Overhydration is a water excess in the person’s body. Overhydration happens when body’s water intake is higher than its output. Water excess in the person’s body causes sodium in the person’s blood to become overdiluted.
Drinking extremely high amounts of water does not usually result in Overhydration, if heart, kidneys, and pituitary gland are working normally. Adults should drink more than two gallons of water daily to exceed the ability of body to excrete water. Overhydration is most likely to occur in individuals whose kidneys do not normally excrete water, such as people with liver, kidney, or heart diseases. Individuals with such problems may have to limit water amount they drink and the salt amount they digest.
When Overhydration occurs slowly, the cells of the brain have a chance to adapt, so, very few symptoms may occur. However, when Overhydration happens rapidly, an individual may progress seizures, coma, and confusion. The doctor tries to distinguish between blood volume excess and Overhydration. In Overhydration, water’s excess is discovered around the cells and within the cells and does not usually cause fluid accumulation signs. With blood volume excess, the person’s body also has excessive amount of sodium and therefore may not shift water within cells into the reservoir.
In volume overload conditions, such as liver cirrhosis and heart failure, fluids accumulating around cells in the lower legs, abdomen and chest. Distinguishing between blood volume excess and Overhydration is frequently complicated, as Overhydration may happen along with blood volume excess or by itself.
Overhydration treatment is based on underlying causes. However, regardless of the causes, fluid intake should be limited. Drinking fluids less than a quart daily generally improves Overhydration over few days. Fluid must be limited only with doctor advice. In some cases, doctor prescribes a diuretics to increase the water excretion by the kidneys. Generally, a diuretic is more useful in the excess blood volume treatment and therefore is most useful when Overhydration is accompanied by blood volume excess.