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How drinking more than eight glasses of water in under an hour can cause SEIZURES- as Brooke Shields reveals over-hydrating caused her to ‘foam from the mouth’ during fit


Brooke Shields has revealed that drinking too much water caused a frightening seizure that saw her foaming from the mouth. 

The Broadway actress, 58, revealed her grand mal seizure — which she suffered outside a New York restaurant — was caused by drinking too much water as she prepared for her show Cafe Carlyle and low sodium levels in her blood. 

Though she did not reveal how much water she had consumed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises no more than 1.4 liters an hour, about six cups. The CDC also warns it can happen with energy drinks and other fluids.

When an excessive amount of water is consumed, especially over a short period, it dilutes the sodium in the blood — in a condition called hyponatremia.

The lower levels of salt then cause cells to begin to swell. In the brain, this can lead to increased pressure on the skull and neurological problems like seizures.

Drinking two litres of water per day ¿ around eight cups ¿ is vital for keeping the body hydrated (left). But rapidly getting through this amount can be deadly, experts warn. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bosses advise no more than 1.4 litres per hour, around six cups (right)

Drinking two litres of water per day — around eight cups — is vital for keeping the body hydrated (left). But rapidly getting through this amount can be deadly, experts warn. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bosses advise no more than 1.4 litres per hour, around six cups (right)

The actress, 58, was days away from her Café Carlyle debut when she collapsed 'headfirst into the wall' and started having a grand mal seizure outside the restaurant L¿Artusi

The actress, 58, was days away from her Café Carlyle debut when she collapsed ‘headfirst into the wall’ and started having a grand mal seizure outside the restaurant L’Artusi

Dr Stuart Fischer, an emergency medicine physician in New York, said it was possible for drinking too much water to cause a seizure

Dr Keith Vossel, a neurologist in California, said she was likely in hospital for a few days to receive treatment

Dr Stuart Fischer, an emergency medicine physician in New York, said it was possible for drinking too much water to cause a seizure. Dr Keith Vossel, a neurologist in California, said she was likely in hospital for a few days to receive treatment

Dr Stuart Fischer, an emergency medicine physician in New York, told DailyMail.com: ‘Seizures can occur with a condition called hyponatremia, which is when the blood gets too diluted.

‘You would drink no small amount of water to cause a seizure.

‘It could happen if it is a very hot day, for example, if someone is sitting at the table and they are drinking a lot a lot of juice.

‘But this type of seizure is very rare and I have never seen it happen. These are really very rare.’

DailyMail.com revealed earlier this year how mother-of-two Ashley Summers, of Indiana, tragically died after drinking two liters of water in just 20 minutes. 

The 35-year-old, who was feeling dehydrated and wanted to quench her thirst, collapsed and never regained consciousness.

Dr Keith Vossel, a neurologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, also told this website: ‘A seizure from drinking too much water is possible because it could lower the sodium levels in your body. But this is very, very rare.

‘You would have to drink a lot of water to cause it, probably over at least a few weeks.

‘I wouldn’t want to put a number on [how much water], but it is recommended that pregnant women have eight glasses of water a day — and that’s the upper limit of what would be normal.

‘The excess water can gradually lower sodium levels in the blood because there is a maximum amount the kidneys can filter out each day [and they may not be able to keep up if you consume too much].’

He added: ‘Some people think that drinking more water is healthy, but they may drink too much when they are not thirsty and then go too far. There is no benefit to drinking too much water.’

Shields revealed she was hospitalized in September after suffering the grand mal seizure, which sees someone lose consciousness and fall to the floor before their body starts to convulse.

She was days away from her Cafe Carlyle show debut when she collapsed ‘headfirst into the wall’ and started having a seizure outside the restaurant L’Artusi in New York.

Brooke said the grand mal seizure happened because she was drinking too much water and was low in sodium. But after eating plenty of crisps, she is back to her best

Brooke said the grand mal seizure happened because she was drinking too much water and was low in sodium. But after eating plenty of crisps, she is back to her best 

Brooke is now back to full health and stars on the Glamour Women Of The Year digital cover

Brooke is now back to full health and stars on the Glamour Women Of The Year digital cover 

Speaking for the first time about the ordeal, she revealed Bradley Cooper rushed to her aid and held her hand in the ambulance as she was taken into intensive care.

Dr Fischer said she was likely kept in the hospital overnight while doctors monitored her blood to ensure her sodium levels returned to normal.

He said it was likely they would wait for the kidneys to lower the water levels in her blood rather than carrying out surgery.

Dr Vossel said hyponatremia is treated by gradually bringing sodium levels up to the normal level over several days using an IV.

Both doctors said it was unlikely that she would suffer any long-term effects from her ordeal.

Seizures are more common among people with epilepsy, which account for 3.4million people — or 1.2 percent of the population.

But they also occur in people who do not have the condition, with the Cleveland Clinic saying they see about 100 to 200 patients every year with this — mostly between 20 and 40 years old.

Grand mal seizures are most commonly caused by epilepsy, but they can also be triggered by very low blood sugar, low blood sodium levels, a high fever or a stroke.

Doctors say that in most cases patients who have them do not suffer another and do not need treatment.

A grand mal seizure begins with patients suffering visual disturbances, differences in smell and taste and feelings of fear or deja-vu.

Patients then lose consciousness and their muscles stiffen, which may make breathing difficult. The body may then start to convulse rhythmically, typically for one to three minutes.

The patient then enters a period of confusion, exhaustion and disorientation.



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