Symptoms, Causes and Treatment – Mount Vernon Democrat

Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in regulating levels of water and other substances in the body. When the level of sodium in the blood becomes too low, it leads to hyponatremia, which causes symptoms such as lethargy, confusion and fatigue.

Low sodium can result from underlying medical conditions, such as kidney failure, or other factors, including drinking too much water or taking certain medications.
As the disease worsens, affected individuals may experience symptoms such as:

– vomiting
– muscle twitching

– seizures.

The definition of low sodium is less than 135 milliequivalents per liter (meq/l). Severe hyponatremia occurs when the level is below 125 meq/l. Health problems resulting from extremely low sodium levels can be fatal.

Symptoms of a lack of sodium

Mild hyponatremia may not cause symptoms, but when they do they can be:

– confusion
– lethargy
– a headache
– tiredness and lack of energy
– nausea
– restlessness
– irritability

Complications of a lack of sodium

If the symptoms of hyponatremia worsen, they can lead to serious illness, disability or, in extreme cases, death. Acute hyponatremia can also cause severe brain swelling that can lead to permanent disability or death. If the condition worsens, it can cause serious symptoms, especially in older people. Serious symptoms can include:

– vomiting
– muscle weakness, muscle spasms and twitching
– lethargy
– disorientation

Doctors also associate mild chronic hyponatremia with the following complications:

– lack of attention
– gait instability
– osteoporosis
– broken bones

Without proper treatment, people with hyponatremia can develop:

– rhabdomyolysis, where skeletal muscle tissue dies
– altered mental state
– epileptic seizures
– coma

What are the possible causes?

Other medical conditions and factors that can cause low sodium levels include

– loss of gastrointestinal fluid due to diarrhea or vomiting
– pancreatitis
– ob destruction of the small intestine
– certain medications, in particular diuretics or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
– causes of kidney problems, such as acute or chronic kidney failure
– congestive heart failure
– syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH), where the body makes too much antidiuretic hormone.

Taking ecstasy or MDMA, a recreational drug, also increases the risk of severe hyponatremia in some cases. And hyponatremia resulting from ecstasy use can be fatal, especially in women. Hormonal disorders are another known cause. These include Addison’s disease, which reduces the body’s production of the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. Additionally, hypothyroidism, which doctors characterize as low thyroid hormone levels, is another potential cause of hyponatremia.

Risk factors

Certain factors increase the risk of developing hyponatremia, including

– advanced age
– the presence of particular conditions, kidney, heart or liver disease
– taking certain diuretics, antidepressants or analgesics
– take ecstasy
– lifestyle factors, such as strenuous exercise, which can cause people to drink a lot of water quickly.

Diagnosis and when to see a doctor

People at risk of hyponatremia or who develop symptoms should see their doctor immediately as they may need urgent medical treatment. People with symptoms, including vomiting, seizures, or loss of consciousness, need immediate attention. They should call an ambulance or go to the nearest emergency room. To diagnose low sodium, a doctor will take a medical history, perform a physical exam, and order a blood test.
If the blood test shows mild hyponatremia, a healthcare professional will usually need to perform additional tests to determine the cause.

Treatment for hyponatremia involves restoring sodium levels and treating its cause.

Restoration of blood sodium levels

People with mild to moderate hyponatremia due to lifestyle or medication factors can raise their sodium levels to usual levels by drinking less and adjusting or changing their medications. People with severe symptoms often need to be hospitalized and given intravenous sodium therapy to bring their sodium levels back to normal. They may also need medication to treat seizures or other symptoms of hyponatremia.

Treat the underlying cause

Often the cause of hyponatremia is an underlying condition, which usually requires specific treatment. For example, if a person has liver disease, kidney disease, or heart disease, these conditions can be potential causes of hyponatremia. These conditions may require drug or surgical treatment.
People with a thyroid disorder can usually manage their symptoms and prevent hyponatremia and other complications with medication. They may also need to change their lifestyle.

How to Avoid Low Sodium

To avoid low sodium sodium in the blood, a person should

– avoid drinking excessive amounts of water
– consume sports drinks during intense efforts
– avoid taking ecstasy
– seek treatment for medical problems
– discuss medications with a doctor
– consult a doctor if the symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea persist.

Do you like our content?

Receive our latest publications free of charge and directly in your mailbox every day

About Antoine L. Cassell

Check Also

Learning Disabilities Treatment Market Size, Scope, Revenue, Opportunities and Growth by 2028 – Shanghaiist

New Jersey, United States – Verified Market Research recently released a new report titled Learning …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.