Over-hydration anyone?

What do you eat and drink on the playa? Share ideas, recipes and advice here.
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zoeyburn
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Over-hydration anyone?

Post by zoeyburn » Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:15 pm

Hey all,

I've gone to the Playa 3 times - and 2 of those 3 times I'v run screaming from the playa (as in crazy).

Both times everyone (including me) thought I'd become dehydrated and was simply desplaying signs of this - but no matter how much fluid I took in - it only got worse. The second time (2003) sent me to the medical tent - where they gave me 3 bags of IV fluid wich sent me into convulsions.

It wasn't until I came home and asked my Doctor to do a physical that I'd heard the concept of "over-hydration". That's exactly what was happening! The symptoms were dead on! yikes!

Symptoms:
Over-hydration is disruptive to nerve cell function and can produce symptoms of lightheadedness or mild vertigo. It can produce neurological symptoms such as altered personality, and disoriented behavior. Water intoxication can also result in convulsions, circulatory shock, coma,
and death.
Immediate medical attention is required when symptoms of over-hydration or water intoxication occur. To avoid complications, fluid intake (which is usually restricted and very slowly re-administered over many hours) should be very carefully monitored by a healthcare professional.

Now - I really didn't drink anymore than is recomended - but my system seems to be very suseptible to this (don't know why - just is). The year that I didn't go over the edge is the only year I consumed alcohol - so it all balnaced out. Sounds like I have a good excuse to drink next time - ha!

What's your experience with this?
If you're not on the edge - you're taking up too much space...

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Alpha
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Re: Over-hydration anyone?

Post by Alpha » Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:43 pm

zoeyburn wrote: lightheadedness or mild vertigo. It can produce neurological symptoms such as altered personality, and disoriented behavior.
boy that's a tough one... the first two are also symptomatic of having, oh, about a beer and a half for most people. The latter two are symptomatic of anyone enjoying Burning Man!

For all I know, I was suffering from over-hydration this year!

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Post by diane o'thirst » Wed Sep 29, 2004 2:18 pm

That would probably explain why 2000 was kind of a bad year for me. I woke up dehydrated — yes, really dehydrated, spinning head, throat wouldn't work, tongue mouth and nostrils dry, skin stayed tented up when pinched — and went down to the med tent. They gave me three IV bottles. I didn't go into convulsions but the next few days, I didn't let pass without one serious crying jag. By week's end, I was about out of my mind.

I've come to the conclusion that pissing clear is not a good idea, so I don't follow that advice.

What I do, is make the water I consume stick around and do its job. You don't want water running through you in a few minutes: you want it to stay put. The way I do that, is to keep my skin oiled, and to mix a readily-absorbed hygroscopic like honey into my drinking water. I bring at least a quart jar of the stuff with me, a half gallon if I can swing it. Constant urination means your bladder is filling up, and it shouldn't be. Because water in the bladder means no water in the rest of your body's tissues, and that be not good.

Camels don't piss, clear or otherwise. They excrete uric acid crystals.
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Post by Badger » Wed Sep 29, 2004 2:22 pm

Hyponatremia (overhydration) is a tough call. A lot of it has to do with the symptoms being very similar to dehydration (nausea, sweating, change in behavior, etc.) I've suspected its happened more than a few times on the playa - especially with the very bad advice to 'piss clear.'

Piss a light yellow is more like it.
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Post by zoeyburn » Wed Sep 29, 2004 2:28 pm

So... it's NOT just me!

I've always gotten dizzy and a kind of buz just from downing a nice, 8 oz. glass of water quickly. And if i've tried the 8 fucking glasses a day thing I've kinda wigged out - so I know I am sensitive to these balances.

I've been trying out different things - Gatorade and the like. I find them so sugary and sweet - but so far I'm really liking "Gookin-ade". About half the sugar as Gatorade and a nice citris taste.

I've tried my down a glass quickly test and don't get so dizzy as with just water - so I'm hoping this will help next year. That... and the several cases of beer I plan on packing :)

My goal: don't go crazy (in the bad way) ha!

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Post by diane o'thirst » Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:14 pm

That's the other thing: Don't Guzzle. Plants thrive on drip irrigation and this is true for all life forms. Sip maybe an ounce at a time, very often. Your body will accept it better instead of shunting it directly to your kidneys.

:arrow: My rule of thumb is to take a pull off my water bottle or hydration pack everytime I see someone's water bottle or hear them say "water" or "drink." People all around you will be carrying water, this serves as a good reminder.
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Post by geekster » Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:01 pm

This happened to someone I know last year. THIS year we gave everyone in camp their own water bottle (with plenty to spare in case people lost them, needed to pee in them, whatever) and kept a continuous supply of WEAK gatorade in the cooler buckets. It was made about 1/2 the strength of normal. We also used Morton Lite-Salt for meals and cooking. This contains potassium chloride as well as sodium chloride and helps keep the total electrolyte intake better balanced.

Over and under hydration are exactly the same thing. Depletion of electrolytes. In the first case you have washed them all out by drinking water and flushing them. In the second case, you have sweated them all out and not replaced them. Drinking only water does not replace lost electrolytes. A sport drink cut wuth water, bananas, potatoes, a piece of jerky, dried fruit, maybe some salt on that water melon ... all help to replace them.

If you are healthy, don't worry about the sodium increase, you are going to NEED more sodium when you are sweating and peeing it out. People on certain diuretic medications should consult with your doctor before going. Anyone on other maintenance medications should to too (particular cardio) as electrolyte imbalance may cause other issues too.

I am NOT a doctor but I have been given training in first aid for heat/hydration casualties and have had to use it before. Take a few bottles of pedialyte (i know it tastes like crap) to treat anyone that might have heat/hydration related issues. Be especially careful of anyone that has any gastrointestinal problems as they can get into trouble quickly as the body dumps fluids.
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Post by Isotopia » Wed Sep 29, 2004 5:53 pm

If you're gonna do Gatorade you might try cutting it with 3 parts water. Not sweet or syrupy and actually a bit more refreshing when it gets really hot outside. Also provides enough of the ingredients to keep you from overhydrating.

Just don't piss clear.

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Post by geekster » Wed Sep 29, 2004 5:58 pm

What we did was look at the instructions on the powder and doubled the amount of water. It came out fairly weak. I did okay during the entire time except for our last day there, Monday ... by the end of the day I was pissing brown and all our stuff had been packed up.
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Post by Icepack » Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:02 pm

Overhydration is possible. This year I drank, and drank, and drank water. But after a bike ride out to the temple and back, I was still dizzy and hot and not well. Two drink boxes of Gatorade and some rest in the shade settled me down somewhat. But water alone is not the answer. I HATE Gatorade, but I craved it in those moments.
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Post by Bob » Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:39 pm

Overhydration... hmm... just might explain Heather Graham...
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Post by geekster » Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:45 pm

Wish people wouldn't call it "over hydration" ... it isnt like you are suffering from water poisoning or anything. You can drink as much water as you want as long as you ALSO get the electrolytes you need. Put some real lime or lemon juice in that camel back along with a pinch of salt and a pinch of salt substitute and you can probably drink and pee to your heart's content. If you can taste the salt, you put too much.
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Post by dafydd » Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:13 am

geekster wrote:Wish people wouldn't call it "over hydration" ... it isnt like you are suffering from water poisoning or anything. You can drink as much water as you want as long as you ALSO get the electrolytes you need. Put some real lime or lemon juice in that camel back along with a pinch of salt and a pinch of salt substitute and you can probably drink and pee to your heart's content. If you can taste the salt, you put too much.
It can truly be hyperhydration as that usually happens as the kidneys shut down due to hyponatremia (which means "less sodium," sodium being natrium in Latin). But the fix is still to fix the salt problem.

And, given that IV bags are 0.9 saline, other possibilities is always hypokalemia, which is insufficient potassium, or hypocalcemia, which is insufficient calcium. All three are important neurotransmitters.

Okay, enough latin...

What started coming out in 2000, and hasn't got enough attention, was the "eat a salty snack" addendum. As in "drink a lot of water, and eat a salty snack." That needs to get pushed some more.
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Post by Hotspur » Sat Oct 02, 2004 8:54 pm

Yeah. Last year I definitely had a day when I was feeling weird, and I was definitely drinking enough, but... everything got better when I upped my daily salt and electrolyte mixture by adding some half-strength gatorade and beef jerky to my diet.

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hi

Post by Lysergic » Sun Oct 03, 2004 3:18 am

Some girl in my state Colorado drank so much water she DIED. She was at home with her parents and some other kids for her birthday party and she was rolling E. People kept telling her to drink LOTS of water, and well I guess she took their advice a little too much to heart. They thought she had died from the E, but autopsy report shows it was the water!
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Post by Bob » Sun Oct 03, 2004 11:17 am

dafydd wrote:Okay, enough latin... What started coming out in 2000, and hasn't got enough attention, was the "eat a salty snack" addendum. As in "drink a lot of water, and eat a salty snack." That needs to get pushed some more.
<gulp>
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Post by lazarus » Sun Oct 03, 2004 11:35 am

Overhydration is also referred to as Hyponatremia. The most common although still relatively uncommon in healthy people is Hypovolemic hyponatremia. Simply put, too much water, not enough salt, and the result is an electrolyte imbalance which can cause the symptoms described previously. The only times I have treated this in a patient, two individuals had consumed exsessive water(over two gallons) and they had not eaten much if anything in the previous 24 hours. The other had consumed about one gallon but when we arrived at the ER and after extensive testing, the patient had kidney function problems. Bottom line, sip water throughout the day and eat salty foods and a banana. To zoeyburn and others, I would recommend you see your physician and determine if there are any physical problems you don;t know about.

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Post by geekster » Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:06 pm

As pointed out, it isn't only salt but also potassium and calcium. Potassium is found in abundance in bananas and potatoes. Calcuim from cheese (real cheese, not cheese-like processed food product which is made from vegatable oil rather than milk), sardines, kippers, beans and broccoli . The Morton Lite-Salt(tm) handles both the potassium and sodium so it is a good addition to any camp kitchen.

Your sweat, urnine, tears, and blood have roughly the same salinity as sea water. As you sweat and urinate, these salts are eliminated and need to be replaced. Excessive water intake without replentishing the salts results in them being flushed and can cause serious problems. People on maintenance drugs to control things like blood pressure and cardio arrhythmia can have grave consequences from electrolyte imbalance.

The salty snack thing is the best advice. If you are healthy, your body will handle the excess (provided you have enough water). It is all about balance and the body has a pretty wide range that it can handle. Just go easy on the PLAIN water and don't be afraid to salt your food.
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Post by dafydd » Sun Oct 03, 2004 2:06 pm

lazarus wrote:Hypovolemic hyponatremia. Simply put, too much water, not enough salt,...
I'll defer to you on this one, but for the sake of all those folks who haven't had any medical training (or latin!) wouldn't "too much water, not enough salt" be hypervolemic hyponatremia, not hypovolemic hyponatremia?
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Post by lazarus » Sun Oct 03, 2004 4:01 pm

My bad, must be too much h2o for me too. There are many different kinds of hyponatremia and this 24 hr shift has put my brain in a flatulent mode. Scratch what I said about the most common one because I just remembered hypovolemic hyponatremia is a decrease in total body water and a GREATER decrease in total body sodium. So boys and girls, eat your bananas, salty snacks, and drink your water but not too much. How many phukking daze until the Man burns? If only Diamond Peak would get a phreek October dump and I could shred the most.

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Post by Bob » Sun Oct 03, 2004 4:33 pm

lazarus wrote:...How many phukking daze until the Man burns?...
Cleanup starts in 336 days.
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Post by TheMuse » Mon Oct 04, 2004 9:43 am

I suffered from heat exhaustion the first Sun of BM'04 while setting up our camp, so decided to compensate the next day by staying uber hydrated. I ended up drinking too much water and ended up puking for half the night (and no, even a puking Muse is not pretty).

My advice... moderation is the key. And don't drink TOO many of the electrolyte replacement drinks from the cafe in one day. I think that might have been part of the cause.
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Post by RoadWarrior » Sun Oct 17, 2004 2:07 pm

It's sounding like this is something I will have to watch myself for on my first burn, I often seem to have electrolyte and water issues. I have to keep reminding myself to salt my food some in the summer here.

Last year I just got a recipe figured out for a drink that helps me manage to actually achieve anything physical when it's above 30C and is 100% humidity here, as can happen for a couple of weeks every summer. Not sure how much similar and how much different I'll find it to that on the playa, I cope with dry heat MUCH better generally. Anyway, here's the recipe I got figured out....

1 packet of Koolaid (Lime seems to work best in this for me)
2/3 cup of sugar (Koolaid pack will say 1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon "No-Salt" potassium chloride.
1/4 teaspoon table salt (Check that it doesn't have aluminum compounds in as anti-caking agents, that shit will rot your nerves.)
2 Litres of water.

This stuff ROCKS, I can actually DO stuff in the hot/humid weather now. I only need about half a litre per couple hours strenuous activity, and probably the same amount of water too (I'm a fair sized guy). In hot weather when I'm not doing strenuous stuff, I'll drink a little soda cut with half water, this seems to work better than pure water too. Ginger ale is my favourite for that, very refreshing. Apple juice seems to be a good electrolyte replenisher for me too.

regards,

Road Warrior

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Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Oct 18, 2004 8:49 am

For what it's worth, the Alacer/Emer'gen-C peeps have started making an electrolyte mix--sans sugar of any sort. Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese and Chromium.
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Post by diane o'thirst » Mon Oct 18, 2004 11:52 am

This year I brought out a jug of the Hollywood Diet. No, I didn't follow it, but after reading the label, I saw that it gives you 75% of your RDA of vitamins A, B, C, D and E, among other high levels of essential nutrients like calcium. I diluted it 1 cup HD:1 gallon water. Kept me very much on an even keel and nicely energized all week.

I also drank a lot of milk and ate cheese and crackers every day. I skipped dinner a couple times during the week and on this diet, I was fine. Your mileage will of course vary.
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Re: hi

Post by HughMungus » Wed Oct 20, 2004 3:56 pm

I just keep a water bottle with me everywhere I go and drink when I'm thirsty and REMEMBER TO EAT even if I don't feel like eating sometimes. I think the desert makes people less hungry which is bad.
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Dateline Chico

Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:09 pm

San Francisco Chronicle wrote: Fraternity pledge died of water poisoning
Forced drinking can disastrously dilute blood's salt content
- Meredith May, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, February 4, 2005

A Chico fraternity pledge died of water poisoning, authorities said Thursday as experts warned that the dangerous hazing ritual has killed at least one other person as fraternities are replacing alcohol bingeing with excessive water-drinking.

Matthew Carrington, 21, of Pleasant Hill had a heart attack and died during "Hell Week," authorities said, as he was in the final stage of a monthslong process to rush Chi Tau fraternity -- a rowdy house that had been expelled from California State University Chico in 2002 for repeated violence and alcohol violations.

Water bingeing is becoming an increasingly common hazing ritual, especially inside rogue frat houses such as Chi Tau, said Hank Nuwer of Indiana, a national expert on hazing and author of four books on the topic.

"These unsanctioned fraternities have no standing with the university, so to build prestige they like to come up with the most grueling initiations," Nuwer said, "And they think water is safer than alcohol, but it can also be deadly."

Forced water consumption and heavy exercise are known to dilute the salt content of blood to the point where it interferes with brain, heart and muscle function. Without enough sodium, the brain swells and victims can suffer fatal comas.

Carrington's friend who survived the hazing told police that he and Carrington each were forced to drink about five gallons of water. They were kept up all night in the fraternity's basement doing rigorous calisthenics as fraternity members splashed them with ice water and turned fans in their direction.

The Butte County coroner's report listed hypothermia as a significant contributing factor to Carrington's death.

"As universities crack down on hazing, frats are turning to other things like water and milk to haze pledges, kind of like an 'in your face' thing to the university," Nuwer said.

Another water-hazing death happened in a similar unsanctioned fraternity with aging alumni, Nuwer said.

In March 2003, State University of New York freshman Walter Dean Jennings III was pledging a renegade fraternity that had also been expelled over drinking violations. He was forced to drink so many pitchers of water through a funnel that the sodium in his body dropped to lethal levels and his brain swelled. The autopsy confirmed he died of hyponatremia.

That same year in Texas, a young pledge at Southern Methodist University went into a coma after being forced to drink too much water in November 2003. Even after he passed out, fraternity members propped him up and made him drink more. He suffered hyponatremia and pulmonary edema -- water in the lungs. He was hospitalized for a week and fully recovered.

Participants in both incidents faced criminal charges and sanctions from the college.

In Chico, a message from former Chi Tau President Jesse Chrisp was posted on the fraternity's Web site informing alumni members of Carrington's death.

"There was no alcohol involved," he wrote. "Those of us older guys still here suspect that hazing by water consumption was the cause." Chrisp added in the letter that he's no longer involved with Chi Tau.

University officials are working with police to try to figure out how many of the Chi Tau members involved in the incident are students, outsiders, or alumni who have come back to live the frat lifestyle.

Nuwer said hazing can happen in both sanctioned and rogue fraternities. "Freelance" fraternities are not uncommon in university settings, he said, but they can be more dangerous for students because they operate with impunity outside university supervision and often house aging alumni eager to relive the "Animal House" lifestyle.

"A really big suggestion for universities is to strip alumni status from the fraternities they toss off campus, so alums aren't allowed to come back and move in," Nuwer said.

Leo Boyle, a Boston trial lawyer who was the first to get a fraternity indicted for manslaughter in a 1997 alcohol-related hazing death at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said cases like his and the one in Chico are reasons the public no longer tolerates hazing as a rite of college passage..

A candlelight vigil for Carrington will be held today outside Chi Tau fraternity, at the corner of Fourth and Chestnut streets in Chico. The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at New Life Church in Alamo, 2501 Danville Blvd.

E-mail Meredith May at mmay@sfchronicle.com.

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Post by othereye » Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:56 pm

Okay, based on all of the above, I have a very good question:

I suffer from vertigo very very often. I have an inner ear disorder called Meniere's Disease. The top two ways of dealing with meniere's are: Drink more, and reduce sodium in your diet to "almost none".

So how do I get enough water to survive the playa without suffering the ill effects of too little OR too much sodium?!?

Ideas? Would be greatly appreciated! I'd hate to spend my whole first year in a brainfogged spin.

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Post by Zulegoona » Tue Apr 05, 2005 4:22 pm

First I would let people your camping with or near by know you might be having some problems. That way if you fall over they could help, while your at it look out for them too. I think ( with no particular expertise ) that you'd be better off stating off with more water than usual, the salt replacements, I'd maybe try some in the afternoon or when your loosing a lot of water. adjust as needed,.....

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Post by the_iconoclast » Tue Apr 05, 2005 4:23 pm

I have discovered over the years in my backpacking experience and military time that pissing light yellow is where it is at. Drink water over time - not all at once. While backpacking I typically load my mid-day water-ration with powdered Gatorade. It keeps the electrolytes in my system and I get a nice healthy light yellow "stream". I am a big guy (Slavic stock = big and strong like bull) who requires a good amount of water. While in the Army I was a light engineer for the first 5 years and managed to avoid dehydration in Sonalia, Haiti, and Panama by making sure that I was nursing Gatorade laced water mid-day. Give it a shot - for all the crapola in the commercials, in the end, it is basically flavored sweat...

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