Water toxicity: This deadly condition could happen when you drink too much water

Many people are unaware that there are very real dangers of drinking too much water.

Water toxicity: The deadly reaction could happen when you drink too much water
© Peter Dazeley
Water toxicity: The deadly reaction could happen when you drink too much water

Though the benefits of drinking lots of water have been stressed enough, we don't really know much about the perils that comes with drinking way too much water. Yes, just as dehydration needs to be addressed quickly to avoid health issues, you should also not over-hydrate your body.

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To top it all, how you consume water is also important. For example, experts advice us never to drink cold water in hot weather, or to drink hot water from the tap. Similarly, never drink too much water in a short period of time.

In one such very unfortunate incident, as reported by New York Post, a mother who drank too much water, collapsed and died from water toxicity brought on by over-hydration.

Indian woman dies from drinking too much water

35-year-old Ashley Summers was out with her family on 4th of July at Lake Freeman near Monticello. She told her family she was feeling very dehydrated, and felt like she didn't drink enough water. Devon Miller, Ashley's brother told WRTV that she ended up drinking 4 bottles of water in 20 minutes.

He says,

Someone said she drank four bottles of water in 20 minutes. I mean, an average water bottle is like 16 ounces, so that was 64 ounces that she drank in a span of 20 minutes. That’s half a gallon. That’s what you’re supposed to drink in a whole day.

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Later that day, when she got back home, she was found passed out in her garage. Though she was immediately taken to the hospital, she never regained consciousness, and sadly, died.

As per the doctors, Ashley died from water toxicity.

What you should know about water toxicity

Water toxicity is a danger that comes with drinking too much water too soon. Dr. Blake Froberg, a toxicologist with IU Health, explains that it has to do with the sodium levels in the body. He says,

There are certain things that can make someone more at risk for it, but the overall thing that happens is that you have too much water and not enough sodium in your body.

As per Healthline, drinking more water than the kidney is able to flush out leads the sodium in your bloodstream to dilute, which makes the cells swell up, and it can be potentially fatal.

It is a rare condition, but it definitely underlines the necessity to be careful with our hydration, especially in the hotter months and especially after doing strenuous sports or activities. The doctor advises,

Make sure that you’re drinking things that have electrolytes and sodium and some potassium,

Symptoms of water toxicity include feeling generally unwell, having muscle cramps and soreness, nausea and headaches.

Ashley Summers' family, although dealing with her untimely demise, is committed to raising awareness about the fatal consequences of water intoxication.

Read more:

Never leave your water bottle in the car: It can be a potential fire hazard!

Sources used:

WRTV: 'Monticello woman dies from water toxicity, her family is raising awareness'

Healthline: 'Can Drinking Too Much Water Be Fatal? Know the Facts'

New York Post: 'Mom of two dies from drinking too much water after feeling dehydrated on family trip'

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