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How Is This Even Possible?

thorntonandrew.jpgA man in the UK, trying to relieve pain from gum disease, drank so much that he actually died. Indeed, he drank 10 litres on the day he died, following two days of the same liquid intake.

But here’s the weird part: He was drinking water!

Andrew Thornton overdosed on freakin’ water.

He was taken to hospital last December after collapsing at home and doctors initially thought he was drunk on alcohol because he was staggering and slurring his words.
In reality the symptoms were caused by the excess water causing swelling in the brain.
Doctors put salt back into his body in an attempt to counter the effects of his huge water intake, but the following day he suffered a fatal heart attack.
Pathologist Dr Alan Padwell told the Halifax inquest: ‘He claimed drinking water relieved the problems with gum trouble, though he vomited a lot afterwards.
‘He had been drinking an awful lot of water and vomiting. He had overloaded with water. Your body tells you how much you need. Eat and drink normally and your body will regulate itself.’
Coroner Mark Hinchliffe recorded a verdict of death by misadventure and concluded Mr Thornton died of a heart attack triggered by overconsumption of water.

Who knew you could drink too much water? And 10 litres a day? Had he not died, he could’ve finally accomplished my long-held goal in life: See if it’s possible to fill a toilet so high with pee that it flushes itself.

But the real lesson here is simply this: You may be able to overconsume water, but you can never brush your teeth often enough.

| Comments (5)


yeah, some radio station had a stunt where people had to race to drink the most water to win a Wii. Some women won it for her children and then died shortly after due to all the water she drank. Fraternities have gotten into trouble as well for having water chugging hazing contests where brothers were at least seriously sick.

Someone explained this to me after the radio station incident mentioned above. Basically, we have a certain amount of salt or other electrolytes in our system at any given time. If you drink too much water too quickly, there is a smaller amount of electrolytes per amount of water in the body.

I'm not sure how it works, but apparently the electrolytes keep the water from overloading our cells. When you have too much water, the balance goes bad, and cells start getting damaged.

Of course, too much of ANYTHING in the body can be bad, I suppose...

Ooh! Ooh! I know this one!

::ahem:: Electrolytes, particularly sodium, potassium, and to a slightly lesser extent calcium and magnesium, are critical in nerve conduction and muscle (especially cardiac muscle) function. Too much water = dilution of those important electrolytes, and then you seize and your heart goes kablooey.

Yeah, that's the scientific term. Kablooey.

di-hydrogen monoxide kills! Ban di-hydrogen monoxide!

I thought it had something to do with a sodium imbalance causing swelling that pressed against the brainstem. Isn't that what some girl who drank WAY too much water after popping ecstasy died from a few years ago? (Naturally, the death was blamed on the drug, not the idiocy of drinking like 4 litres of water in 20 mins cause your friend told you to.)