Sodium is an electrolyte that helps to control the amount of water in and around the cells in your body. Sodium plays a crucial role in maintaining blood pressure, supporting the nerves and muscles, and regulates the body’s fluid balance.
If the sodium in your blood is too low, you have a condition called hyponatremia.
What are normal and abnormal levels?
Normal blood sodium levels: 135-145 milliequivalents/litre
Hyponatremia: Sodium levels less than 135 milliequivalents/litre
What causes hyponatremia?
Various factors cause low sodium levels- but one major and common cause of this condition is drinking too much water. Yes, excess water causes the sodium in your body to become diluted, and when this happens, your body’s water levels rise, and cells begin to swell. This swelling can cause various health problems.
Heart, liver, and kidney disorders can cause fluids to accumulate in the body, lowering the overall levels
Certain medications like diuretics antidepressants and pain medications interfere with the normal range of sodium levels
Severe vomiting, diarrhoea, and dehydration
Hormonal changes – insufficiency of a gland called adrenaline affects its ability to produce hormones that maintain levels of an electrolyte such as sodium, potassium, and water.
Symptoms of hyponatremia
These symptoms imply low levels of sodium –
Loss of energy, drowsiness, and fatigue
Nausea or vomiting
Muscle cramps or spasms
Severe cases can lead to seizures or coma
Diagnosis of hyponatremia
The doctors ask about medical history and perform a physical examination. As the signs and symptoms of hyponatremia or low sodium levels are similar to other health conditions, it is impossible to diagnose the condition based on the physical test alone.
Hence to confirm the low blood sodium, your doctor will order tests like blood tests and urine tests.
Treatment of hyponatremia
Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Here are a few recommendations from the doctors-
Dietary changes and cutting down water intake
Intravenous fluids are recommended to raise blood sodium levels slowly
Medications for managing symptoms such as seizures, nausea, and headaches
Prevention of hyponatremia
Treat conditions associated with low sodium levels.
Educate yourself about hyponatremia and look for signs and symptoms.
Limit water intake- water is essential for health, but we shouldn’t overdo it.
Consider having sports beverages during intense physical activities.
To know more about ‘All You Need to Know About Stress Incontinence’, Click Here To know more about how WhiteCoats can help you in your professional advancement, visit www.whitecoats.com Want to set up an online consultation for your practice, Click Here