Can drinking too much water kill someone?
A recent study published in the Clinical Kidney Journal suggests that Bruce Lee, who died on 20 July 1973, might have died from drinking too much water. Lee’s death was a mystery for a long time but now researchers think that he died of a condition called hyponatremia where the body’s sodium levels drop significantly due to excessive water intake.
At the time of his death, a bunch of theories came to the fore, including that he was poisoned or assassinated by gangsters. The research based its conclusion on the facts around Bruce Lee’s death. Reportedly, his wife Linda said that on the day he died, the actor had drank some water before he complained of a headache and started to feel dizzy. She also said that the martial artist had given up solid-based foods and was living on a fluid-based diet.
According to a report by IFL Science, the martial artist was also under the influence of cannabis on the day he died. Later, an autopsy revealed that his brain had swollen up to 1,575 grams which is way above normal standards. The researchers, therefore, hypothesised that he died of hyponatraemia and a kidney dysfunction which triggers the organ’s nability to excrete enough water to maintain water homeostasis.
Hyponatremia, a condition that leads to a dip in blood sodium levels, can be caused by factors like severe vomiting or diarrhoea, taking certain medications like antidepressants and pain medications and consuming too much water.
Hyponatremia can be prevented depending on the causes. Treatment includes cutting back on fluid intake, adjusting the dosage of certain medication and employing an intravenous (IV) sodium solution. Experts also suggest that keeping water and electrolyte levels balanced to prevent low blood sodium.
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