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Hyponatremia – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Correction

Written by Dr.Mary

What is Hyponatremia?

This is a disorder that happens when the sodium level in the blood is atypical low.


Sodium is a type of electrolyte and it aids in regulating the water amount that is around and in the cells. With hyponatremia, one or more of these factors – extending from a medical problem that is underlying, to consuming too much water during sports that cause a great deal of stamina – causing the body sodium to become diluted. This causes the body’s level of water rises and the cells start to swell. This swelling may cause many problems with health, from very mild to quite severe.

Hyponatremia Symptoms

Hyponatremia signs and symptoms can consist of:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of energy
  • Headache
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Muscle weakness, cramps or spasms
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma

Hyponatremia Causes

The electrolyte sodium plays a main role in the body. It aids in maintain normal pressure of the blood, helps the work of the muscles and nerves and regulates the body’s balance of fluid.

If sodium level’s in the blood fall too low, additional water will enter the cells, causing them to swell. Cells swelling in the brain is very dangerous due to the brain being confined by the bones of the skull and are unable to expand without causing problems.

Many conditions and lifestyle factors may lead to hyponatremia including:

  • Some medications – such as antidepressants and pain medications
  • Water pills or diuretics – particularly thiazide diuretics.
  • Liver disease known as cirrhosis
  • Kidney problems such as kidney diseases and kidney failure make it hard to eliminate excessive fluids from the body.
  • Heart failure that is congestive
  • “Syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone” or SIADH
  • Consuming too much water while exercising
  • Changes in hormones due to adrenal gland insufficiency known as Addison’s disease
  • Changes in hormones due to thyroid problems
  • Primary polydipsia
  • A recreational drug known as Ecstasy
  • Chronic, severe diarrhea or vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Diet – such as a high- water, low-sodium diet

All of these causes either make the water level in the body to drop too low or to be extremely high – either which can cause other problems.

Hyponatremia Treatment

Treatment for this condition is focused on managing the underlying cause, if possible.

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If the individual has modest, but chronic hyponatremia due to diuretics, drinking too much water, or diet, your physician may recommend cutting back on the fluids. He/she might also advise adjusting your diuretic use to rise the level of sodium in the blood.

If you have acute severe hyponatremia, you will need treatment that is more forceful. Options include:

Intravenous fluids

The physician may advise intravenous (IV) administration of saline solution to raise the sodium levels.

Medications

You might need medications to manage the symptoms and signs of hyponatremia, such as nausea, headache and seizures.

Therapy with hormone

If Addison’s disease is the cause of your hyponatremia, you might need to take hormones to replace this deficiency.

Hyponatremia Correction

The following steps might help to prevent hyponatremia:

  • Treat any associated disorders.
  • Educate yourself.
  • Take safety measures during activities that are high-intensity.
  • Deliberate on drinking sports beverages during any activities that are demanding activities
  • Consume water in balance. Thrist and urine color usually the best ways to know how much water you need.

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