What is water poisoning, what are its symptoms? How many litres of water poisoning? Water poisoning in 9 questions

The body needs water to function properly, but drinking water too quickly can have serious health consequences. Medipol Mega University Hospital Gastroenterology Specialist Prof. Dr. Vedat Goral told about the signs, causes and treatment of water poisoning.


What is water poisoning?


It is a disorder characterized by impaired brain function, which occurs due to excessive water intake, when the normal electrolyte balance in the body is pushed out of safe limits, and sometimes fatal. Under normal circumstances, it is extremely rare to accidentally consume too much water. If too much water is consumed in a short period of time, health problems may occur. Almost all deaths due to water poisoning in normal individuals have been caused either by water-drinking competitions, in which individuals attempt to consume excessive amounts of water, or by prolonged exercise or excessive thirst, which consume excessive amounts of fluid.


Especially in extreme temperatures, in the sun, in marathon runners, in the soldiers participating in training, in endurance sports, in the heat of military units, in those with psychological problems, in those with psychological problems, It occurs in those who have long periods of thirst on trips to Africa or Arabia and after drinking too much water in a very short time and sometimes with psychology problems. Like any substance, when water is consumed in a short time, the poison can be counted. Water poisoning occurs when a high amount of water is consumed, often without adequate intake of electrolytes. In particular, water poisoning can also develop in water drinking races.


What are the signs of water poisoning?


Symptoms occur with a decrease in the value of sodium and other electrolytes in the blood, a decrease in the level of sodium in the cell and, in turn, the introduction of water into the cell, that is, a deterioration of cell function. Swelling in the brain cells and edema occur in the brain. Nausea, vomiting, impaired consciousness, double vision, respiratory distress, headache, dizziness, impaired heart rhythm and impaired muscle movements, cramping and pain in the muscles, edema in the body occurs.  In severe cases, herniation and death occur in the brain.


What causes water poisoning?


It is formed due to excessive water drinking in a short time. A man should drink 3-3.5 liters of water per day, and a woman should drink 2.5-2.7 liters of water. Anyone can get water poisoning. Excess water is also toxic. Water poisoning, if a person uses painkillers, diuretics, that is, if he drinks a lot of water, if he has kidney and liver disease, water poisoning develops more easily.


How many liters of water does water poisoning occur?


In America, a woman lost her life as a result of water poisoning when she drank 2 liters of water in 20 minutes. For example, it is very inconvenient to drink 20 liters of water in 20 minutes.In those who drink 3 liters of water in 6 hours, water poisoning occurs. In fact, in a 9-year-old girl, even after consuming 1.2 liters of water in 3.6 hours, water poisoning developed.


Could it be deadly?


In America, a woman lost her life as a result of water poisoning when she drank 2 liters of water in 20 minutes. Therefore, it can be dangerous to drink water quickly and at least 2 liters in a short time. In severe cases, the development of brain edema and brain hernia causes fatal events.


How much water should we consume?


An adult woman should receive an average of 2.7 liters of fluid per day, while a man should take 3.7 liters. Our stomach can remove that much water, but our kidneys cannot filter that much water. Therefore, water accumulates in the body and the electrolyte balance is disturbed.

Diagnosed with water poisoning


If the patient drank at least 2 liters of water in a short time and if the serum sodium level is below 135 mEq/liter, the diagnosis is made by having symptoms of nausea, vomiting and headache. In cases where the serum sodium level is below 110-120 mEq/liter, the risk of death is quite high.


Water poisoning treatment methods


In mild cases, salty buttermilk and salty biscuits should be given. If possible, the patient should be monitored in the hospital. As the first work, intravenously to the patient, saline serum (serum isotonic) is applied in certain doses. Treatment is planned by controlling the serum sodium level of the patient. In patients presenting early, a rapid improvement is observed. The serum sodium level should be corrected slowly. In severe cases, treatment may be difficult. Therefore, you should go to the hospital early.


How to avoid water poisoning?


Avoid extremely hot areas, if possible, should not be under the sun, umbrellas or hats should be used. We must have water with us. We should also consume water, sip and little by little. If possible, 11.00-15.00 should not go out at noon temperatures. For diagnosis and treatment, the hospital should be consulted. Avoiding water poisoning, some sources recommend drinking no more than 0.8 to 1.0 liters of water per hour.




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