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Doctor insights on: Can You Get Diarrhea By Drinking Too Much Water

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Can you get diarrhea by drinking too much water?

Can you get diarrhea by drinking too much water?

Generally no: The body has mechanisms to get rid of the excess water, but under certain conditions - if it is taken in very rapidly or in certain disease states, it can cause water intoxication - diluting the blood so that sodium levels can get very low - if low enough, it can cause seizures, coma and death. Diarrhea rarely occurs, because the water is absorbed in stomach and upper intestine, but it can. ...Read more

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Dr. Oscar Novick
1,773 doctors shared insights

Loose Stools (Definition)

Loose stools is a symptom in which a person's stool (poop) does not hold its shape after it goes into the toilet. Instead of remaining a shaped piece of poop, the poop spreads out in the toilet bowl water. Very loose stool is called diarrhea. Loose stool can be caused by infections, certain foods or drinks, ...Read more

Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
35 years in practice
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Can a person get diarrhea from drinking too much water?

Can a person get diarrhea from drinking too much water?

Not usually: water is absorbed very well from the intestines, and rarely could that capacity be exceeded. When the gut is inflamed by a virus, it interferes with the ability of the gut to absorb solid nutrients, and they will cause diarrhea. The usual treatment is to go to clear liquids, because they are better absorbed. Large amounts of water can dilute the sodium in the bloodstream and cause harm however. ...Read more

Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
35 years in practice
2.0M people helped
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Treating Diarrhea (Checklist)

Stay well hydrated
Daily
Try a constipating diet
Daily
Try BRAT diet (banana, rice, applesauce, and toast)
Daily
See a GI doctor
Once
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My teenage son gets diarrhea every time he runs long distance. What should he do is he drinking too much or too little? Is he over working himself? This is the first time he has run cross country. Fyi

My teenage son gets diarrhea every time he runs long distance. What should he do is he drinking too much or too little? Is he over working himself? This is the first time he has run cross country. Fyi

Hard to say: Not a common problem so i can only conjecture. I would suspect the vigorous exercise is disrupting his autonomic system enough that it causes diarrhea. The running and diarrhea can both cause loss of electrolytes so replacement is in order. Besides a simple exam/lab might have him see an acupuncturist for 3 sessions to see if that helped along with more gentle pacing regarding his running. ...Read more

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Treating Diarrhea (Checklist)

Keep yourself well hydrated
Once
Don't take too many antidiarrheal meds, they can make condition worse
Once
if you don't improve within a couple of days, seek medical attention
Once
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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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Treating Diarrhea (Checklist)

Replace lost fluid, ounce for ounce
Hourly
Make sure you're urinating
once
Don't drink high-sugar drinks
once
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Diarrhea, I get all the time. I rarely eat healthy and don't drink enough water.?

Diarrhea, I get all the time. I rarely eat healthy and don't drink enough water.?

Diarrhea: Different causes- everything from giardialamblia infectionn , to antibiotic related c.Diff, salmonella, shigella, virus, medication, lactose deficiency, gluten enteropathy. Difficult to self diagnose. ...Read more

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Dr. Oscar Novick
2,839 doctors shared insights

Diarrhea (Definition)

Diarrhea is a term that describes loose, watery stools occurring more frequently than usual. It is often not due to a serious cause, but severe diarrhea ...Read more

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Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
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35 years in practice
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