Skip to comments.Woman drinks so much water she dies
Posted on 01/14/2007 6:05:25 AM PST by mfnorman
SACRAMENTO, California (AP) -- A woman who competed in a radio station's contest to see how much water she could drink without going to the bathroom died of water intoxication, the coroner's office said Saturday.
Jennifer Strange, 28, was found dead Friday in her suburban Rancho Cordova home hours after taking part in the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest in which KDND 107.9 promised a Nintendo Wii video game system for the winner.
"She said to one of our supervisors that she was on her way home and her head was hurting her real bad," said Laura Rios, one of Strange's co-workers at Radiological Associates of Sacramento. "She was crying, and that was the last that anyone had heard from her."
It was not immediately known how much water Strange consumed.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
This is Strange.
I read about it once but the article said it was extremely rare.
Most people would call that "drowning"...
I have heard of it. I was helping a former roomate do a paper on Marijuanna. During my searches for marijuanna overdoses, I found numerous cases of water intoxication resulting in death (overdosing on water).
"Hyponatremia is a condition known as "water intoxication." It is the opposite of dehydration, and is often associated with long distance events like running and cycling. Moreover, its not an unusual problem, and you can develop it in a few hours.
As you consume large amounts of water over the course of a day, blood plasma (the liquid part of blood) increases thereby diluting the salt content of the blood. At the same time, your body also loses salt by sweating. Consequently, the amount of electrolytes available to your body tissues decreases over time to a point where that loss interferes with brain, heart, and muscle function! You have to replace these electrolytes! They're essential to the normal electro-chemical operation of your nervous system."
It's called hyponatremia - read on if you'd like:
Body fluids contain electrolytes (particularly sodium compounds, such as sodium chloride) in concentrations that must be held within very narrow limits. Water enters the body orally or intravenously and leaves the body primarily in the urine and in sweat. If water enters the body more quickly than it can be removed, body fluids are diluted and a potentially dangerous shift in electrolyte balance occurs.
Most water intoxication is caused by hyponatremia, an overdilution of sodium in the blood plasma, which in turn causes an osmotic shift of water from extracellular fluid (outside of cells) to intracellular fluid (within cells). The cells swell as a result of changes in osmotic pressure and may cease to function. When this occurs in the cells of the central nervous system and brain, water intoxication is the result. Additionally, many other cells in the body may undergo cytolysis, wherein cell membranes that are unable to stand abnormal osmotic pressures rupture, killing the cells. Initial symptoms typically include light-headedness, sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting, headache and/or malaise. Plasma sodium levels below 100 mmol/L (2.3g/L) frequently result in cerebral edema, seizures, coma, and death within a few hours of drinking the excess water. As with alcohol poisoning, the progression from mild to severe symptoms may occur rapidly as the water continues to enter the body from the stomach or intravenously.
A person with two healthy kidneys can excrete about 1.5 litres of water per hour at maximum filtration (other studies find the limit to be as little as 0.9L/h ). Consuming as little as 1.8 litres of water in a single sitting may prove fatal for a person adhering to a low-sodium diet, or 3 litres for a person on a normal diet. However, this must be modulated by potential water losses via other routes. For example, a person who is perspiring heavily may lose 1 L/h of water through perspiration alone, thereby raising the threshold for water intoxication. The problem is further complicated by the amount of electrolytes lost in urine or sweat, which is variable within a range controlled by the body's regulatory mechanisms. Water intoxication can be prevented by consuming water that is isotonic with water losses, but the exact concentration of electrolytes required is difficult to determine and evolves over time, and the greater the time period involved, the smaller the disparity that may suffice to produce electrolyte imbalance and water intoxication.
I see it from time to time in our ICU....certain psych patients get polydypsia(the need to drink too much water) from the meds they take as the meds tend to be drying of their mouths. They become water overloaded and need to be gently diuresed while maintaining their electrolyte balances.
Yup, it's rare, but a known concern for long distance marathoners and "ultra" runners.
Greed triumphs again.
Now I suppose her family will sue the radio station.
Not as rare as the article thinks. Read up on hyponatremia.
There was a woman who died of this 10 or 15 years ago. She became a compulsive water-drinker. She got to where she drank so much that her kidneys could no longer rid her body of the excess fluid. It was news at the time.
Water intoxication (also known as hyperhydration or water poisoning) is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain function that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside of safe limits by a very rapid intake of water.
It's time to introduce legislation making water illegal to own or possess. It's extremely addicting.
The hospitals treat 3 or 4 cases of this every year after the marithon they hold here.
"[The coroner said] he could recall just two other cases of fatal water intoxication in Sacramento in the past five years. In one of the cases, a woman committed suicide by drinking too much water from a hose...."
And she went "wee wee wee" all the way home.
"We are awaiting information that will help explain how this tragic event occurred," he said."
This quote is from the story on Yahoo! Let me give you the short answer Mr. Geary - you did something stupid and something bad happened. Much more common than dying from drinking too much water.
Some woman who had a psychosis of some sort believed that she was contaminated and only drinking large quantities of water would flush it out. She was known to drink upwards of 5 gallons per day, sometimes standing under a shower-head with her mouth open.
Correction: SHE did something stupid. No one forced her to drink the water. By your logic, if your local radio station says "The first one to jump off the Golden Gate bridge gets an X-Box" would you do it?
"The same thing can happen by drinking water that is too pure. This is why it's dangerous to drink distilled water"
Same thing goes for air that is too pure. Don't breathe air when you are outside of the city...it'll kill you, it will.
Reminds me of the Indian who drank a hundred gallons of tea one night, they found him drowned the next morning in his tee pee.
I wouldn't jump off the Golden Gate for an Xbox but if you ask enough people someone will.
If you sponsor a stupid contest you should be smart enough to know that there are people out there who WILL do something stupid.
No, but sadly enough they would be sued into the ground by the family members of the moron that did.
I also smell a lawsuit.
The vast majority of people don't understand how this is possible. I feel sorry for that lady, as well as the radio station people.
Three kids.. no mother... all for a Nintendo.
I'm not suggesting this should happen, but does the radio station have any liability in this?
it's the scientific name for drowning?
Just do it! ...Any where...but, but, do use some caution...
And that station would get its ass sued off, because there are people dumb, poor or desperate enough to try it, and such a station would be callously reckless for taking advantage of them. There are obvious potential health problems from binge eating or drinking something, and if the station failed to keep proper safeguards to protect the people it lured in with offer of a prize, then they fully deserve the raking at the coals they're about to get.
It happens to runners sometimes, as well as soldiers. Women are more susceptible, because they're smaller.
Is this from Scrapple?
Warning: You croak when your back teeth float.
I agree that this woman did something stupid, blu. But the station was stupid also. Dumb, dumb, dumb all around.
More than dumb though. It's sad.
Drinking water causes cirrhosis of the liver... no, wait.........
It also causes swelling of the brain. This is usually what kills people. This happened a few years ago in a fraternity hazing after a pledge chugged a gallon of water or something.
Especially in the Ssouth Pacific zones.
I believe the tablet were pure salt?
I trained for and ran my first marathon last year, with the help of a coach and training group. I'm glad she talked about this with us because I never heard of it until then. Actually I had the opposite problem....during the marathon I couldn't drink enough water/Powerade to compensate my fluid loss through sweating. I ended up pretty dehydrated and nearly fainting at the finish line. One of the medical people saw me and got me to the med tent for an IV, and also gave me beef broth to drink. Except for the really sore leg muscles I felt good as new!
[Insert Ted Kennedy joke here.]
That happened to me when we hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It was so bloody hot, etc that I kept drinking water. The more I drank, I couldn't understand why I didn't start feeling better. I participated in sports since I was 4 through college and had never had a problem like that before. Luckily we signed up for the steak dinner down there and I got some food, pop and peanuts (lots of peanuts) in me.
Those poor kids! The mom was doing a stunt to get them a game . I'll bet they never get over this. How sad.
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