drinking too much water can kill you

Sodium is the predominant electrolyte in our body. It plays many important functions, such as maintaining proper fluid balance in the body, in assisting nerves conduction and in regulating blood pressure. But drinking too much water can disrupt its functions and has adverse effect in our health.

The normal concentration for blood sodium is between 135 and 145 milliequivalents per litre (mEq/L). But drinking too much water in a short period of time can cause the sodium to get diluted and hence its concentration to fall below 135 mEq/L. This condition is called hyponatremia.

Severe cases of hyponatremia can lead to water intoxication. Moreover, the kidneys can eliminate only 1 liter of water per hour. So drinking more than this can cause the blood to become waterlogged and push the water inside the cells causing them to swell. When this happens in the brain cells, it can lead to brain edema (or, swelling) and even kill you.

More detailed version of this post can be seen here.

This post is meant to notify my Valued Readers that the post Water Intoxication: It Takes Only 6 Liters Of Water To Kill You has been updated. More details and reading references have been added.

7 thoughts on “Drinking Too Much Water Can Kill You – And Here’s Why

  1. …well…I had strep A sepsis. Normal urine output is up to 2 liters a day. I was putting out 10 liters a day. I had to drink fluid to keep up. I kept up on water, but dropped my potassium and magnesium enough that I had muscle cramps. Without keeping up on the urine output in sepsis, the blood pressure drops and then there is end organ damage or death. So it’s not quite as simple as “this amount causes death”.

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