(NewsNation) — A 35-year-old Indiana woman died of water toxicity last month, and now, her family is trying to spread awareness about the condition that involves drinking too much water and upsetting the balance of electrolytes.
WRTV reports that Ashley Summers died after being out on Lake Freeman with her husband and two daughters over the Fourth of July weekend. Her family told the station that before her death, Summers said she was feeling dehydrated, had a headache and drank nearly half a gallon of water in a span of 20 minutes.
Summers fainted in her garage and was rushed to a hospital, where doctors told the Summers family their loved one died from water toxicity.
“It was a shock to all of us. When they first started talking about water toxicity. It was, like, ‘This is a thing?'” Summers’ brother, Devon Miller, told WRTV.
Water toxicity, also known as water intoxication, may go unrecognized in its early stages, according to a scientific article published in the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine. Symptoms include confusion, disorientation, nausea and vomiting.
“Early detection is crucial to prevent severe hyponatremia, which can lead to seizures, coma, and death,” the scientific article reads.
The National Institutes of Health says water toxicity in normal circumstances is “rare.”