Whether it's a cold, stuffy nose, dizziness, stomachache, or loose bowels, as long as you express a little discomfort to your friends or family, you will most likely receive such a tip—"drink more water". Drinking more water is a magic weapon for us to treat all common minor illnesses and pains. But do you know that drinking too much water is also dangerous?!
Recently, Lin Li, an ordinary resident in Shenzhen, was rushed to the emergency room after drinking 3,000 milliliters of water. Lin was asked to have a full bladder before doing an ultrasound scan for regular cancer screening. So she drank 3000 milliliters of water, which is equivalent to 5.5 large bottles of mineral water, on an empty stomach. During lunch after the ultrasound, a wave of nasea broke over Lin. Her hands and feet twitched, and she gradually began to lose consciousness. Then she was sent to the People's Hospital of Longhua district in Shenzhen by her family.
The examination revealed that Lin suffered from electrolyte imbalance with low potassium, low sodium, low chlorine, and mild brain edema, which were typical indication of water intoxication. After 4 hours of treatment and monitoring, Lin finally got out of danger then regained consciousness after 8 hours.
What is water intoxication？
Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning and hyper hydration, is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions. This happens when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside safe limits by excessive water intake.
Water intoxication can be divided into acute water intoxication and chronic water intoxication according to the speed and amount of water intake. Most mild water intoxication cases can be treated by stopping water intake and removing excess water from the body. The serious water intoxication may cause permanent damage to patients nervous system or even death.
The doctor reminds people not to consume more than 3 or 4 liters of water at a time. Because healthy kidneys are only able to process approximately 800 milliliters to 1 litre of fluid water per hour.
How to drink water properly before doing an ultrasound scan?
People are often required to drink a lot of water before accepting an ultrasound examination of the urinary system or reproductive system. It is strongly recommended to drink less than 250 milliliters of ordinary water, light salt water, or electrolyte water every time to avoid acute water intoxication.
How do you know if you've had enough water？
[Photo: Guan Mingrong]
Water intoxication can be prevented if a person’s intake of water does not grossly exceed their losses. According to the Chinese Nutrition Society’s Dietary Guidelines, men are advised to consume about 1700 milliliters of water per day, while women are advised to consume about 1500 milliliters, which are equivalent to 7-8 disposable cups of water.
How to judge whether the water in your body is sufficient by the color of urine?
1. Light lemon-colored urine means you have just the right amount of water.
2. Clear and colorless urine means that you can appropriately reduce water intake.
3. Dark yellow urine means that you need to drink more water as soon as possible.
Author | Ariel
Editor | Monica, Jerry