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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Have you been drinking too much water? Here’s how it can affect your health

The signs of over-hydration are oddly similar to that of dehydration.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 5, 2019 5:30:38 pm
water, water bottle, drinking water, health, indian express news Too much water is believed to cause an intoxication known as hyponatremia. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

Water is the elixir, so can it be harmful? Sometimes, yes, when you are drinking too much of it. We all know that excess of anything is bad. So, before downing one too many bottles every day, read up on how it can harm you, and the signs to look out for.

What is ‘too much water’?

We are constantly told to consume enough water every day, lest we suffer from dehydration. So, excessive intake of water may seem counter-intuitive. But, it is not. Experts say that over-hydration is equally dangerous, if not more. Too much water is believed to cause an intoxication of a kind, known as hyponatremia, which causes the cells to flood and swell, owing to low sodium levels. In extreme cases, this water intoxication can even cause seizures and coma.

Here are some signs you are drinking too much water

* You always carry a bottle with you, and refill it obsessively. While it is a good habit to carry a water bottle every time you step out, overdoing it is bad. You must drink water when you feel thirsty. The body is designed in a way that it lets you know it is in need of water. So, you do not have to refill the bottle immediately.

water, water bottle, drinking water, health, indian express news Drinking water is a good habit, but filling up a bottle only to continuously sip through, is not. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

* You are constantly worried about the colour of your urine and drink water so you can clear it. It is true that the colour depends on a lot of factors, including the level of water in your body. A lighter shade indicates you are hydrated. But, if you are obsessed with drinking water, you might keep a tab on your pee colour and worry about its shade. Remember, passing urine with no pigmentation at all can be an indication of excessive water intake.

* Also, frequent urination is another sign. You wake up several times at night to empty your bladder. Keep count of the number of times you urinate throughout the day. If it is more than 10 times, you may be drinking more water than is necessary.

* Feeling nauseous and throwing up can be an indication of many things, one of them being excessive water consumption. When you drink a lot of water, you do not give kidneys the time to process it and flush it out of the body, causing it to accumulate in the system.

Remember, the signs of over-hydration are oddly similar to that of dehydration. This can lead to a confusion. The best thing to do is to check with a doctor, apprising them of your habit and seeking a remedy.

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