A water softener can be an essential part of protecting your kettle, but it can be an important part of protecting your health as well in some situations.
If you have sensitive skin, the minerals in hard water can change its pH balance, weakening the skin barrier against infection and potentially exacerbating conditions such as eczema.
It can also potentially cause concerns for people with high blood pressure due to the higher amounts of salt due to the minerals in the water.
However, the opposite can be a problem as well, as drinking too much water too quickly can lead to several health conditions ranging from painful to potentially life-threatening, although the latter is extraordinarily rare without a pre-existing condition.
Typically, drinking too much water at once, which can happen after a long workout session or simply being too busy or too distracted to remember to drink, can cause stomach pains, as the water fills your stomach, adding pressure and producing stomach acid.
This typically dissipates quickly, but a more concerning condition is hyponatremia or water intoxication.
Sodium is a vital electrolyte that regulates the water in your cells. This is why too much of it can make you thirsty and can cause blood pressure issues.
However, if there is too much water in the body, that sodium becomes diluted and it becomes harder for your body to regulate the water levels in your body.
This causes water to enter cells and cause them to swell up. Often it has no symptoms at all, but it can cause fatigue and confusion at more mild stages, but if it causes the brain to swell it can lead to seizures, fluid building in the lungs, vomiting and potential death if not treated.
Drinking water is very unlikely to cause death without an underlying medical condition or an extreme level of consumption such as a water contest.
Often people do not drink enough water, but a way to help with this is to use a water softener to reduce limescale and the effects it can have on the taste of water.