SACRAMENTO — A 28-year-old woman found dead hours after taking part in a radio station's water-drinking contest died of water intoxication, the coroner's office said Saturday.
Assistant Sacramento County Coroner Ed Smith said a preliminary investigation found evidence "consistent with a water intoxication death." Also known as hyponatremia, water intoxication occurs when the body's sodium level falls below normal. Overdrinking dilutes the sodium in the bloodstream, causing the brain to swell and push against the skull. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, weakness and, in severe cases, seizures, coma and death.
Jennifer Strange's mother found her daughter's body at her home Friday in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova after Strange called her supervisor at her job to say she was heading home in terrible pain.
"She said to one of our supervisors that she was on her way home and her head was hurting her real bad," said Laura Rios, one of Strange's co-workers at Radiological Associates of Sacramento. "She was crying and that was the last that anyone had heard from her."