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Hyponatremia: Signs, Causes, and Remedies

What Is Hyponatremia?

Hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is a situation which means you don’t have sufficient sodium in your blood. You want some sodium in your bloodstream to manage how a lot water is in and across the cells in your physique.

It may occur due to sure medical circumstances, some medicines you is likely to be taking, or when you drink an excessive amount of water.

Due to the low sodium, the quantity of water in your physique rises and causes your cells to swell. This will result in many issues. Some are gentle, however others will be critical and even life-threatening.

How low is just too low? Your blood sodium stage is regular if it’s 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). If it’s under 135 mEq/L, it’s hyponatremia. Your physician will be capable of let you know whether or not your stage is just too low.

Hyponatremia Signs

You might not have any signs in case your hyponatremia could be very gentle. Signs normally seem when your stage of sodium immediately rises or drops.

Indicators of hyponatremia could embody:

If you’re prone to hyponatremia and begin seeing signs, name your physician. In case your signs are extreme, it’s possible you’ll want instant care. Search emergency care if in case you have:

Hyponatremia Causes

There are quite a lot of causes your sodium stage may get too low. These embody:

  • Medicines. Water tablets (diuretics) and a few antidepressants and ache medicines could make you pee or sweat extra. That may have an effect on your sodium stage.

  • Well being issues. Coronary heart failure and kidney or liver illness can have an effect on the quantity of fluids in your physique, and in flip, your stage of sodium.

  • Bouts of persistent, extreme diarrhea or vomiting can deplete your physique of fluids and sodium. 

  • Hormone imbalances. Some hormones have an effect on your sodium ranges. A situation known as SIADH (syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone) could make you keep water. And a situation known as Addison’s illness can have an effect on the hormones that assist preserve your electrolytes in test. In case your thyroid hormone is just too low, it might additionally have an effect on your sodium stage.

  • Consuming an excessive amount of water. It may dilute the quantity of sodium in your blood. It normally occurs when folks drink an excessive amount of throughout endurance occasions like marathons or triathlons, and in addition lose sodium via their sweat.

  • Ecstasy/molly (MDMA). This unlawful amphetamine has been linked to critical circumstances of hyponatremia.

Hyponatremia Threat Components

Since older adults are normally extra prone to take sure medicines or develop persistent illnesses, they’re typically extra prone to get hyponatremia. However at any age, you’re extra prone to get it if in case you have sure circumstances, together with:

  • Kidney illness

  • Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH)

  • Coronary heart failure

  • Diabetes insipidus

  • Cushing’s syndrome

  • Major polydipsia, a psychiatric situation that makes you need to drink a number of water 

It may additionally occur when you take the medicine that make the situation extra seemingly.

In case you drink an excessive amount of water once you do one thing that’s bodily very laborious — like a marathon — it’s possible you’ll be extra prone to develop hyponatremia.

Hyponatremia Prognosis

As a result of the signs of hyponatremia can range a lot from individual to individual, your physician will most likely order blood and urine exams to verify the analysis. They might ask you about your medical historical past after which do a bodily examination. However they’ll have to see your check outcomes to be sure you have hyponatremia.

Hyponatremia Remedies

Since so many various issues may cause hyponatremia, your remedy will depend on the trigger.

In case your physician thinks you drink an excessive amount of water, it’s possible you’ll want to chop again. In case you take diuretics, your physician could make a change in your remedy so the sodium in your blood can return to a standard stage.

In case your hyponatremia got here on immediately and it’s extreme, you’ll want emergency remedy to spice up your sodium stage and monitoring to make it possible for it occurs safely. You might want to remain within the hospital and have:

  • IV infusion with a sodium resolution to slowly increase ranges in your blood over a number of days

  • Prescription medicines to manage issues like complications, nausea, or seizures

Hyponatremia Problems


In case you get hyponatremia usually (persistent hyponatremia), your sodium ranges are prone to drop very slowly over a number of days and also you’re much less prone to have problems. However with acute hyponatremia, your sodium ranges drop in a short time. This will trigger:

  • Fast mind swelling

  • Coma

  • Demise

You’re at increased threat of getting mind harm from hyponatremia when you’re a lady who hasn’t gone via menopause. Medical doctors suppose this can be due to how feminine intercourse hormones have an effect on sodium ranges.  

Hyponatremia Prevention

There are a number of methods you might be able to forestall hyponatremia:

  • You probably have a situation that may result in low blood sodium, like adrenal gland insufficiency, be sure you get it handled.

  • Know the signs of hyponatremia. Look ahead to them when you take “water tablets” (diuretics, which make you lose water) or have a situation that may put you in danger for it.

  • Take note of how a lot water you’re taking in, particularly when you participate in high-intensity bodily actions. There are two dependable methods to understand how a lot water it is best to have: your thirst and the colour of your urine. You’re most likely getting sufficient water when you don’t really feel thirsty and your urine is a pale yellow shade.

Ask your physician when you ought to drink sports activities drinks as a substitute of water whereas doing intense bodily actions. These drinks have electrolytes that embody sodium. However when you’re not understanding actually laborious or for a protracted time frame, you won’t want them.

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