September 17, 2005

Drinking Too Much Water Kills Man

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping


In Liverpool, England it was reported this week that a 32-year-old man died after drinking too much water, an inquest heard yesterday.

Pathologist Donald Wayte said the water had washed the essential salts from his body causing him to fall into a coma.

Last night Matthew's family called for the dangers of drinking too much water to be highlighted, especially to those who are taking medicines.

His mother, Sandra, said her son was being treated for schizophrenia and stated medical staff had not warned Matthew of the potential side effects.

She said: "Our research shows that there are side effects and these may have affected Matthew.

The tendency to drink lots of water is often found in people suffering from schizophrenia but it often goes unnoticed.

"This needs to be highlighted to help others who are suffering from this terrible illness."

Dr Wayte said the case was very unusual and agreed the effects of drinking too much water could have been made worse by the medication he had been prescribed a few days earlier. He said when Matthew arrived at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor he was in a deep coma.

A scan revealed his brain was swollen and doctors thought he was suffering from either meningitis or a cerebral haemorrhage.

Dr Wayte said: "Blood was taken for tests and was found to be diluted and it was concluded he was suffering from water intoxication."

Matthew's father, Gwilym, said: "He drank water in preference to tea and coffee. He also drank a lot of orange juice.

"I noticed that he drank to excess and reported this to Matthew's psychiatrist."

Source: Daily Post, England


This is called hyponatremia and is common when symptoms are untreated or under-treated. To cause hyponatremia, the person has to drink incredible quantities of water, because even with large amounts of water, the body balances electrolytes and remains healthy.


Posted by: slc at September 17, 2005 11:21 AM

I was just wondering how much water is too much water. This is pertinent information. I drink a lot of water (a gallon or so a day). I get so thirsty due to meds. This is scary. We should all be educated about this. Does anyone know if drinking liquids in general is causes intoxication? I know people that drink tons of soda too. If anyone has the details please post. I will get the info out to other consumers.

Posted by: Heather at September 18, 2005 04:09 PM

This is called polydipsia. Drinking too much. Look up my topic in schz news forum, about Angiotensin Converting Enzyme and how this can be related to polydipsia.

PMID: 11408790 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Association study of angiotensin-converting enzyme gene polymorphism with schizophrenia and polydipsia.
PMID: 10708342 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Cerebrospinal fluid angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) correlates with length of illness in schizophrenia.

Posted by: CopperKettle at September 18, 2005 07:01 PM

Just an FYI. Did you know that there are 12 teaspoons of sugar in ONE can of soda? Imagine how many are in a liter! Don't make yourself diabetic, rot your teeth, and turn that sugar right into fat!!!

Posted by: mrfrip1 at September 20, 2005 10:50 AM

Yea this guy i know Jol, he skulled lots of water and died. it was so weird man

Posted by: LIONEL at September 28, 2005 06:02 PM

Yea I died it was crazy man i skulled like 25 liters in like 3 minutes I was beerbongen it !1

Posted by: JOL at September 28, 2005 06:05 PM

I weigh around 110. Yesterday morning I took one of those new 24 Hour Sudafed pills. I took it around 6:00 AM. I drank eight 20 ounce bottles of water between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM. By the time I got home from church, I was incredibly dizzy and had a headache. One of the worst in my life. Yes it IS possible to drink too much water. For me, 160 oz of water was way too much - but when your body says, "Hey, I'm thirsty," and you don't know (until the day after) that there is such a thing as water intoxication you do what your body says. I think there ought to be a more concise warning label on medications.

Posted by: Robin Christian at October 27, 2005 11:39 AM

how much water is good for normal person ?

i drink about 2- 3 lit day (24 hr)

is it too much

Posted by: Poonja at November 2, 2005 08:04 AM

Over the last 72 hours I have consumed over 192 oz. of water,this is a little over a half gallon a day. I have symptoms of fever and a horrible headache. This may not seem dangerous but recently I hyperextened my knee and have been in bed for most of my days. I believe that the decrease in activite has increased the water in my percentage in my body and is given me these symptoms. I recorded a temperature of 101.2 from underneth my tongue. Does anyone think that my symptoms are cause from too much water conceptiom?

Posted by: Andrew at December 18, 2005 08:13 PM

I've been drinking a full case of water (16.9 oz bottles) - that's 405.6 oz - every day for several months. Will I die anytime soon if I continue doing this?

Posted by: brix at January 6, 2006 10:27 PM

Could someone please especify how much water is too much? One of my manias is going to the kitchen and drink water constantly. I done it at vacancy (when not in vacancies I have less water to drink) and feel too much thirst (have to carry a bottle of water everywhere or get psychotic symptoms and severe headache). I made the calculum and realized I drink about 4 liters of water a day.
When I drink too little (about one liter a day) I get severe symptoms and unbearable headache, but... how much is too much?

Posted by: piece_of_myself at February 9, 2006 02:25 PM

Considering I drink nearly 12 liters per day, I doubt 4 is too much. :-)

Posted by: brix at February 14, 2006 01:32 PM

All of you have SEVERE issues. 12 liters a day? Good Lord! You must walk around with a catheter just to keep from pissing yourself.

Posted by: Dr. Green at June 21, 2006 07:19 PM

today i have drank 16 pints of water and i havent really been doing much to get rid of it execpt from pissing alot and i feel fine
. thats all i drink though and is it still bad if your getting rid of it regularly. I normally drink abit more but i havent been excercising due to an injury. Could someone please tell me how much is too much for a 67.5 kg guy.

Posted by: chris at February 24, 2007 03:45 PM

I drink on average daily 2-6 coffees, 2-3 cartons of orange juice and usually one cup of water or non in the afternoon. I don't think drinking sometimes I could go through most of the day without feeling any thirst at all but because my mind tricks into thinking iv'e had a drink i realise two days later Oh! i haven't had a proper drink in days and I don't want to have to meet severe consequences as I know to well this isnt good for me at all and I need to change NOW! I would like to know what the symptoms are for this issue I have because I would like to change as soon as possible.

Posted by: dave at March 22, 2007 06:28 AM

on average, you should not drink more than one quart of water in one hour, one quart is equal to 32 fluid ounces.

Posted by: ann at March 31, 2007 04:40 PM

also, the reason water is so dangerous is because it dilutes your sodium levels, which is what causes the problems. athletic drinks like gatorade, sodas, juices, stuff like that is not exactly the same as drinking too much water. Those types of drinks have carbs, calories, sodium, sugars, etc. Water has nothing in it, no sodium, or anything, and it quickly and easily absorbed. there are many people who drink those in large quantities and should not be worried. some people are just naturally thirsty. Too much water is just a danger because it greatly dilutes the sodium levels and the cells in the body expand, causing swelling in the organs and brain, usually the death results in brain issues relating to the swelling, the brain does not have much room to swell in the skull.

Posted by: ann at March 31, 2007 04:45 PM

As a staffmember working in a group home with 8 or more schizophrenic clients, I deal with water intoxication on a daily basis. It is, in fact, the unstated goal of my job to keep my clients from overdrinking. We (my company and our nurses and doctors) limit out clients to 8 fluid ounces or less of water per hour. Our clients are addicted (yes, addicted) to soda or coffee on top of plain water, to the point that some of them will drink a two-litre bottle of soda in one sitting, as little as five minutes. I have sent many of them to the hospital for sodium deficiency, an incredibly dangerous situation. Unfortunately, my clients do not have the insight into their illness to recognize the danger that they put themselves into by drinking; if anyone reading this does have such insight, I not only commend you, I urge you to limit your fluid intake and above all, be careful.

Posted by: Jon at June 5, 2007 09:09 PM

Just in case others come across this and want a resource on what is biologically needed by exercising individuals:

Posted by: Eva at July 23, 2007 11:52 AM

I am studying Psychology and I have never heard about the water symptom when it comes to schizophrenics so I think that your research needs to be redone.

Posted by: Beneficial Association at January 23, 2008 08:56 AM

Yes to much water is deadly but,,here something just as bad.The poison from the Plastic water bottles is more dangerous than to much water.

Posted by: Topatoya at March 6, 2008 08:06 AM

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