And you thought you had trouble drinking enough water. Marc Wübbenhorst drinks more than five gallons of water every day — the need for water disrupts his life, keeps him awake at night, and puts him at serious risk for hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is a type of water intoxication; it can occur if an excess of fluids floods the sodium from a person’s system, and is generally fatal.
Wübbenhorst suffers from diabetes insipidus, a rare disease that causes him to urinate constantly. His body cannot retain almost any of the water he drinks; fluids just run right through him.
A 36-year-old who works in an architect’s office, Wübbenhorst has designed a regimen that keeps him alive. He rehydrates almost constantly, planning ahead if he will be away from a sink or fountain for more than an hour at a time. That’s the longest he can go without drinking — any more than that, and he starts to feel off.
“I was stuck on a train for a long time and I ran out of water,” he told The Daily Mail. “That left me dizzy and with a fever. I was eventually helped by someone at the station.”
Because of this nagging need for fluids, Wübbenhorst is unable to sleep for more than two hours at a time. He’s also unable to safely exercise without worrying about the consequences.
“I do horse riding but I can't do sports like football or running as they use a lot of energy,” he explained.
“I want people to know about this disability and to get the word out about it. I am thirsty all the time,” he expressed to The Daily Mail. Wübbenhorst’s mother experienced the condition, as well, and he finds it shocking that he needs to explain his condition to many of the doctors he sees.
Wübbenhorst doesn’t drink — the alcohol isn’t absorbed due to his condition. “I can drink alcohol but I don't. Because of the condition I can drink three bottles of wine and it will not affect me,” he said. In addition to alcohol, Wübbenhorst limits his intake of other fluids besides water. He explains that though he loves soda, drinking it induces intense dehydration, such that it feels like he hasn’t had water for multiple days.
“As far as I know, this condition is incurable,” he laments. Those of us who can retain the fluids we drink should count our blessings — and maybe pour one out for Marc Wübbenhorst, who is doomed for the rest of his life to incessantly feel these 10 signs of severe dehydration.