Friday, August 22, 2003

UK: actor intoxicated with water

I've heard of this phenomena before but never had it explained this well. An actor in the UK drank water -- about eight liters a day for a number of days -- and ended up in a coma.
... he was building up a condition known as hyponatremia, which is usually associated with ecstasy-users and marathon runners, and often mistaken for heat exhaustion.

Over the weeks, the salt in his body had been so diluted that by the end of the performance on June 28 he was rapidly moving through a list of symptoms that are usually fatal - headaches, weakness, nausea, confusion, unsteadiness, agitation, delirium, unconsciousness. The sodium concentration in his body was so low, it was almost non-existent.