Overhydration Causes Treatment

Overhydration: Causes, Picture, Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

Overhydration is the opposite of dehydration. While dehydration causes lack of fluids in your body, overhydration means excess fluids in the body. For most of the diseases, the best home remedy is to drink water. Drinking enough water keeps the body hydrated. So, you can keep up good health. Drinking the right amount of water regulates your body temperature. It also clears out the waters from the body. It prevents problems like constipation and ensures the proper functioning of the body. But, overhydration can cause problems in your body.

We need to consume everything within the limits. Excess of anything can trigger dangerous problems. The elevated water levels can disrupt the normal balance in the body. So, it is serious to health as well as your life. One of the main problems with the excess water levels is the reduction in the sodium levels in the body. Therefore, it can cause problems. Read ahead to get more information about the excess water levels. So, you can get valuable information about how to prevent overhydration. It will avoid dangerous consequences.

What Is Hydration?

overhydration Before getting into the concept of overhydration, know what hydration really is. The whole body depends on the right fluids levels to work properly without any problem. Therefore, drinking the right amount of water is essential to maintain the balance in the body. When your body gets the necessary hydration, it helps with the following:

  • Regulate the body temperature
  • Prevent the problem of constipation
  • Flush out the toxic accumulation from the body
  • Help perform the necessary body function

What Is Overhydration?

People working hard in hot weather or perform strenuous exercise sweat profusely. So, they are at risk of dehydration. So, they try to drink more water. Drinking water more than necessary for the normal functions is known as overhydration. So, the excess water you drink can lead to water intoxication. It can trigger serious problems in your body. How do you know you are overhydrated? It is simple. The urine is the indicator of the hydration status in a healthy person. Take note of the urine color to understand the bod condition.

Pale Yellow Urine

Pale Yellow Urine

The yellow that has the appearance of the lemonade indicates you have no issues. It represents the perfect hydration status of your body.

Dark Urine

Dark Urine

The dark urine refers to dehydration in the body. The loss of fluids from the body can make the urine more concentrated. With high concentrated levels, the urine can look darker.

Colorless Urine

The colorless urine means that you are overhydrated. Generally, you pass a large amount of urine when it is colorless that means your body has accumulated large quantities of water.

Overhydration can dilute the necessary electrolytes and salts in your body. It can lead to troublesome problems like hyponatremia. The condition is a result of the reduced levels of sodium salts in your body. So, the reduced levels of salts and electrolytes can result in fatal complications. Though death due to overhydration is a rare occurrence, it can happen.

Types Of Overhydration

How to excess water enters your body? Overhydration is mostly classified into two types that refer to the methods the excess water enters your system. So, the two types are:

Increased Water Consumption

Increased Water Consumption

Drinking more water than necessary can put the strain on your kidneys. The kidneys are designed to remove a certain amount of water from the body. It is mostly flushed out from the body through urination. When you drink more water, the kidneys fail to remove the water. So, it ultimately gets collected in your bloodstream.

Water Retention

It is a medical condition that needs immediate attention. Hence, it may result in the problem of getting rid of the excess fluids in your body. The underlying medical condition can also cause severe issues in your body. Therefore, getting medical help is necessary to overcome the problem.

Both types have a risky side to it. So, you must take neither conditions lightly. The excess water levels can disrupt the sodium-water balance in the bloodstream. Hence, it can create complications.

Causes Of Overhydration

In simple terms, overhydration means that your body is experiencing the imbalance in the fluid levels. it is the condition that is the result of your body holding or taking in more fluids. The excess fluids remain in the body as the kidney cannot flush it out of your body. Therefore, the main causes of overhydration are:

Excess Water Consumption

When you feel that your body can lose water through sweat, you may drink excess water. It mostly happens with the athletes who run marathons as well as triathlons. The high endurance required for such events makes them drink extra fluids before or during the event. But, the excess water intake can dilute the important substances in the bloodstream.

The normal consumption of water by a healthy person is around 9 to 13 cups of water (roughly 78 to 100 ounces) of water or fluids each day. But, varies with the age, sex, activity level of a person, overall health and weather conditions. So, no exact formula can determine how much water you need to consume to maintain the balance. In some cases overexertion, excess heat, etc. can make you drink more water.

Athletic Events

Sporting events are another main cause of overhydration. Athletes are the common category of people at high risk of getting overhydrated. Therefore, athletes need a logical approach to control their thirst and prevent excess water retention in the body.

Medical Conditions And Drugs

Some underlying medical conditions or the drugs you take to overcome the disease can lead to water retention. Therefore, the common conditions that can lead to the issue are:

Other than the medical condition, taking medications for the following diseases can trigger extreme thirst. So, it can lead to overhydration. The common drugs causing the problems are:

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
  • Schizophrenia Drugs
  • Antipsychotic Drugs
  • Diuretics
  • Recreational Drugs (like MDMA commonly known as Ecstasy)

In such cases, it is better to speak to your doctor about the side-effects of taking the medications. It will help you gain advice to prevent the complications of excess water content in the body.

People At Risk Of Overhydration

Everyone is not at risk of excess water retention in the body. Some people are more at risk of the issue. The most common people who face the problem are the endurance athletes. So, it is a common occurrence among the following:

  • People who take part if marathons as well as ultramarathons (races that have longer distances)
  • Ironman triathletes
  • Cyclists
  • Rigby players
  • Hikers
  • Rowers
  • Military people taking part in training exercises

You may wonder why the athletes experience the issue. The main reason is they drink water before and after the main sporting event or exercise.

The condition is also common among people with some underlying health problems. The common issues leading to the overhydration are:

  • Heart failure
  • Kidneys problems
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes

In such cases, treating the health condition can relieve water retention in the body.

Symptoms Of Overhydration

The excess water content in your body can affect all your body functions. Each and every organ in the body is suspectable to the issue. So, the water retention can affect the following and cause the symptoms like:


One of the main organs that get affected by excess water in the brain. It can trigger changes in the behavior. The main symptoms associated with it are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Irritation
  • Inattentiveness
  • Shouting
  • Seizures
  • Coma (if overhydration is not treated on time)



The excess water levels in the body can cause eye problems. The common eye issues associated with excess water levels are:


The water retention in the body can also affect the muscle functions. The common signs associated with it are:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Paralysis on one side of the body
  • Lack of muscle coordination

Breathing Problems

The overhydrated condition can cause breathing problems that can trigger other signs and symptoms like:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Other Problems

The water retention can also result in other issues like:

  • Sudden fluctuation in the weight like weight gain or weight loss
  • Feeling weak without any reason
  • Anemia caused due to the reduction in the red blood cells
  • Elevated blood pressure levels
  • Blood tissues have elevated acid content that is abnormal (acidosis)
  • The sudden drop in the blood oxygen levels
  • Hemorrhage

Diagnosis Of Overhydration

In most cases, you need to get medical advice to overcome the excess water levels in the body. When you seek a medical appointment, your doctor will perform the following to diagnose the actual cause of water retention.

Physical Examination

The doctor gets all the details about the diseases you have or the medications you take. The physical examination also involves taking your blood pressure levels and checking other symptoms you suffer. It sheds light on the underlying issue that leads to overhydration. Based on the assessment, your doctor may order other tests.

Blood And Urine Tests

The blood and urine tests will help your doctor determine the medical issue causing the problem. Based on the results, the doctor can adopt a precise treatment plan.

Treatment Options Of Overhydration

Several treatment options can help you overcome the excess water retention in the body. The following treatment options based on your underlying condition can provide you relief. So, the following techniques can work well:

Eliminate The Symptoms

The issues like nausea, headache, vomiting, seizures, etc. get treated with the associated medications that can relieve the symptoms. So, your doctor can prescribe the medications to ease the persisting symptoms.

Underlying Health Condition

The underlying health condition leading to water retention needs immediate addressing. So, with the medical condition alleviated, the overhydration gets cleared. Taking the prescribed medications at the right time will eliminate the problem. Getting frequent checkups can also treat the underlying conditions.

Restrict Fluid Intake

Observing and monitoring fluid intake is necessary to prevent overhydration. If you are an athlete, then check your fluid intake. You also need to check the salt intake to balance the water-sodium in the bloodstream.

Use Diuretics

Our doctor can prescribe diuretics to increase urine levels. it will flush out the accumulated the water and alleviate the complications associated with the excess water levels.

Prevention Of Overhydration

You can definitely prevent overhydration. By adopting certain steps, you can make sure that your body maintains the water balance. So, it will reduce your risk of getting affected by other complications.

Weighing Yourself

Weighing Yourself

If you are at risk of overhydration, then check your weight daily. You just need to weigh yourself for a week to know if you have the issue. So, weigh yourself every day. It will show any fluctuations in body weight. You can ensure that your body has the right amount of fluids or it has high levels of water. Based on the results, you can take the right steps.

Wake Up Hydrated

Make sure to feel hydrated when you wake up in the morning. How can you know it? You must never feel thirsty the first thing in the morning after you get up from the bed. It indicates that your body has adequate fluids. Drink the right amount of water throughout the day. It will eliminate the need to drink water before your sleep or get up at night.

Take Note Of Morning Urine

You need to take notice of the amount of urine and its color. The first urine in the morning after you wake up can shed light on your hydration levels. The pale or clear color and copious amount of the urine indicates you are hydrated well. Therefore, you need to take note of the color and quantity.

Sports Drink

If you are an athlete or perform the strenuous workout, then you need to opt for a low-sugar sports drink. The high endurance can make you lose fluids levels. Opting a high-sugar sports drink can make you crave more water. So, it can lead to overhydration. Performing athletic acts or physical workouts can make you drink more water than necessary. So, opt for a sports drink with very low sugar content.

Limit Tea/Coffee

The tea and coffee you drink during the daytime can influence the total fluid intake. You may drink the beverages to focus on your work more. But, the increased intake of the beverages can elevate the fluid levels in your body. Therefore, always limit the tea or coffee consumption to prevent overhydration.

Low-Carb Electrolyte

Including a low-carb electrolyte drink can prevent the overhydration. When you take the drink along with lemon and salt during the noontime can balance the fluid levels. The drink can elevate the core body temperature. The salt will enhance fluid absorption. So, it can prevent the retention of fluid in your body.

Limit Fluid Intake

You must never drink more than one liter of water or other fluid per hour. The overconsumption of liquid can result in water retention in the body.

Get Treatment

Some underlying health condition can cause overhydration. So, get the necessary treatment to eradicate the problem and overcome excess water present in the body. Get the necessary advice and opt right treatment plan. It will help alleviate the underlying disease that results in excess water accumulation in the body.


Water is the purest liquid with zero calories. So, drinking it every day will keep your health in good condition. Even good things have certain limits that you should never exceed. Overconsumption of the water can result in the complication that you may never expect. Therefore, overhydration is a condition that you must never take casually. It is significant to maintain the balance in the body with the right water consumption. So, check the intake of water every day. It prevents the possibilities of overhydration. If an underlying medical condition triggers the problem, then get treatment to eliminate the problem. Therefore, it prevents the dangers of excessive water content in the body.

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