Can drinking too much water lead to water intoxication?

HEy guys!!

I found this interesting article, which is related to a question that was brought up by Francia in class, of Can drinking too much water lead to water intoxication? and in some how it is also related with solutes and dilution (seein in ch. 4).

It explains that when too much water enters the body's cells, the tissues swell with the excess fluid. Your cells maintain a specific concentration gradient, so excess water outside the cells (the serum) draws sodium from within the cells out into the serum in an attempt to re-establish the necessary concentration. As more water accumulates, the serum sodium concentration drops -- a condition known as hyponatremia.

The other way cells try to regain the electrolyte balance is for water outside the cells to rush into the cells via osmosis. The movement of water across a semipermeable membrane from higher to lower concentration is called osmosis. Although electrolytes are more concentrated inside the cells than outside, the water outside the cells is 'more concentrated' or 'less dilute' since it contains fewer electrolytes. Both electrolytes and water move across the cell membrane in an effort to balance concentration. Theoretically, cells could swell to the point of bursting.

BUt the truth is that , most adults need about three quarts of fluid each day. Much of that water comes from food, so 8-12 eight ounce glasses a day is a common recommended intake. You may need more water if the weather is very warm or very dry, if you are exercising, or if you are taking certain medications. The bottom line is this: it's possible to drink too much water, but unless you are running a marathon or an infant, water intoxication is a very uncommon condition.

If you want to read the complete article, this is the link, Hope you enjoy it!!

Nohora C. Duque


chemistry 1045 said...

I've heard about this several times lately. There's also some information about it in our chemistry book (pg. 149).
As Nohora mentioned, the possibility of this happening is really uncommon, but it does occur especially with athletes. When an athlete is working out or running a marathon their body is losing lots of salts due to sweating. Since hyponatremia occurs when the sodium ion concentration in the body is low, it can be very dangerous to lose so much salt, while having excessive salt-free water drop the sodium level in the body even further. This is why they encourage athletes to drink Gatorade, since it contains electrolytes.
Manuel Contreras

chemistry 1045 said...

i did not know that drinking too much water is an intoxication. i did not that that when too much water eneters the bodys cells, the tissues swelss with the excess seems for me that water was in some way safe for ur life, but it also can get u intoxicate.

Rodrigo Monsalve