Can drinking too much water be bad for you?

Copyright Aleksandr Markin

WE’RE always being told of the health benefits of drinking plenty of water, but now experts say drinking too much could actually be harmful.

They say not only could it lead to kidney problems, but could also trigger symptoms such as excessive sweating.

One surgeon from a clinic in London said he was seeing more patients suffer from over sweating, a condition known as hyperhidrosis. He said the first thing he asked was how much water they drank and said medically, being told to drink between two and three litres of water a day was incorrect as if you were in intensive care you would be given 1.5 litres of fluid every 24 hours.

There is no set way of defining excessive sweating, but if sweating is interfering with daily life and normal activities, a person may be diagnosed with hyperhidrosis. Treatments such as medication to block the sweat glands and surgery can be considered by sufferers.

Drinking excessive amounts of water can also lead to loss of sleep as people have to get up in the night to go to the toilet and other studies show it can even cause kidney damage, instead of preventing it. Too much water can also lead to a rare but potentially fatal condition called hyponatraemia, which sees the body’s salt levels drop and can lead to swelling of the brain.

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