5. September 2008

Lethal Water Overdose: Water Intoxination


Pretty much every substance can be unhealthy or even lethal when taken in large enough quantities. This also holds true for plain water.

If one digests too much water, the level of sodium in the blood gets out of balance. There is enough sodium, but too much water. The consequence is a hyponatremia, or water intoxination. The possible symptoms are quite scary:

”Initial symptoms typically include light-headedness, sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting, headache and/or malaise. Sodium levels below 100 mmol/l (2.3 g/l) frequently result in cerebral edema, seizures, coma, and death within a few hours of drinking the excess water.” (Wikipedia)

In extreme cases it is even possible to die of water. This should be quite impossible through any sane consumption (so don’t panic), but every now and then some people indeed manage to die of water – usually in the context of strange contests.

» read on!

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: intoxinationoverdosewater

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