General chatter - Water Intoxication Question

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07-01-2013, 10:39 PM
Hey everybody,

I've got a question about water intoxication. I drank 6 litres today for the first time ever due to it being crazy hot outside today. I drank about 1 litre an hour. I do have a slight headache but figured that was from the sun. We all know how googling symptoms just makes us crazier anyway! I also feel exhausted and a little hazy/out of it.

I know that water intoxication levels vary per person but any insight as to whether or not I should be concerned would be helpful. I definitely don't feel like myself right now.



07-01-2013, 11:09 PM
Water intoxication can occur at fluid intake at least as low as a gallon per day, as that's what my mother had been drinking when she was hospitalized for what turned out to be water intoxication. If you're on blood pressure medications and eating a low-salt diet (as she was), you could be at risk.

Heat exhaustion is another possibility. It might not be a bad idea to go to an ER or walk-in clinic.

I wouldn't advise waiting to see, especially if you start to feel woozy or nauseous. My mom was taken to the hospital within only a few hours of feeling strange, and we were told that bringing her in any later, could have cost her, her life. As it is, she suffered permanent kidney damage.

I don't want to alarm you, because most likely it's heat exhaustion or some other heat stress, but since it could be something more dangerous, I'd hate to blow it off.

If your feeling up to it, and have no health issues that would preclude it, you might try eating some table salt or salty food and seeing if you feel better. If you're well into water intoxication, it might not help, but if you've only mildly overdosed on water, it could help.

Personally, I'd at least consider having someone with you until you feel better, because if it is water intoxication, you should not be alone as you might pass out. If you do decide to go to the ER, do not drive yourself for the same reason. Symptoms can come on quite fast. The same I believe is true for heatstroke which is another possibility.

Odds are, you're just mildly heat stressed, but heat stroke and water intoxication both can do serious damage so quickly that it's better to be a little paranoid and find out that you're fine than to blow it off and not wake up.

07-01-2013, 11:20 PM
how are you feeling now?

07-02-2013, 12:00 AM
Hey Kaplods and AlaskanLaughter,

Thanks for taking the time to write. I still have a headache and feel out of it, but a friend of mine made me eat a banana (she wondered about potassium levels?) and it seemed to help a little bit. I mostly feel the same. I am not home alone and my boyfriend knows to keep an eye on me, but I keep feeling like I want to go to sleep. I am debating calling the health centre... I am not as nervous as I was when I first posted though.

07-02-2013, 12:41 AM
That you're apparently clear-headed, is a very good sign. My mom and dad thought Mom had the flu, until she started slurring her words and was speaking strangely. That's when Dad (a former EMT) called 911. He was afraid she was having a stroke.

07-02-2013, 02:11 AM
I really think it’s not water intoxication, I’m sure Kaplods knows more than me because of her mom’s experience, but from what I’ve heard you need to be drinking massive amounts of water for at least a few days. Again, this is what I’ve heard only...
Anyways I really hope you are feeling better... please keep us posted!

07-02-2013, 02:11 AM
glad to hear you are doing okay and that you are clear-headed....I know when I have a bad allergy attack that i'm not thinking clearly so it's a real good sign that you are self-aware about it and i'm also glad that you aren't alone there, just in case :)

07-02-2013, 08:04 AM
Feeling better?

Only Believe
07-02-2013, 09:13 AM
How are you feeling today? You mentioned potassium. My husband recently, after a day of drinking lots of water and sweating buckets, didn't feel well and had cramps in his arms really bad. I looked it up online and someone said if it's low potassium and if you drink V8 juice you will feel much better in a few minutes. He drank some and he did feel much better.
I hope all is much better for you today.

07-02-2013, 12:01 PM
Hey guys, I just woke up after a nice 12 hour sleep! I did call the health centre last night and our community nurse had me do a few small tests on myself. Just so you guys are aware, she said to pinch myself and as long it turns back to the same colour, I am good. Also, look for swollen hands, eyelids and feet. She told me to take some advil for the headache and to call again if it got worse.

I feel back to myself today :) Thanks for your support, everyone. I appreciate the helpful shoutouts! And, just in case, I'm going to go back to just 3 litres of water from now on!!

07-02-2013, 12:03 PM
Northern, hope you're feeling better! Similar happened to me on Sunday - mowed the lawn in the heat and guzzled a bunch of water, then felt crappy. Eating a banana made me feel a bit better. I'm inclined to think it is an electrolyte imbalance - sweating out everything and just adding back in water. I think I might buy some gatorade for the next time I exercise in the heat and see if that makes a difference.