Almost 80 percent of the major body functions depend on water to work properly and efficiently. Drinking sufficient water daily helps the body regulate body temperature, flush waste material, prevent constipation, and perform many other essential functions.

Many seniors do not consume enough water due to lack of thirst, which Elder Care Fort Lauderdale experts believe is an age-related condition and a side effect of several medications. However, some may drink too much water, which causes overhydration, medically known as water intoxication. Overhydration is potentially dangerous to a health condition that interrupts the blood’s balance between sodium and water. There are some facts that seniors and family caregivers must know about this condition to prevent related health issues.

  1. Types

Overhydration has two types;

  • Increased Water Intake

Drinking water excessively, which kidneys cannot get rid of during urination, can cause water accumulation in the body.

  • Retaining Water

The body retains water when it cannot get rid of it. Such a situation can happen with several medical conditions. It is also very harmful because it interrupts the balance between water and sodium present in the blood.


  1. Causes

Overhydration is typically caused by drinking too much water. This may happen both consciously and unconsciously. For instance, your senior loved one may consume too much water during a workout, or it can be a side effect of some medications causing dry mouth and increasing thirst. Uncontrolled diabetes can also contribute to increased appetite. Psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia also cause compulsive water consumption.

Overhydration is also caused by water retention, often due to medical conditions like kidney problems, liver disease, congestive heart failure, and inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone syndrome.

  1. Symptoms

Many seniors are unable to recognize the early symptoms of overhydration. Common symptoms are headache, nausea, vomiting, and confusion or disorientation.

Overhydration, when remaining untreated, can result in harmful low sodium levels in the blood, which may further into other severe symptoms, like

  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms, weakness, or cramps
  • Unconscious
  • Coma
  1. Diagnosis

A senior’s medical history is often necessary to determine whether or not the symptoms are related to overhydration. Your loved one’s doctor will perform a physical examination and may take their blood and urine tests.

  1. Treatment

Different levels of overhydration require different treatments mainly because of the underlying reasons. Common treatment methods include reducing salt and fluid consumption, giving diuretics to determine urine production, medications to eliminate symptoms like seizure, nausea, headache, and additional treatment of underlying medical issues.

  1. Prevention

Your loved one’s doctor may ask about their actual weight and will weigh them when overhydrated to determine the amount of water they need to lose.


Seniors should reduce the amount of water they when overhydrated and involved in an exercise that causes them to sweat. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day is enough for everyone. To stay hydrated, your loved one may increase it to 10 or 12 glasses in scorching weather. If your loved one feels thirsty even after consuming the right amount of water, consult their doctor.


Senior Home Care Fort Lauderdale experts suggest families consult their doctor if their elderly loved one has a medical condition, like heart disease, diabetes, liver or kidney issues, for

appropriate treatment.