It’s the first advice any woman with a history of urinary infections will get.
And if you follow it too closely, it might be the LAST advice you ever get, too!
You’ve heard it from your doctor… the Internet… and even your friends.
DRINK MORE WATER!
Now, an urgent new warning in one of the world’s premiere medical journals is urging docs to dial back the “drink more water” nonsense – because a British woman nearly died trying to follow those dangerous guidelines.
Like so many women, she had a history of UTIs. And, like so many women, she didn’t need a test to know when she had one – she could feel it.
And when she had the telltale pain of a UTI, she did exactly what she was “supposed” to do: She began gulping water like a fish, according to the case report in BMJ.
She didn’t feel better. She felt WORSE and hauled herself off to the ER, where they confirmed she had a urinary infection – but the docs were puzzled when she began to fall apart right before their eyes with symptoms no UTI would ever cause.
Her speech slurred… she developed a tremble… and she began vomiting.
Turns out she was suffering from “water intoxication,” but don’t let the name fool you. It’s not like when you’ve had a few too many beers, puke, and then sleep it off.
This is a certified medical emergency called “hyponatraemia” – and it can turn deadly in a hurry.
When you drink too much water, you dilute the salt in your body – and if you really go overboard, that can cause the sodium levels to plunge so much that you could suffer brain damage.
Nearly 1 in 5 patients with this condition die. In this case, the woman’s levels fell so low that she had a 1 in 3 chance of death.
Fortunately, she lived – but only because she got immediate care.
We don’t know how much water she drank. The only description the BMJ authors offer is “several liters.”
With 33 ounces in a liter, she may have been following the old advice to cut your weight in half and drink that much water in ounces. If you’re 150 pounds, that would mean drinking 75 ounces of water… or WAY too much for anyone.
And for some folks, that could be fatal.
Here’s a much better rule of thumb on how much water you should drink per day, and it requires zero math.
Drink when you’re thirsty!
That’s it, friend. Your body knows when it needs a little water – and it’ll tell you pretty plainly when it does.
Follow your body’s orders on this one, and you won’t go wrong.