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Too much water as dangerous as too little

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Old 03-17-2014, 03:59 PM   #1
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Default Too much water as dangerous as too little

First off I want to express that I am not a doctor nor do I want to dole out med advice. My experience is not typical nor am I indicating this would happen to anyone else, it is just something to keep in mind to remind ourselves not to over do it, even a good thing. Always talk to your doctor. He is your best resource.
I have been on my diet plan for just about 2 weeks. In the beginning I had been a 10 a day diet coke drinker. I quickly cut back and quit (about a 6 day process). I have been drinking water and occasional watered down crystal light. Maybe some Splenda sweetened lemonade. I live in so cal and have epilepsy although I have not had a seizure in 20 years. I still take meds for it.
On Saturday a very warm day I had a very long day. My son had his playoff hockey game and my husband and I were doing photography for a gymnastics competition. I was up at 5 am and was almost done at the gym at 7:30 pm when I stood up to watch some of the last events. I all of a sudden got a bad headache, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and nausea. As well as some hearing issues like I was under water. I sat back down and was feeling a bit better. But whenever I stood up I felt the same. I had a feeling I had drank too much water. I started looking around Nd realized I had 12 bottles over the day. (.5 liters each).
I told my husband I wasn't feeling well. We went home and I fell asleep. The next thingies remember my family was waking me up telling me I had a seizure. It is a very confusing feeling. My husband took me to the er and they said my sodium was low. The doc that saw me felt that the fatigue and excess water was the culprit, and those set off the seizure.
I am not telling u guys this to scare u or suggest that it would happen to you. Obviously I am prone to seizures. The reason I am sharing is that when u diet it is so easy to get carried away and take things too far. I know how easy it is to obsess when it comes to weight loss or exercise. What we all need to remember is that things that are good in moderation are not neccesarily better in excess. We all need to keep our behavior in check and moderation.
Please take my experience as a warning sign to check your diet plan with your doctor and make sure it is not too extreme. Even something that can seem as insignificant as water can be a big deal.

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Old 03-17-2014, 04:18 PM   #2
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There was a radio station (don't remember the details) that has a contest that whoever drank the most water would win cash money. This poor lady drank a lot of water and ended up dying. Your kidneys can only process so much fluid and if you had medical problems it can put an extra strain on the kidneys. One should start out slow and see how much you can drink and also check with your doctor.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:21 PM   #3
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Water intoxication, as it's called, is real. But it's very uncommon. 12 bottles of water may well be more than enough to induce it. I'm glad you are ok.

I remember that radio station too. It was a "Hold your wee for a Wii" (video game console) contest. Sad.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:36 PM   #4
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I sometimes drink up to 7 litres of water a day. Kidneys can handle up to 15 litres. Water intoxication is indeed uncommon and you get it if you lose electrolytes and don't replace them. Since your sodium was low, that's probably what happened to you.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:38 PM   #5
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The water isn't the issue, the electrolyte balance is. You need more sodium and potassium if you're downing that much, and don't drink beyond thirst.

Some folks are prone to water intoxication just because of their blood chemistry and kidney function, but it's really quite rare for a healthy person who isn't forcing water beyond their natural signals. Glad you're okay! Don't skimp of fluid, but pair it with minerals and you should be in better shape
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:29 PM   #6
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How do you know if you're getting in enough minerals? Or have electrolyte balance? Would it be from eating a balanced diet?!

OP-glad you're ok! I've been reading many things about drinking more water when you're dieting! I drink about 24 cups a day and I feel like I'm constantly running to the bathroom, I don't know how people drink so much water on a daily basis.
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:44 PM   #7
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How do you know if you're getting in enough minerals? Or have electrolyte balance? Would it be from eating a balanced diet?!

OP-glad you're ok! I've been reading many things about drinking more water when you're dieting! I drink about 24 cups a day and I feel like I'm constantly running to the bathroom, I don't know how people drink so much water on a daily basis.
There is so much conflicting data out there that I would not be able to answer the question. You really should talk to your doc.
In my case I am obviously prone to seizures and especially so when I'm exhausted which I was on Saturday. It has happened before even without the water thing, but again it was 20 years ago. I just believe the water was a contributing factor for me. I am sure a normal healthy person would not be so extreme. Also I tend to have a large amount of sodium in my diet and the diet coke which does have sodium as well. Cutting that out May have reduced much of my sodium also.
The diet plan I am following is rich in real food and nutrients. Fresh healthy vegetables daily. Really discourages packaged food. While I have been following the plan, on Saturday I skipped dinner as I was so tired. I think the combo was my issue.
Again this is an extreme case but for those of us that have been over weight for some time, when u start some of us tend to be so gung-ho in the beginning that we may go to extremes. That old thing where if one is good five is better,which is not usually true. That is the message I wanted to get across.
For what it's worth I was thirsty all day that day because it was about 85 and I was right next to the open door. There was no breeze. I just got carried away. Also I go to the bathroom about every half hours. I have just learned to accept it.
Thanks to all for your well wishes.

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Old 03-17-2014, 11:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Occheermommy View Post
First off I want to express that I am not a doctor nor do I want to dole out med advice. My experience is not typical nor am I indicating this would happen to anyone else, it is just something to keep in mind to remind ourselves not to over do it, even a good thing. Always talk to your doctor. He is your best resource.
I have been on my diet plan for just about 2 weeks. In the beginning I had been a 10 a day diet coke drinker. I quickly cut back and quit (about a 6 day process). I have been drinking water and occasional watered down crystal light. Maybe some Splenda sweetened lemonade. I live in so cal and have epilepsy although I have not had a seizure in 20 years. I still take meds for it.
On Saturday a very warm day I had a very long day. My son had his playoff hockey game and my husband and I were doing photography for a gymnastics competition. I was up at 5 am and was almost done at the gym at 7:30 pm when I stood up to watch some of the last events. I all of a sudden got a bad headache, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and nausea. As well as some hearing issues like I was under water. I sat back down and was feeling a bit better. But whenever I stood up I felt the same. I had a feeling I had drank too much water. I started looking around Nd realized I had 12 bottles over the day. (.5 liters each).
I told my husband I wasn't feeling well. We went home and I fell asleep. The next thingies remember my family was waking me up telling me I had a seizure. It is a very confusing feeling. My husband took me to the er and they said my sodium was low. The doc that saw me felt that the fatigue and excess water was the culprit, and those set off the seizure.
I am not telling u guys this to scare u or suggest that it would happen to you. Obviously I am prone to seizures. The reason I am sharing is that when u diet it is so easy to get carried away and take things too far. I know how easy it is to obsess when it comes to weight loss or exercise. What we all need to remember is that things that are good in moderation are not neccesarily better in excess. We all need to keep our behavior in check and moderation.
Please take my experience as a warning sign to check your diet plan with your doctor and make sure it is not too extreme. Even something that can seem as insignificant as water can be a big deal.
Thank-you for sharing your experience with water. I'm glad you're okay.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:34 PM   #9
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For me, I salt to taste on veggies and meat. If I'm having a thirsty day I make sure I'm getting some broth in, too. I eat avocados and nuts, which helps immensely. Salty cheese. I take a magnesium supplement and cod liver oil. All good and necessary things. I start feeling dizzy and like I have the flu when my minerals are wonky, or get a headache. Those are the early clues I'm out of whack.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:35 PM   #10
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And when in doubt, like when I feel a headache coming on, I take a swig of soy sauce or have a cup of miso soup, then drink something caffeinated and take an ibuprofen. Depending on the source these things knock of a potential headache 9 time out of 10
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:07 PM   #11
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It is called water intoxication and this can be quite common. Drink your water but don't be ridiculous about it. Space it out. When you over hydrate you wash out your sodium and potassium and cause your balances to be off kilter. You need them for your heart and brain to function. I am a Intensive care Rn and this can be really common to people who are runners, and fitness fanatics. If you have a problem with this grab some orange juice, Gatorade and there are tablets you can buy at the health food stores that work in minutes. I say don't drink more than a gallon a day and drink through out the day. One bottle before each meal and then bedtime.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillybean2014 View Post
It is called water intoxication and this can be quite common. Drink your water but don't be ridiculous about it. Space it out. When you over hydrate you wash out your sodium and potassium and cause your balances to be off kilter. You need them for your heart and brain to function. I am a Intensive care Rn and this can be really common to people who are runners, and fitness fanatics. If you have a problem with this grab some orange juice, Gatorade and there are tablets you can buy at the health food stores that work in minutes. I say don't drink more than a gallon a day and drink through out the day. One bottle before each meal and then bedtime.
Thanks for the input. That was what I found in the research I had done. The whole reason I was sharing the story is for exactly what u said, don't be rediculous. I know when people try and lose weight sometimes they go to extremes. That is why I shared.
I have cut back on my water to a normal 4 bottles a day which is 8 cups. Everyone's threshold is different I'm sure.
Thanks everyone.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:18 PM   #13
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And don't forget I was fatigued also. That puts added stress on your body.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:52 PM   #14
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Water intoxication isn't all that common, but it is becoming less rare, especially as certain myths become more common (such as caffeinated beverages not "counting" and resulting inca need to drink extra water to compensate, or that it is necessary to drink 1/2 oz of water per pound of body weight).

The half ounce per pound of body weight isn't a bad guideline if you're close to an ideal weight, but can be dangerous for very overweight folk, especially if combined with the advice that other liquids don't count, and/or if you're on a potassium sparing diuretic/blood pressure medication.

My mother was hospitalized several years ago for water intoxication. The kidney specialist called in, told us that before the current water-pushing trend, it was rare for even kidney specialists to see more than a case or two of water intoxication in an entire career (and usually it would be someone with a kidney disorder, a ocd water-drinking compulsion, or a marathon runner on a very hot day). Now, he says, he sees more and more cases, several a year, and more commonly in otherwise healthy individuals.

I was advised to limit my liquids to 3 quarts or less (including caffeine and alcohol) because my blood sodium lvels tend to run on the low side, I'm on the same blood pressure medication as my mom, and am also on a low-sodium diet (not so much by design, as that I don't have much of a salt tooth, as I grew up in a family in which salt was used sparingly).


I do occasionally exceed the 3 quart guideline, but usually only when I've had an unusually high amount of salt in my diet (sich as a restaurant meal).

If I followed the 1/2 oz per body weight, I'd be drinking more than a gallon a day, which forbm could be too much. My mother, when she was hospitalized had been drinking only about a gallon of liquids (including her milk and coffee).

The water intoxication damaged her kidneys and she was in the hospital more than a week. Except for well-controlled type II diabetes, arthritis, and mild high blood pressure, she was in good health.

It's not something most people have to concern themselves with, but because low-sodium diets, blood pressure meds, and other risk factors are pretty common, it doesn't hurt to be aware.
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