Health - Wellness
You're Drinking Too Much Water If This Happens To You
By KAREN VEAZEY
According to the National Institutes of Health, nine cups of water a day is recommended for the average adult woman, while thirteen cups of water per day are recommended for the average adult man. People drink water to prevent dehydration, but some people, particularly endurance athletes, are in danger of consuming too much water.
Medical conditions, some psychiatric conditions, and medications can put you at a higher risk for overhydration. People with kidney problems, congestive heart failure, liver disease, uncontrolled diabetes, or a condition called syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone are also at risk, since they can't excrete excess water from the body.
Symptoms of mild overhydration include headache, nausea or vomiting, mental symptoms such as confusion, and bloating. More severe overhydration dilutes the levels of salt and electrolytes in the body, and in extreme cases, some people can develop hyponatremia, leading to swelling of the body's cells and even death in extreme cases.
Intravenous electrolytes and sodium might be given to reverse overhydration, but in most cases, prevention is key. Rather than guzzling all your daily water intake in one sitting, space drinking out throughout the day and pay attention to your body; if your urine is completely clear, you're likely drinking too much water and should cut back.