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Adding These Two Ingredients to Water Can Help Stop the Issue That Caused an Indiana Mom to Die Drinking Water

Water is essential for life, but drinking too much of it can be fatal. This is what happened to Ashley Summers, a 35-year-old mother of two from Indiana, who died of water toxicity after drinking too much water on a family vacation.

How Did the Indiana Mom Die Drinking Water?

According to her brother, Devon Miller, Summers was boating over the Fourth of July weekend and felt severely dehydrated. She drank a lot of water, including four bottles in less than 30 minutes. This caused her brain tissue to swell and cut off the blood supply to her brain. She passed out in the garage and never woke up again.

Summers’ tragic death raises the question: How much water is too much for your body? And how can you prevent water toxicity?

What is Water Toxicity?

Water toxicity, also known as water intoxication or hyponatremia, occurs when the sodium level in your blood becomes too low due to excessive water intake. Sodium is an electrolyte that helps regulate the fluid balance in your body. When you drink too much water, your kidneys cannot excrete the excess water fast enough, and your blood becomes diluted. This causes your cells to swell with water, which can damage your organs and tissues, especially your brain.

Symptoms of water toxicity include nausea, vomiting, headache, confusion, fatigue, muscle cramps, seizures, coma, and death. Water toxicity can happen to anyone who drinks too much water in a short period of time, but some people are more at risk than others. For example, athletes who sweat a lot and drink large amounts of water or sports drinks may be prone to water toxicity.

Person adding Salt and Lemon Juice to water to Help Stop the Issue That Caused an Indiana Mom to Die Drinking Water
The Amount of Water the Body Can Handle Before Deadly Side Effects Varies For Each Person

Similarly, people who take certain medications or drugs that affect their kidney function or fluid balance may be susceptible to water toxicity. Additionally, people who have certain medical conditions that cause low sodium levels or increased thirst may be vulnerable to water toxicity. Furthermore, people who are exposed to high temperatures or humidity may be at risk of water toxicity.

How Much Water Should You Drink?

The amount of water you should drink per day depends on various factors such as your age, weight, activity level, health status, and environmental conditions. However, some general guidelines can help you estimate your daily fluid intake. For instance, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend that men drink about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids, and women drink about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids per day.

These fluids include not only water, but also other beverages and foods that contain water. Alternatively, the Mayo Clinic suggests that aiming for eight glasses of water per day is reasonable for most healthy adults. However, this may vary depending on your individual needs and circumstances. Moreover, the American College of Sports Medicine advises that athletes drink enough fluids before, during, and after exercise to prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

Person adding Salt and Lemon Juice to water to Help Stop the Issue That Caused an Indiana Mom to Die Drinking Water
Just Like Alcoholic Beverages Water Needs to be Drank Responsibly

They recommend drinking about 16 to 20 ounces (0.5 to 0.6 liters) of fluid at least four hours before exercise, 8 to 12 ounces (0.2 to 0.3 liters) of fluid 10 to 15 minutes before exercise, and 3 to 8 ounces (0.1 to 0.2 liters) of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise. After exercise, they suggest drinking about 16 to 24 ounces (0.5 to 0.7 liters) of fluid for every pound (0.5 kg) of body weight lost during exercise. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you drink more water when you are in hot or humid weather, when you are sick with fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, when you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or when you have a bladder infection or urinary tract infection.

How can you Prevent Water Toxicity?

The best way to prevent water toxicity is to drink enough water to stay hydrated, but not so much that you overhydrate yourself. Here are some tips to help you avoid water toxicity:

One tip is to listen to your thirst. Thirst is a natural signal that tells you when you need more fluids. If you are not thirsty, you do not need to drink more water. However, one has to be careful, because feelings of thirst can be misleading. An outside factor like medications or chemicals can make you feel thirsty, when you really aren’t. For example if you eat a lot of food products that contain stevia leaf extract, you might feel more thirsty than you really are.

Another tip is to check your urine color. Urine color is a good indicator of your hydration status. If your urine is pale yellow or clear, you are well hydrated. If your urine is dark yellow or brown, you are dehydrated. If your urine is colorless, you may be overhydrated. However, you need to also be sure that the color of your urine isn’t being altered by things such as Vitamin B, which can make your urine appear yellow even when you’re overhydrated.

A third tip is to drink fluids gradually and moderately throughout the day. Do not drink large amounts of water in a short period of time, as this can overwhelm your kidneys and dilute your blood.

A fourth tip is to drink fluids that contain electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. These electrolytes help maintain the fluid balance in your body and prevent hyponatremia. You can drink sports drinks that contain electrolytes, or add a pinch of salt or lemon juice to your water.

Person adding Salt and Lemon Juice to water to Help Stop the Issue That Caused an Indiana Mom to Die Drinking Water
Adding a Little Salt and Lemon Juice to Water Can Help Keep Your Body’s Fluid Balance Intact

A fifth tip is to seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of water toxicity. If you have nausea, vomiting, headache, confusion, fatigue, muscle cramps, seizures, coma, or any other signs of water toxicity, seek immediate medical attention. Water toxicity can be life-threatening and requires prompt treatment.

Water is vital for your health, but too much of it can be harmful. By following these tips, you can drink water safely and prevent water toxicity. Remember to drink water wisely and stay hydrated.

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