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Why You Need to Watch Out for Water Intoxication

By Brandi Goodman 

Drinking water is great for your health. It helps to hydrate your body and keep your joints limber. It can prevent illness or help you recover quicker if you do get sick. However, that's not to say too much water won't ever be a problem. You need to watch out for water intoxication and make sure you're not gulping down too much of it at once.

The Problem

The problem with drinking too much water is that it can dilute the amount of sodium in your body. Sodium is necessary for maintaining a balance within your fluid levels. Too little of this and your fluid levels will cause swelling within your cells. 

Severe Symptoms

Water intoxication can lead to some severe symptoms. Though you're not likely to drink too much water on a typical day -- it would take a lot to overindulge on the drink -- but it can be a possibility when you're purposefully trying to stay extra hydrated during training sessions or while playing sports. Severe symptoms such as confusion, nausea, and vomiting, are common. It can even be fatal if brain swelling occurs. You may first experience seizures or even go into a coma if your brain swells significantly.

If brain swelling is happening, you may be notified by a few particular symptoms. Headaches, double vision, and increased blood pressure could be troubling signs. Be sure to head to the emergency room if you're experiencing these symptoms so a doctor can assess you.

Pacing Yourself

Your body can only filter out water so much at a time. If you try to drink a lot of it quickly and have no way to relieve yourself, it can start to cause damage. You need to pace yourself and stick with the recommended drinking schedule so you have no worries. More than a few cups per hour can be difficult for your kidneys to handle.

Compulsive Water Drinking

A certain mental health disorder involves compulsive water drinking. You constantly feel like you're thirsty and want to drink more and more water to satisfy yourself. The satisfaction never comes. Speak with your doctor if this is something you experience.

Water is the healthiest beverage choice. You still need to be careful not to drink too much, though. Half your weight in ounces of water is about the most you should be drinking per day. This should also be spread out throughout the entire course of the day to avoid problems. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Anderson, S.C.

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