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Is drinking excess water harmful to health?

Answered by
Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 3614 Questions

Posted on Wed, 4 Nov 2015 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: A friend of mine was admitted to hospital a few hours after drinking 6 litres of water in the space of under 2 hours. Will she possibly die? Also would it be painful?
Answered by Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
FZluids overload need prompt management

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for asking

I read your question and i understand your concern. 6 litres is too much when a person needs maximum 3 litres and that too in 24 hours time frame. He will be managed for fluid overload and possibly hyponatremia at the hospital. Yes the condition is painful if fluid overload involves multiple organs, like lungs which will cause pulmonary edema and lead to shortness of breath etc. It may involve brain and cause brain swelling, cerebral edema and lead to seizures and respiratory arrest.

no worires with good hospital care, and prompt diuresis i am sure he will get out of this fluid overload just fine. Kidneys have the ability to excrete fluids at rate of 1 litre in an hour maximum. So with in a few hours he should be out of trouble. However work up to sort out this excessive thirst in first place should be done to avoid such mishaps in future.

I hope it helps. take good care of yourself and don't forget to close the discussion please.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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