Why don't alcoholics die of dehydration?

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Nina Nierhaus

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Why don't alcoholics die of dehydration?
« on: 28/02/2011 19:30:03 »
Nina Nierhaus  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi there!

My name is Nina and i study biology in  Berlin. I love listening to your podcast every week, so  thank you for all the knowledge you put into my brain.

I was wondering why alcoholics, especially homeless people, don't actually die of dehydration since, as far as i know, alcohol is...well...dehydrating. Which makes sense, since at least in my experience  after one too many i usually wake up the next morning dying of thirst.  

As far as I remember from first year, and I hope i get this right now, alcohol surpresses the ADH production, therefore water cannot be reabsorbed into the bloodstream as the dermis formed by cells lining the tube is usually impermeable to water.  Now, I always figured that most alcoholics would drink more alcoholic than non-alcoholic drinks over the course of maybe many weeks and that water uptake over food is probably not sufficient to make up for the water loss.

Thanks again for the podcast, its great!

Best regards


What do you think?
« Last Edit: 28/02/2011 19:30:03 by _system »