The harmful effects of excessive water drinking
Water is associated with most physiological processes in the body ranging from the excretion of waste through the kidneys, blood pressure balance and maintaining homeostasis and normal electrolyte and salt values ​​essential for the activity of all body cells. The benefit of drinking water is obvious, but like anything positive drinking too much water can be dangerous and even deadly.What is the recommended amount of water?

Each person should drink about 8-10 glasses of water a day (around 2 liters). 30 ml of water can be calculated per day per kg of body weight, so a person weighing 60 kg will be advised to drink 1.8 liters of water while a person weighing 90 kg will be advised to drink 2.7 liters of water. Of course these rules of thumb do not take into account going out for strenuous exercise or particularly hot days so it is advisable to increase the water consumption in a liter.

Still not sure you understand how much water you need to consume? Look at the color of your urine, just like in the nursery rhyme you learned in kindergarten: “Yellow pee is not good, white pee is great, clear pee you are a champion”, and indeed, the more transparent the urine tends to be, the more likely you are to consume enough water (unless Yes you take vitamin B supplements and then the urine turns yellow).

What is water poisoning?

Water poisoning is caused as a result of increased drinking of water and if we simplify what is happening in the body it can be said that the person is drowning himself from within. What does that mean? When a person puts too much water into his body he causes an imbalance in the water and salt economy. As a result of the high amount of water in the blood, the concentration of sodium will decrease – a condition called hypothermia, which can cause a variety of physical problems since sodium plays a vital role in the body’s systems.

Hypothermia can cause confusion, imbalance and nausea and reach life-threatening situations as it can lead to edema. When there is cerebral edema the condition can cause death and hence this condition requires urgent medical intervention.

In which cases may water poisoning occur?

The main cause of excessive drinking of water is a state of polyphysiology, increased thirst that can occur in a number of situations:

  • diabetes mellitus. So there is an increased thirst due to high blood sugar values, which causes increased drinking and frequency of urination which is one of the first hallmarks of undiagnosed diabetes.
  • Medicines. Another condition of polydepsia can be caused by taking certain medications that cause increased thirst so the solution is to stop taking those medications (with the approval of the attending physician) or occasionally wetting the mouth / sucking ice.
  • psychosis. Psychogenic Poldipsia – Caused by a psychiatric disorder so treatment is primarily behavioral.
  • Exercise. Other conditions that increase the risk of water poisoning are strenuous exercise such as a marathon for example, but it is important to note that these cases are rare and we are usually more concerned about dehydration and insufficient drinking.

Adi Yaaran, Clinical Dietitian at the Mental Health Clinic at the National Health Fund and in the Mental Health Department at Haemek Medical Center

By Editor

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