A 59-year-old woman from the UK went to see her doctor after she developed symptoms of urinary tract infection. She was then advised to drink plenty of water - about half a pint every 30 minutes - "to flush out her system". This advice almost killed her.
The Woman Suffered From Acute Hyponatraemia
After she followed the doctor's orders, she found herself too sick to stand up, so she called for an ambulance. Doctors from the Royal London Hospital diagnosed her with a rare case of hyponatraemia. "During her visit to the emergency department, she became progressively shaky and muddled. She vomited several times, was tremulous and exhibited significant speech difficulties," doctors said.
Hyponatraemia is a condition that occurs when sodium level in your blood is too low - an effect when someone literally washes away the body's natural salts. Symptoms of hyponatraemia include nausea, vomiting and headache. Fortunately, the woman made a successful recovery after her fluids were restricted to just a liter over the next 24 hours.
As Long As Your Kidneys Function Properly, No Need To Worry About Hyponatraemia
Researchers who studied the woman's case said that the possibility of having hyponatraemia is slim if your kidneys are doing their job properly. "It's very rare to develop water intoxication with normal renal function. However, some illnesses drive up levels of antidiuretic hormones, which reduce renal excretion of water," one of the researchers said.
Eight Glasses Of Water A Day Is Not Always True
The amount of water you take depends on a lot of things. Milena Katz, an accredited practising dietician said: "The amount of water you need all depends on your level of activity, body size and the environment that you're in. There's no set amount that everybody must drink per day, but guidelines suggest drinking around two litres a day for an 80kg person - but again that all depends on variables like level of activity."