Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Addicted to water?

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Recently I came across this very interesting article in the New York Times about a woman who was seemingly addicted to water -- she would carry several water bottles with her everywhere, never going more than a few minutes without a drink and making frequent visits to the bathroom. Overnights she would even drink, sometimes more than a gallon, before morning.

The scary thing is that she had been that way as long as she could remember but had never understood why -- it took a doctor taking a special interest when when she was 38 years old and in the hospital for something else to finally solve the mystery.

For that woman the issue was a hormonal deficiency and the fix was as simple as a daily nose-spray prescription. But can a person actually be addicted to water? According to the article the answer is yes -- it's called psychogenic polydipsia and it's defined as an uncontrollable compulsion to drink, usually due to mental illness.

And to think that most have a hard time making ourselves enough water!

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