Actress and model Brooke Shields, 58, found herself in the hospital last September after experiencing a “tonic-clonic seizure,” characterized by a sudden loss of consciousness followed by body stiffness and intense tremors.
Shields had consumed an excessive amount of water, resulting in dangerously low sodium levels. This highlights the potential dangers of both excessive and inadequate water intake. In an interview with Glamor, Shields revealed that she had been drinking large quantities of water while preparing for the premiere of her solo show.
The problem: Not enough sodium
Unbeknownst to her, her body had been deficient in sodium. As she was waiting for an Uber, she started feeling strange, and her companions noticed her discomfort. Without understanding her actions, Shields made her way into a nearby restaurant and experienced the seizure.
She described the terrifying ordeal, saying that everything went black, her hands fell to her sides, and her head hit the wall. She was foaming at the mouth, completely blue, and trying not to swallow her tongue.
The harrowing incident continued as Shields was lifted into an ambulance and regained consciousness to find Bradley Cooper holding her hand. Cooper had been alerted to the situation by the restaurant staff, who had initially tried to contact Shields’ husband but reached Cooper instead.
Shields later learned that her seizure was a result of low sodium levels caused by overhydration. She expressed regret, saying that she basically drowned herself.
“If your body lacks sufficient sodium, you are at risk of experiencing an epileptic seizure,” she said.
Consuming too much water can cause hyponatremia
Consuming excessive amounts of water can cause hyponatremia, a potentially life-threatening condition where the sodium levels in the blood become dangerously low.
The Mayo Clinic warns that severe cases of hyponatremia can lead to seizures, brain damage, coma, and even death. The condition occurs when the kidneys are unable to eliminate the excess water, depleting the sodium content in the blood. It is important to note that excessive water consumption is rarely a concern for healthy individuals, as stated by the Mayo Clinic.
Adequate daily fluid intake, including water, other beverages, and food, is recommended. The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggests a daily fluid intake of approximately 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) for men and 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) for women, with around 20% of the fluid being obtained from food. It is crucial to strike a balance and ensure a proper hydration routine to prevent potential health complications.