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Doctor insights on: Can You Drown By Drinking Too Much Water

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Can you drown by drinking too much water?

Can you drown by drinking too much water?

Extremely unlikely: A normal healthy person cannot drown by drinking too much water except in an extremely rare situation. He would have to drink a lot of water, perhaps 1-2 gallons. His blood sodium would be diluted too much, leading to brain swelling and/or seizures (some of the ways water intoxication kills people). In his semi-conscious state, he vomits water from his stomach, sucks it into his lungs, and drowns. ...Read more

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Dr. Mark Farber
167 doctors shared insights

Drowning (Definition)

Drowning is a condition in which water enters the lungs and causes death ...Read more


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How much water do you have to drink to get water intoxication?

How much water do you have to drink to get water intoxication?

Water intoxication: This is a rare phenomena and can occur during excessive loss of fluids from vigorous exercise and then drinking large amounts of water without electrolyte replacement. It can also be a psychological problem called "pathological water drinker." the main point here is that electrolytes, esp. Sodium need to stay in balance. Excessive drinking of water over a longer period of time might cause this. ...Read more

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How much water could you drink before you would get water intoxication?

Varies: Depends on your weight , how much salt you consume and medications you are taking. ...Read more

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How much water do you have to drink for it to be a problem (water intoxication)?

How much water do you have to drink for it to be a problem (water intoxication)?

1-2 gallons; depends: Quickly drinking lots of water will lower one's blood sodium (salt) level, affecting the brain and heart. The exact amount of water needed to cause damage varies, depending mainly on one's body weight and amount of dehydration. Symptoms include confusion, dizziness, nausea, & seizures from brain swelling. Endurance athletes sweat away sodium, and should rehydrate gradually, with some electrolytes. ...Read more

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How much water do you have to drink for it to be a problem (water intoxication)?

How much water do you have to drink for it to be a problem (water intoxication)?

Depends: It depends upon several things. If you are doing strenuous exercise or working in a hot environment then you will need more water. For most people drinking 6-8 8oz glasses of water a day is plenty. If you drink excessive water your kidneys can not process it and electrolytes get out of balance. This can be serious and cause the heart to get out of rhythm. ...Read more

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How much water can an 8 month old drink safely/daily without worrying about water intoxication?

How much water can an 8 month old drink safely/daily without worrying about water intoxication?

Less than 4 ounces.: I would not recommend no more than 2-4 oz of water per day for an infant that age. You would not need to worry about intoxication with volumes that small. ...Read more

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Will drinking 2 quarts of water cause water intoxication?

No it will not: As long as your kidneys are functioning normally, it is not going to cause water intoxication in adults. ...Read more

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I drink 4-6 16.9oz bottles of water daily. Today I had 4 over the course of the day and then 2 within an hour. Could this cause water intoxication?

I drink 4-6 16.9oz bottles of water daily. Today I had 4 over the course of the day and then 2 within an hour. Could this cause water intoxication?

Unlikely: Depending on how many ks you weigh, drinking that much water shouldn't cause you any problems. A normal 70kg individual requires about 1600mL of fluid replenishment by natural losses daily. For heat, sweat, or other losses you would increase accordingly. For every 1 degree above 98 degrees Fahrenheit your daily fluid requirement increases by 125mL/day as well. Many gallons will cause trouble. ...Read more

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I am really scared of water intoxication. I drink 2 litres of squash (about 4/5 water) the hour before sleep. I am worried I will die from overhydrate?

I am really scared of water intoxication. I drink 2 litres of squash (about 4/5 water) the hour before sleep. I am worried I will die from overhydrate?

Fluids: There is nothing wrong with drinking fluids. With normal kidney function you should be fine. drinking just before sleep may not be a good idea as you will have a very full bladder and may have to get up in the middle of the night ...Read more