Home / The types of poisonings: food, chemical, mushrooms etc. / Food poisoning: symptoms and treatment / Water intoxication – what to do in cases of poisoning by water

Water intoxication – what to do in cases of poisoning by water

One of the most unusual poisoning of humans and animals is water intoxication.

Of course, for the health and normal functioning of the body to drink clean water is essential. But if you drink too much and for a short period of time, it can become dangerous and even lead to death.

Modern people may access water from a variety of sources. Most popular – water, natural sources (springs, lakes, wells) and bottled water. The danger of poisoning is present in all of the above options.

The main causes of intoxication

Poison purified (distilled) water is almost impossible. But since water is a good solvent for various organic and inorganic compounds, that her ability can trigger dangerous condition.

Poisoning by water may occur for the following reasons:

  1. Drinking water purification using chlorine. This chemical element is definitely very important in order to make the water from the plumbing system more secure. But do not forget that excessive chlorine can cause disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, and obvious signs of intoxication.
  2. Pollution of chemical nature. The surface water may contain residues of gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, mineral fertilizers, industrial wastes. This is especially possible in the case, if not taken into account, in which health is a district and city water is near the plants that have problems with treatment facilities.
  3. Organic contamination. In any water source (natural or artificial) can be used to detect common germs (E. coli, choleragen, Salmonella) that cause lesions of the intestine. This is because any water flow, even underground, on its way to the soil meets the different organic residues.

If you use water from the tap without boiling it or cleaning, then the probability of poisoning is definitely increasing.

Drinking disease

Poisoning the water comes is not always due to the fact that the fluid is contaminated. If a person excessively consumes the liquid, broken water-salt balance in the body and occurs gipergidratace.

As practice shows, more and more people suffer from dehydration than from overloading the body with water. But still cases of water intoxication occur in medical practice, though are rather the exception to the rule.

In a special risk group can get categories of people:

  • Babes
  • women who sit on strict diets;
  • people who do sports or dancing;
  • addicts, especially users of hallucinogenic drugs;
  • lovers of night life (discos, clubs, bars);
  • people suffering from mental disorders.

The most frequently gipergidratace happens when excessive introduction of water into the gastrointestinal tract with the purpose of lavage of the stomach, and in the process of setting ridiculous records and the desire to win the argument.

In the United States was even a reported case after the event "vodolazov" the next day the winner happened death on the background of water intoxication. So, if you eat too much and too quickly the water, even if it is from the cooler, poisoning can not be avoided.

According to research conducted by the American chemical society revealed that the lethal dose of water for humans (average weight 75 kg) is 6 litres. In addition, it should be remembered that although the water and is one of the safe and healthy drinks for adults and children, but for babies this is not true!

Babies under six months are not recommended to give water. Until the baby started to eat solid foods, the water that is contained in breast milk or artificial mixtures is enough for compensation of the water losses that occur during urination, defecation, perspiration and salivation. Otherwise, the child may come to be extremely dangerous for him as water intoxication.

Symptoms of water intoxication

Because of water poisoning has the same symptoms as many other poisonings, especially of food, to identify it quite difficult. In any event primarily affected the digestive tract. You can select these first symptoms of a poisoning with poor-quality water:

  • pain in the epigastric region;
  • nausea, copious vomiting;
  • flatulence;
  • liquid, frothy stools;
  • the increase in body temperature.

If the water was discovered mechanical impurities, disease-causing microbes or chemical compounds, the symptoms can vary depending on the nature of the contamination.

If water intoxication has occurred against the background of fluid overload, then one can distinguish the following clinical manifestations:

  • develop swelling;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • disrupted the rhythm of the heartbeat;
  • changes in blood volume;
  • violated the urine;
  • there are headaches;
  • violations of the vestibular apparatus and fainting;
  • nausea,vomiting, upset his chair;
  • drowsiness or insomnia;
  • irritability, nervousness;
  • lethargy, apathy;
  • body temperature can rise and can dramatically decrease;
  • cramps;
  • fever or chills;
  • redness on the skin;
  • loss of appetite.

If the patient is not provided timely assistance, you can develop an irreversible process that will lead to death.

Consequences of fluid overload

Among the main consequences of fluid overload can be identified such:

  1. Swelling of the tissues. On the background of an imbalance of electrolytes water seeps into cells and deforms them. Thus, fluid accumulates in the extravascular space of the body.
  2. Pulmonary edema. For this pathology is characterized by increased levels of fluid in connective tissue fibers in the lungs.
  3. Swelling of the brain. At this pathology the cells of the brain and spinal cord accumulate fluid.
  4. Hyponatremia. This state is one of the main indicators of water intoxication. In the blood plasma reduces the level of sodium ions to the critical indicators.
  5. Hypokalemia. This pathology is characterized by a persistent reduction in the degree of saturation of potassium ions in blood plasma.

All these conditions are very serious and increase the likelihood of fatality.


Regardless of the poisoning of the water or stepped intoxication on the background of fluid overload, the first step is to call the ambulance. Self-medication in this case is not appropriate and dangerous to life. And in a medical facility, professionals will be able to determine accurately the nature of the poisoning or the causes of intoxication.

Help with gipergidratace

If you suspect an overload of water, it will conduct a detailed analysis in order to identify the precise form digikey (violation of water and electrolyte metabolism).

As a rule, easy form gipergidratace does not require additional drug therapy. Enough to consume the liquid in limited quantities, and provided normal functioning of the body, it will cope with excess water.

If the cases of water overload have more severe form, then resort to the application:

  1. Diuretics – osmotic (urea and mannitol for injection, pimaric, maninil, allgurin) and saluretikov (hydrochlorothiazide, lasix, clopamide, ethacrynic acid, uregyt). It is done under the control of osmolarity and ion content in the blood serum.
  2. To correct hyponatraemia parenterally administered isotonic solution of sodium chloride. And doing it under the constant control of the level of sodium in the blood (norm is 130 mEq/l).
  3. In some cases, use of glucocorticoids (prednisolone, dexamethasone).
  4. Carry out symptomatic treatment of the affected organ systems.
  5. In severe conditions, patients with renal failure is prescribed hemodialysis.

Timely treatment to the hospital and properly chosen treatment is likely a favorable prognosis.

Poisoning with poor-quality water

If the poisoning was caused by contaminated water for the detection of pathogens will be connected infectious disease physician who will recommend to conduct the following crops:

  • blood;
  • stool;
  • vomit;
  • of water consumed.

According to the results of tests in the hospital, measures will be taken to eliminate toxins from the body and fight infection.

Choosing the pattern and direction of treatment will depend on the identified etiology of the disease. If the cause of poisoning steel if infection, typhoid or cholera, the patient hospitalitynet to the infectious Department. There he prescribed antibiotics, as well as conduct detoxication and symptomatic therapy.


The human body needs daily intake of water. So the choice of this fluid must be treated very carefully. It is reasonable to adhere to these guidelines:

  1. If you prefer bottled water, it should be purchased from trusted manufacturers.
  2. Water from the tap is allowed to drink only in the case of established serious household or filter after settling and boiling.
  3. In the filter-jugs need to regularly change the cartridges.
  4. Drinking water from open reservoirs is strictly prohibited.

So that the body was in good shape, you need every day to drink a certain amount of water. About what should be the norm, scholars ' opinions diverge. It is accepted that the average healthy adult should drink 1.5 to 3 liters of water a day. But we must not forget that every body is different, and the approach should be the same.

Important! To prevent over-hydration should be to observe a drinking mode and run the somatic diseases (kidney, heart, liver). It is very important not to fill the shortage of water in the body too quickly. This is especially true for athletes and people exposed to heavy physical load.

Even if very thirsty, a few SIPS and some time to stop, to information managed to get into the brain. If after that the feeling of thirst does not pass, then you can continue to drink in small SIPS with breaks.

So, is it possible to poison the water? The answerunambiguous – you can. If drinking poor-quality water or to use purified water quickly and in large quantity. But if you drink high-quality and properly, then it will be a source of vitality and health.