An Indiana mom of two collapsed and died from water toxicity after drinking too much water in a short period of time, her family says.
Ashley Summers, 35, was near Monticello at Lake Freeman with her husband and two daughters over July 4th weekend when she was hospitalized with brain swelling, Ashley’s brother, Devon Miller, told WRTV.
“Someone said she drank four bottles of water in 20 minutes,” Miller said. “I mean, an average water bottle is like 16 ounces, so that was 64 ounces that she drank in a span of 20 minutes. That’s half a gallon. That’s what you’re supposed to drink in a whole day.”
The Mayo Clinic says that the daily fluid intake for women should be about 92 ounces, with 20% of daily fluids usually coming from foods.
Summers had said she was feeling dehydrated, lightheaded and had a headache, noting that she felt like she could not drink enough water, her family told the outlet.
The mom of two passed out in a garage and was rushed to a hospital.
Summers, however, never regained consciousness, and doctors said she died of water toxicity, according to the family.
“It was a shock to all of us,” Miller said. “When they first started talking about water toxicity. It was like, ‘this is a thing?’”
Hyponatremia, also known as water toxicity, occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“When this happens, your body’s water levels rise, and your cells begin to swell,” the clinic says. “This swelling can cause many health problems, from mild to life-threatening.”
To prevent hyponatremia, the clinic advises drinking water in moderation and to consider drinking sports beverages that contain electrolytes during endurance activities.
Summers was an organ donor and donated her heart, liver, lungs, kidneys and some of her long bone tissue to help save five other lives, her family said.