I first became aware of it when I was a QMRP coordinating treatment planning for two group homes for the developmentally disabled. Patients with inappropriate eating behaviors, obsessive compulsive behaviors, and even mental illnesses such as schizophrenia sometimes had to be monitored to prevent over imbibing water.
Think of how wrinkled your fingers get from soaking in water for long periods of time. Our bodies swell and shrink as water enters and leaves our bodies. Then think about filling your body with water faster than it can expel it. Your brain swells, your organs swell and fight to operate properly, your body basically drowns in its own fluids. Weekend athletes can suffer from the same problems as they work to stay hydrated with water bottles, camel-back water sacks, and sports drinks... often taking in more water than they sweat out.
Sadly, I read of at least one case of death through water intoxication every year. It sounds bizarre to hydrate yourself to death but it displays just how ignorant we sometimes are of how our bodies work.
Not like drowning.
"Hold Your Wee for a Wii"
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A 28-year-old woman died of water intoxication after taking part in a radio station's water-drinking contest to win a Nintendo Wii video game system, the coroner's office said.
Sacramento assistant county coroner Ed Smith said Saturday a preliminary investigation found evidence "consistent with a water intoxication death."
Jennifer Strange's mother found her daughter's body at her home Friday in the Sacramento suburb Rancho Cordova, Calif., after Strange called her supervisor at her job to say she was heading home in terrible pain