A woman in her 40s may be permanently brain damaged after surviving on just fruit juice and water for three weeks, doctors believe.
The woman, who has not been named, was admitted to hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel, with an imbalance of salt in her brain.
Medics learned she had been recommended the diet by an ‘alternative therapist’ who may have had no qualifications.
Medics discovered the woman had been surviving on fruit juice and water (Picture: Getty)As part of her diet, the woman was only allowed to consume fruit juice and water.
But doctors, who have placed her under observation, fear the damage to her brain may be irreversible, Ha Hadashot 12 reported.
The woman’s weight plummeted to less than six and a half stone (90lbs) and although her exact condition has not been given, it is understood she suffered from hyponatraemia – also known as water intoxication.
Hyponatremia occurs when the salt levels in the bloodstream become dangerously low, the main concern of overhydration.
If the bodies electrolytes drop too low too quickly, it can be fatal.
It most commonly occurs in people who drink a lot of water while recovering from stomach upsets without replacing electrolytes.
Extreme ‘detox’ diets have been increasingly blamed for the condition which can also result in seizures and heart problems.
In Israel, no qualifications are required for someone to call themselves a therapist and start giving out health advice, Hadashot reports.
What is hyponatremia?
Hyponatremia is a condition in which sodium (salt) levels become dangerously low. This is the main concern of overhydration.
Overhydration can lead to water intoxication, when the amount of salt and other electrolytes in your body become too diluted.
If your electrolytes drop too low too quickly, it can be fatal.
Death by overhydration is extremely rare.