word poison?

Arsenic? Cyanide?

How about water?

Living is practically impossible without water, but in the right circumstances, water can be as dangerous as any poison.

Your kidneys filter out redundant waste and water from your bloodstream. But they can only reuse 800 to 1,000 milliliters of water an hour, and if you ever managed to drink further than that without throwing up, you could run into trouble. Because you are drinking faster than your kidneys can reuse it. So the excess water ends up in your cells.

Typically, your cells are girdled by a precisely balanced solution of sodium and water, which flows in and out through really tiny holes in the cellular membrane. So it keeps the concentration of sodium, both in and out of the cell, balanced. But when you drink too much water, the sodium concentration gets diluted. It's not salty enough. So some of that redundant water rushes into the cell to restore balance. And that causes it to swell up.

Doctors call this water intoxication, and it's a big problem.

Now, most body cells can handle the swelling to some extent, since soft, flexible tissue like fat and muscle can stretch. However, for those cells in your brain that are susceptible to swelling, it's important to stay hydrated. While soft tissues can stretch, the bone inside of your skull does not, and as a result, pressure builds up until you experience problems like headaches, confusion, or drowsiness. If left unchecked, these conditions could evolve into serious situations like coma and even death. It could eventually terminate life in less than 10 hours.

For example, Army trainees suffered vomiting and seizures after guzzling two liters of water per hour.

Also, a 64-year-old woman died the same evening after drinking 30-40 glasses of water. These instances are just a few examples of how important it is to drink responsibly.

Drinking water throughout the day can help to avoid dehydration and dehydration-related illnesses. However, marathon runners need to be particularly careful because one in six of them develop mild water intoxication during the race. This happens because the race stresses the body and strains the kidneys, which in turn leads to them not releasing water as efficiently. The same thing can happen if you drink too much beer at once--that's called potomania.

The good news is, that extreme water intoxication is uncommon, and is bound to occur in individuals who have kidney issues since they can't deal with water appropriately in the first place. Furthermore, there is a simple method for remaining safe.

Usually, only a limited number of drinks are necessary in order to maintain hydration levels. In fact, drinking when you're thirsty is one of the best ways to stay safe.

The typical healthy adult needs somewhere near three to four liters of water a day. What's more, since this can emerge out of food and different beverages as well, drink when you're parched, and afterward stop.

Other harmful effects of too much water include:

1. Dilution of Electrolytes: One of the primary dangers of excessive water consumption is the dilution of essential electrolytes in the body, particularly sodium. Sodium plays a crucial role in maintaining proper fluid balance and nerve function. When you drink excessive amounts of water, it can lead to a dangerous drop in sodium levels.

2. Hyponatremia Symptoms: Symptoms of hyponatremia can range from mild to severe and may include nausea, vomiting, headache, confusion, muscle cramps, seizures, and in extreme cases, coma and death. Severe hyponatremia is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention.

3. Brain Swelling: When sodium levels in the blood become dangerously low, water can enter brain cells, causing them to swell. This can lead to increased intracranial pressure, which can result in symptoms such as confusion, seizures, and, in severe cases, brain damage.

4. Kidney Overload: Excessive water consumption can put a strain on the kidneys as they have to work harder to filter and excrete the excess water. This increased workload can potentially lead to kidney damage over time.

5. Cardiovascular Stress: Consuming large volumes of water in a short period can lead to a sudden increase in blood volume. This can place additional stress on the heart, potentially leading to heart-related issues, especially in individuals with preexisting heart conditions.

6. Gastrointestinal Distress: Drinking too much water in a short time frame can overwhelm the stomach and digestive system, causing discomfort, nausea, and even vomiting.

7. Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia: Athletes are at particular risk for water intoxication, as they may overhydrate during endurance events. This can lead to exercise-associated hyponatremia, which can be life-threatening.

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