Water intoxication is a serious health problem that occurs when sodium levels in the body drop dangerously low as a result of excessive water intake. Daily water consumption is essential to provide the body with the hydration it needs and to maintain overall health. However, excess water, especially when consumed in excessive amounts over a short period of time, can upset the body's electrolyte balance and lead to a condition known as hyponatremia. This causes sodium levels in the body to drop abnormally low and can lead to swelling of cells, especially brain cells, with potentially life-threatening consequences. 

Symptoms of water intoxication can range from mild symptoms to severe neurological disorders. In this article, we take a detailed look at how to recognize if you have water intoxication, what symptoms to look out for and what you can do to prevent it.

1. Headache and Nausea

Headache One of the first symptoms of water intoxication can be a headache. This occurs due to swelling of brain cells and increased pressure.
Nausea and Vomiting: Excessive water consumption can lead to nausea and vomiting.

2. Changes in Consciousness

Confusion Confusion and disorientation may occur due to decreased sodium levels in the brain.
Loss of Consciousness: Severe water intoxication can cause loss of consciousness or seizures.

3. Bloating and Swelling

Swelling of Hands and Feet: Excessive water consumption can cause cells to swell, which can lead to swelling of the hands, feet and ankles.
Bloating and Restlessness: A general feeling of bloating and restlessness are also symptoms of water intoxication.

4. Muscle cramps and weakness

Muscle Cramps: Falling sodium levels can affect muscle function, which can cause muscle cramps and muscle weakness.
Muscle Twitching: Muscle twitching and spasms are also common symptoms.

5. Frequent Urination and Colorless Urine

Frequent Urination: Excessive water intake causes the kidneys to overwork, which leads to frequent urination.
Colorless Urine: Urine that is too light or colorless can be an indication that your body is over-hydrated.

Conditions Requiring Urgent Intervention

Water poisoning is serious and medical help should be sought immediately if symptoms appear. Symptoms such as loss of consciousness, seizures, severe headache or confusion require immediate attention.