Everyone needs water and electrolytes Overview of Electrolytes Electrolytes are minerals that circulate in your blood. These minerals are also in your stomach juices, in your stool (poop), in your urine, and inside your body's tissues. Salt (sodium) is... read more (minerals, such as sodium and potassium, that help with many body functions) to be healthy. Normally, your body automatically balances your level of water and electrolytes. Drinking gives you what you need, and being thirsty tells you when you need to drink. Your kidneys automatically pee out extra water as urine.
What is overhydration?
Overhydration is having too much water in your body. This happens when your body takes in more water than it puts out.
In a healthy person, drinking extra water is unlikely to cause overhydration because whatever isn't needed goes out in the urine
Usually, overhydration happens when your kidneys aren’t able to pee out extra water
Extra fluid may give you swollen legs or have trouble breathing
Overhydration affects the balance of electrolytes in your body, which can cause symptoms such as confusion or seizures Seizure Disorders Seizures are changes in the brain's electrical signals. A seizure disorder is a problem that causes a person to have seizures. The brain is made up of nerve cells. Nerve cells talk to each other... read more
What causes overhydration?
Normally, your body automatically balances the amount of water and electrolytes it has. If you have too much water, your brain signals your kidneys to make more urine.
The two main causes of overhydration include:
A medical problem that keeps your kidneys from getting rid of extra water
Drinking way more water than your kidneys can handle
Medical problems that could keep your kidneys from getting rid of extra water include:
Certain kidney problems such as kidney failure Kidney Failure and nephrotic syndrome Nephrotic Syndrome Nephrotic syndrome is a disorder of the glomeruli (clusters of microscopic blood vessels in the kidneys that have small pores through which blood is filtered) in which excessive amounts of protein... read more
People don't usually drink way too much water, but this can happen when:
Athletes drink more than they need because they don't want to get dehydrated Dehydration Everyone needs water and electrolytes (minerals, such as sodium and potassium, that help with many body functions) to be healthy. Normally, your body automatically balances your level of water... read more
People have a mental problem that causes them to drink too much water
What are the symptoms of overhydration?
You often have no symptoms.
If you have heart, kidney, or liver problems you may have symptoms like:
Fluid swelling in your lower legs
Fluid in your lungs causing trouble breathing
If you drink way too much, you may:
Feel tired, weak, and confused
Urinate a lot
How can doctors tell if I have overhydration?
Doctors can usually tell from your symptoms and a physical exam. Sometimes, they'll do blood and urine tests.
How do doctors treat overhydration?
When possible, doctors treat the cause of your overhydration. Doctors may have you:
Limit the amount of fluid you drink, often less than 4 cups a day for several days
Sometimes, take medicines that make you urinate more (diuretics, sometimes called water pills)
Be cared for in the hospital to adjust your fluids and electrolytes if they are severely out of balance