In general terms, it is recommended to drink between 1 and 2 liters of water a day for the correct functioning of the body, even if this is subject to multiple factors such as: metabolism, the amount of sport practiced, the time of year, the vital phase, the amount of fruit and vegetables consumed…
What happens when you drink more water than you need? Read on to find out what potomania is. This pathology can negatively affect the lives of those who suffer from it, so an early diagnosis is necessary to resolve it as soon as possible.
What is potomania?
Potomania is the desire to consume large amounts of fluidssuch as water (polydipsia) or alcoholic beverages (dipsomania). This psychological problem is largely ignored because it presents symptomatic pictures similar to other eating disorders.
Water addicts drink up to 5 and 8 liters of water a day and usually drinks without thirst. Apparently, compulsive water users don’t necessarily repeat the behavior based on health, but rather on the status they acquire as a “healthy person.” It is a habit present in societies suffering from abundance.
There is also the potomania for beer. It is a rare cause of potomania characterized by drinking large quantities of beer; usually more than 15 beers in a relatively short period.
Besides being a new addiction affecting a significant segment of the population, the problem with this behavior is that can affect health according to study published in the journal cureus.
The hypothalamus is a region of the brain that, among other functions, is responsible for maintaining the amount of water needed by the body. For this reason it also has the task of warning of the lack of liquids and of emitting the signal of thirst.
An alteration of the functioning mechanism of the hypothalamus could cause episodes of potomania (neurological potomania). THE experts they agree that this is quite rare, so they associate the disorder with a psychiatric derangement.
THE factors that can trigger the appearance of this disorder I am:
- emotional disturbances, such as anxiety disorders, personality disorders, delusions and hysterical symptoms.
- Alterations in the functioning of the hypothalamussince, as we have said, the hypothalamus is the part of the brain responsible for the perception of thirst.
- Chronic kidney disease.
- Organic disorders or hormonal pathologiessuch as diabetes insipidus, one of whose symptoms is polydipsia or excessive thirst.
The human body tries to keep the volume of water constant. and the concentration of electrolytes necessary for the functioning of all organs.
Excess water causes the body to dilute essential minerals like potassium, sodium and magnesium faster than usual. This causes cramps, fatigue, and slowness in performing simple cognitive tasks.
If your water intake continues to increase, probable massive loss of potassium which will trigger, mainly, in heart difficulties.
On the other hand, the kidneys are also organs affected by excessive fluid intake. Taken to the limit, they can cause hyponatremia, as stated by a research published in Nephrology. This condition is characterized by low levels of sodium in the blood, which can cause seizures.
In the first moment, the patient may be given diuretics. These serve to increase fluid excretion by the kidneys, which helps raise the sodium level and relieve symptoms.
However, to eradicate the problem, the treatment must be different depending on the cause that originated it. It usually starts with limit fluid intake to no more than 1.5 liters per day.
In case it occurs due to mental illness, treatment should be psychotherapyaccompanied, in some cases, by psychotropic drugs.
If the ailment appears as a result of the use of drugs, these must be replaced by other drugs that do not cause this side effect and demonstrate greater safety.
Therefore, if you feel a strong desire to drink, and especially if you are not motivated by thirst, heat or physical activity, you should consult your doctor to find the source of the problem and stop it from going any further.
Potomania, a disease of excesses
As you have seen, potomania is caused by a psychological or hormonal imbalance that affects excessive fluid consumption. This situation can cause health problems when minerals that are part of the human body are diluted. For this reason, early diagnosis of the disorder is essential to prevent progression of the disease. In this way, greater evils that could be fatal will be avoided.
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