Drinking too much water can be a bad thing. This is something that I might need to watch out for more since I’m known to drink 2-5 54 oz glasses of water in the afternoon somedays!
Excess water in the body can be a dangerous symptom of many other diseases. If you have too much water in your body, it can upset the balance of your electrolytes or nutrients, play havoc with your blood pressure and put too much strain on your heart. Your doctor can prescribe you diuretics or water pills to help move fluid off your body to restore this delicate balance. If you suspect you have too much fluid in your body, it is best to see your doctor so that he can evaluate you for an underlying cause.
Excess water can result in the accumulation of edema or swelling. There are actually many signs of edema that go beyond just swollen legs. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, you can experience shortness of breath, abdominal bloating, coughing, changes in your mental states and aches and pain in your muscles. You may notice that your arms and legs are swollen, and you can push your finger into the skin to make a divot. This is known as “pitting edema” and is another sign of too much water.
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Another way to have too much water in the body is to drink too much water too quickly. This can lead to a dilution of sodium or hyponatremia. According to Southwestern Medical Center, long-distance runners are at risk of this because they drink too much water and do not replace the salts lost by sweating. Often, sports drinks do not have enough to replace the lost salts, either, and this can lead to an imbalance of sodium. Symptoms of hyponatremia include seizures, fatigue and trouble breathing.
One of the primary diseases that cause too much water to build up in the body is chronic kidney failure. The kidneys are responsible for regulating the amount of water in the body by excreting the fluids that are not needed. They also regulate the electrolytes that can control how much water stays in the body or leaves it. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, if your excess water is caused by a kidney problem, you may need to regulate the amount of sodium and potassium in your diet while limiting the amount of fluid you drink.