Repercussions of Overhydration

Repercussions of Overhydration

Hyponatremia occurs when there is a low concentration of sodium in your bloodstream. Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a crucial role in maintaining the blood pressure, helps your nervous system and regulates the fluid balance of the body. The blood sodium level is between 135 and 145 mEq/L. But in the case of hyponatremia, the sodium in your blood falls below 135 mEq/L.

The biggest cause of hyponatremia is excess consumption of water, others may include underlying medical conditions. It seems odd to come to terms with the fact that water can also be bad for your body, but we have to go with the old saying, “anything in excess is bad.”

Drinking excessive water lowers the sodium level, by straining the kidneys’ ability to excrete water. Hence, it causes swelling of the cells. If not treated on time, hyponatremia can cause many health problems which can lead to fatal consequences.

There are certain signs that can help diagnose the problem of hyponatremia. Headache and seizures are the top rankers. Followed by nausea, vomiting, confusion and fatigue. Also, some other conditions may include restlessness, irritability and the rarest but most damaging is coma.

Complications related to hyponatremia depends on the type of it. In case of chronic hyponatremia, sodium levels drop gradually over the time period of 48 hours or maybe longer. This can be treated under medical guidance.     

Whereas, in the case of acute hyponatremia, sodium level drops rapidly. It is potentially dangerous for the body, leads to rapid swelling in the cells, eventually causing coma and death.  

Always remember that if you are experiencing any of the above-given symptoms, do not wait for anything and immediately consult your doctor. But there are certain measures to prevent hyponatremia.  

  • Always remember that if you have any medical condition that can increase your risk of hyponatremia or if you are on the diuretic medication, keep the sign and symptoms on the note. It will help you to clarify things easily with your doctor.
  • When doing high-intensity activities like exercising or running, keep your fluid intake in check. Only drink when you feel thirsty or the fluids you lost during the sweating.
  • Ask your doctor, if you can change your water with sports beverages that are high in electrolytes when you participate in endurance events such as marathons or other demanding activities.
  • Try to take water in moderation. We know that water is a vital part of your health, but overdoing it can have extreme consequences. Check your thirst and colour of urine, as they are the best signs that indicate how much water do you need.