Medical Specialty >> Neurology

Doctors Lounge - Neurology Answers

Back to Neurology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Water Intoxication PLease answer soon ...

 tiffairy - Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:20 pm

Last night at approx. 11 pm - 12:00 am I consumed a large amount of water in a short period over time (under an hour), my best guess is 2 liters. I had also had an unusually large amout of water throughout the day. I can't explain why I just got really thirsty during a panic attack and just kept drinking. i started to feel a little lightheaded and remembered I heard a story about a woman who drank too much water and died.

I went to the ER and they did bloody chemistry and it was normal. Normal sodium levels (this was about 3 hours after I finished drinking) and they sent me home. Today I woke up feeling kinda weak and had a headache (headaches are not uncommon for me though) and I thought perhaps better safe than sorry so I went to an emergency clinic and they redrew the chemistries at about 5:30 pm this afternoon (about 17 hours after the large drinking incident).

I have two questions:

Was my second chemistry check enough to say ok I'm gonna be fine from this? Is it possible to still get water intoxication so long after the incident?

Also, I have a Chiari Type 1 Malformation without complications and was wondering if this could cause a buildup of fliud within the brain from drinking all of that in a different way than the lack of sodium??? Like perhaps the malformation makes it easier for water to reach the brain than in other people without the malformation. Does that make sense?

They told me to eat and drink normal today, is that ok? I've only had 1 can of sprite and am working on some gatorade right now. I'm afraid to drink much more.

I'm 5'9" and 148 pounds. I read it only takes 3 liters to kill you and I drank two liters in once sitters (at least) and had more earlier in the evening and day. So, I am having trouble letting go of my worry even though the chemistries have come back normal both times now.

I appreciate responses very much. Very worried here.
 Theresa Jones, RN - Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:09 am

User avatar Hi tiffairy,
You may view the response in your other post.
Click here!
Theresa Jones, RN
 tiffairy - Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:35 pm

Also, I wanted to know if my chiari malformation effects the amount of fluid absorbed by my brain?? Could I have gotten fluid on my brain in some other way than the whole sodium thing because I have a chiari malformation???

I was told to ask a neuro about that specifically.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us