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Docs typically advise sufferers to “drink loads of fluids” when unwell, however the case of a fifty nine-yr-previous lady exhibits that consuming an excessive amount of water too shortly could be harmful.
She developed hyponatraemia or water intoxication after making an attempt to stave off a urinary an infection.
Doctors writing in BMJ Case Reports say this can be a uncommon prevalence in in any other case wholesome individuals.
However they are saying higher steerage on fluid consumption for sufferers is required.
They write: “There’s a paucity of analysis weighing the dangers and advantages of recommendation to ‘drink extra fluids’.”
Medical specialists commenting on the case stated it was necessary to maintain consuming – however not excessively – if sweating or affected by a fever and docs ought to be extra particular about how a lot water is protected to drink.
Hyponatraemia is a situation that happens when the extent of sodium – an electrolyte which helps management the quantity of water within the cells – within the blood is abnormally low.
It’s extra typically seen in endurance sports activities and after using ecstasy.
The affected person described was admitted to A&E in London for remedy for her an infection.
The report describes how she quickly turned shaky, muddled, had main speech difficulties and vomited a number of occasions.
The affected person recalled: “I keep in mind seeing my hand in entrance of my shaking relatively violently and I questioned why I couldn’t cease it, then realised that my entire physique was shaking.
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“At that time I turned terrified…”
She thought she was having a stroke and remembers being unable to precise her emotions or management her actions.
When she revealed she had drunk a number of litres of water in a matter of hours, based mostly on recommendation to attempt to flush out her system, docs restricted her fluid consumption over the subsequent 24 hours and she or he recovered.
However she stated she felt weak afterwards and it took her a few week to really feel regular once more.
In one other earlier case, a lady died after creating hyponatraemia from consuming extreme quantities of water when she had gastroenteritis.
Tom Sanders, professor emeritus of vitamin and dietetics at King’s School London, stated the case report doesn’t imply the recommendation on water is mistaken.
“Sufferers must be supplied with an sufficient provide of water by their beds which they need to be inspired to drink or helped to drink.”
He stated this was particularly essential for aged sufferers in hospital who typically endure from dehydration.
He added: “Water necessities are about 1ml/kcal power which provides common fluid intakes of 2000ml for ladies and 2500ml for males.”
Prof Graham McGeown, Dunville Professor of physiology at Queen’s College Belfast, stated: “Maybe the lesson is that docs must be extra particular of their steerage fairly than avoiding recommendation on consuming in these circumstances.”
Supply: British Nutrition Foundation
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