It is a dangerous condition that causes fluid retention in the brain leading to coma or even death. The actual blood sodium level is normal. Know the symptoms of hyponatremia. Sodium is an electrolyte, and it helps regulate the amount of water that's in and around your cells.In hyponatremia, one or more factors — ranging from an underlying medical condition to drinking too much water — cause the sodium in your body to become diluted. Since sodium also plays a role in muscle contraction, critically low sodium levels can also cause muscle weakness, cramps or spasms. Conditions that cause chronic vomiting can also lead to low potassium levels. Causes of Hyponatremia: They may ask you about your medical history and then do a physical examination. At first, people become sluggish and confused, and if hyponatremia worsens, they may have muscle twitches and seizures and become progressively unresponsive. Treatments may include: Fluids through a vein (IV) Medicines to relieve symptoms Low sodium levels, or hyponatremia, can lead to confusion, a coma or even death. National Kidney Foundation. If cancer is the cause of the condition, then radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery to remove the tumor may correct the sodium imbalance. Depending on the cause of hyponatremia, you may simply need to cut back on how much you drink. What causes hyponatremia? Some medications, such as antidepressants, pain relievers and water pills may also cause low sodium … Symptoms result from brain dysfunction. A low sodium level in the blood may result from excess water or fluid in the body, diluting the normal amount of sodium so that the concentration appears low. Usually the hyponatremia is mild, with blood plasma sodium levels ranging from 130 to 135 mg/dl, but in about 10% of all hospitalizations low sodium levels are severe, below 130 mg/dl. Symptoms usually appear when your level of sodium suddenly rises or drops. This type of hyponatremia can be the result of chronic conditions such as kidney failure (when excess fluid cannot be efficiently excreted) and congestive heart failure, in which excess fluid accumulates in the body. Sodium is essential for proper functioning of bodily systems. A low sodium level in your blood may be caused by too much water or fluid in the body. A diet that is low in sodium Drinking too much water or receiving too much fluid through an IV Intense and prolonged exercise that causes excessive sweating Medical conditions, such as Addison disease, kidney disease, congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, or cancer Sodium is an electrolyte, a family of minerals that get their name from their ability to conduct electrical charges. That can affect your sodium level. Symptoms can be absent, mild or severe. Hyponatremia. Kengne FG, et al. While low-sodium diets are being touted as a major health booster these days, there is also such a thing as having too little sodium in your system. Regulatory mechanisms help control and maintain sodium levels. The human body needs sodium and potassium to remain healthy. It can happen because of certain medical conditions, some medicines you might be taking, or if you drink too much water. Several health issues and medications can cause low blood levels of sodium and chloride. Hyponatremia can be the result of illnesses and medications. It can dilute the amount of sodium in your blood. A low sodium level has many causes, including consumption of too many fluids, kidney failure, heart failure, cirrhosis, and use of diuretics. Mild symptoms include a decreased ability to think, headaches, nausea, and poor balance. But at any age, you’re more likely to get it if you have certain conditions, including: Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH), Primary polydipsia, a psychiatric condition that makes you want to drink lots of waterÂ. Sodium is dissolved in the body’s fluids like the blood and tissue fluid. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. This may be related to the effect of women's sex hormones on the body's ability to balance sodium levels. Sodium is an electrolyte, and it helps regulate the amount of water that's in and around your cells.In hyponatremia, one or more factors — ranging from an underlying medical condition to drinking too much water — cause the sodium in your body to become diluted. A normal blood sodium level is between 135 and 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). The scientific name of common salt is sodium chloride. Abnormally low sodium could also be a sign of Addison’s disease, a condition that happens when your adrenal glands on top of your kidneys become damaged, minimizing certain hormones in your body. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. It is generally defined as a sodium concentration of less than 135 mmol/L (135 mEq/L), with severe hyponatremia being below 120 mEq/L. Doctor's Notes on Hyponatremia (Low Sodium) Hyponatremia is the term that refers to an abnormally low level of sodium in the bloodstream. The most common form is sodium chloride, found in table salt. Ecstasy/molly (MDMA). But if you’re not working out really hard or for a long period of time, you might not need them. Sodium is an electrolyte, and it helps regulate the amount of water that's in and around your cells. Severe symptoms include confusion, seizures, and coma. These include: Medications. Low blood sodium can also be due to losing sodium from the body or losing both sodium and fluid from the body. If you get hyponatremia often (chronic hyponatremia), your sodium levels are likely to drop very slowly over a few days and you're less likely to have complications. Human beings consume sodium in the form of sodium chloride. There are several hormonal issues that can cause low sodium. Hyponatremia occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. Hyponatremia. All rights reserved. This illegal amphetamine has been linked to serious cases of hyponatremia. When this happens, your body's water levels rise, and your cells begin to swell. Low sodium levels must be treated promptly to avoid life-threatening complications. Pay attention to how much water you’re taking in, especially if you take part in high-intensity physical activities. Accessed April 6, 2018. Much less frequently, hyponatremia is due to significant sodium loss from your body. Because there are many causes of hyponatremia, I first try to determine whether some other substance is taking up space in the blood volume. Hyponatraemia is a low plasma sodium, defined as sodium less than 135 mmol/l. Maintaining proper sodium levels in your blood is critical to health. If you take diuretics, your doctor may make a change in your treatment so the sodium in your blood can go back to a normal level. Jameson JL, et al., eds. Since older adults are usually more likely to take certain medications or develop chronic diseases, they’re generally more likely to get hyponatremia. Kidney International Reports. Other causes: pain, following surgery, stress, endurance exercise and marathon running. Other medical conditions and factors that can cause sodium levels to fall include: diarrhea or vomiting heart failure kidney disease liver disease medication use syndrome of inappropriate ADH secretion (SIADH) Sodium chloride is known commonly as table salt. Sodium is an electrolyte, a family of minerals that get their name from their ability to conduct electrical charges. A decrease in blood sodium concentration, also called hyponatremia, can cause seizures, while low potassium levels in the bloodstream, or hypokalemia, can lead to heart problems. Low blood sodium (hyponatremia) means abnormally low amount of sodium in your blood. Hyponatremia happens when too much sodium leaves your body, or when more water than sodium stays in your blood. Causes of low sodium in the blood Sodium is an essential electrolyte and here are some possible reasons including lifestyle factors behind the decrease in sodium level in the body: Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. Because the symptoms of hyponatremia can vary so much from person to person, your doctor will probably order blood and urine tests to confirm the diagnosis. 4. Hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is a condition that means you don’t have enough sodium in your blood. Hyponatremia occurs when the sodium in your blood falls below 135 mEq/L. The human body needs sodium and potassium to remain healthy. Sodium is an electrolyte, and it helps regulate the amount of water that's in and around your cells. Some are mild, but others can be serious and even life-threatening. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Having an underactive thyroid, which causes the gland to secrete inadequate amounts of thyroid hormones, can trigger a low sodium level. Too much water in your body causes your blood to become “watered down.” A good example is people who run in long races or run on hot days. In: Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. Cancers such as small cell lung carcinoma, pancreatic cancer, lymphoma and certain brain tumors can cause a condition known as the syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone (SIADH) secretion. The causes of low sodium levels include drinking too much water; disorders of the heart, liver or kidney; and certain medications such as diuretics, according to the Mayo Clinic. https://www.healthcheckup.com/general/dangerously-low-sodium-levels it is the most common disorder of electrolytes encountered in clinical practice: occurs in up to 15% to 30% of both acutely and chronically hospitalised patients Accessed April 6, 2018. Many possible conditions and lifestyle factors can lead to hyponatremia, including: The following factors may increase your risk of hyponatremia: In chronic hyponatremia, sodium levels drop gradually over 48 hours or longer — and symptoms and complications are typically more moderate. Other causes: pain, following surgery, stress, endurance exercise and marathon running. © 1998-2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). In addition, hypochloremia can result from metabolic alkalosis or chronic respiratory acidosis, conditions that affect the acidity level of the blood, Dr. Weiner says.Hypochloremia occurs when there’s a low level of chloride in your body. And certain surgical procedures, especially hip surgery, are especially likely to cause low sodium levels. In: Conn's Current Therapy 2017. This content does not have an Arabic version. But with acute hyponatremia, your sodium levels drop very quickly. Low functioning adrenal glands and an underactive thyroid will cause sodium levels to drop. Because of the low sodium, the amount of water in your body rises and causes your cells to swell. What causes hyponatremia? Heart failure and kidney or liver disease can affect the amount of fluids in your body, and in turn, your level of sodium. It is a dangerous condition that causes fluid retention in the brain leading to coma or even death. Low sodium levels can occur for a variety of reasons. Low sodium levels may be a sign of dehydration or organ failure. Hyponatremia or low sodium blood levels may result from excess fluid in the body relative to a normal amount of sodium, or it may be due to a loss of sodium and body fluid caused by chronic conditions like kidney or congestive heart failure. This HealthHearty article will help you understand the causes, symptoms, and treatment of low blood sodium levels. If your doctor thinks you drink too much water, you may need to cut back. A low sodium level in your blood may be caused by too much water or fluid in the body. It is common among old elders especially those who are hospitalized or living in care facilities for a lone time. When this happens, your body's water levels rise, and your cells beg… Your blood sodium level is normal if it’s 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). But they’ll need to see your test results to make sure you have hyponatremia. Low sodium in the body, also known as hyponatremia, is caused by hormonal changes; dehydration; heart, kidney and liver problems; or chronic, severe diarrhea or vomiting, according to Mayo Clinic. Hyponatremia and the brain. Hyponatremia occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. While low sodium levels are not the only cause of muscular cramps, painful twitches and cramps, especially in the legs, are a common symptom of hyponatremia. Hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is a condition that means you don’t have enough sodium in your blood. Low sodium can result from lifestyle factors and medical conditions. If your symptoms are severe, you may need immediate care. Decreased function of the kidneys, liver or heart; Certain cancers, including lung cancer Hyponatremia is an electrolyte imbalance causing low blood sodium levels. Sodium concentration is higher in the bloodstream than inside cells. Since so many different things can cause hyponatremia, your treatment depends on the cause. Balancing Your Fluid Intake and Output Limit your water intake to 1–1.5 L (34–51 fl oz) per day if … Low sodium blood levels may be caused by excess fluid in the body relative to a normal amount of sodium, or it may be due to a loss of sodium and body fluid caused by chronic conditions like kidney failure or congestive heart failure (CHF). There are several common causes of sodium loss leading to low sodium levels, including diarrhea, excessive sweating, and vomiting. How low is too low? 7th ed. For example, a high blood sugar will make a sodium blood test appear low, even though the true concentration is normal. Bouts of chronic, severe diarrhea or vomiting can deplete your body of fluids and sodium.Â. Hyponatremia is an electrolyte imbalance causing low blood sodium levels. FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter. While low sodium levels are not the only cause of muscular cramps, painful twitches and cramps, especially in the legs, are a common symptom of hyponatremia. Ask your doctor if you should drink sports beverages instead of water while doing intense physical activities. Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Sodium deficiencies that occur in low body fluid volumes are usually due to diarrhea, diuretics, excessive sweating, or vomiting. Causes of Low Sodium in the Elderly. Symptoms result from brain dysfunction. And a condition called Addison’s disease can affect the hormones that help keep your electrolytes in check. Causes of low sodium in the blood Sodium is an essential electrolyte and here are some possible reasons including lifestyle factors behind the decrease in sodium level in the body: It can happen because of certain medical conditions, some medicines you might be taking, or if you drink, Hormone imbalances. You may not have any symptoms if your hyponatremia is very mild. Low volume hyponatremia can occur from diarrhea, vomiting, diuretics, and sweating. Bope ET, et al. How Long Does Coronavirus Live On Surfaces? In general, too much water in your body is usually the main problem and this dilutes the sodium levels. If you consume very high amounts of hydrating foods plus water, but … Seek emergency care if you have: There are a lot of reasons your sodium level might get too low. This content does not have an English version. This is called pseudohyponatremia. Very high blood sugar levels. Health problems. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Sodium and water levels in the body are tightly regulated to keep it functioning normally. There are several common causes of sodium loss leading to low sodium levels, including diarrhea, excessive sweating, and vomiting.Medications that are prescribed to treat high blood pressure or fluid retention, called diuretics, can lead to low sodium levels. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/endocrine-and-metabolic-disorders/electrolyte-disorders/hyponatremia. Low sodium levels are often seen among the elderly, especially within those who are living in long-term facilities or staying at the hospital for any health-related reason. Hyponatremia is an electrolyte imbalance causing low blood sodium levels. The cause of hyponatremia or hypochloremia determines the treatment. Low serum sodium, or hyponatremia, is the term used to describe sodium levels in the blood lower than 135 mmol/L on a basic metabolic panel. Lifestyle issues, related to sodium or fluid intake or to excessive sweating can affect sodium levels as well. This situation arises if there is too much fluid in the body, as the fluid leads to dilution of sodium, or if the sodium levels are too low in the body. The body needs the electrolyte minerals potassium and sodium to help make nerve and muscle cells work properly. These two electrolytes have many functions including maintaining nerve and muscle function. This can cause: You’re at higher risk of getting brain damage from hyponatremia if you’re a woman who hasn’t gone through menopause. The following measures may help you prevent hyponatremia: Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Side Effects of Low Potassium & Low Sodium. Premenopausal women appear to be at the greatest risk of hyponatremia-related brain damage. National Kidney Foundation: “Electrolyte Imbalance.”, Medscape: “How does ecstasy, or MDMA, induce hyponatremia?” “What causes hypervolemic hypernatremia?”, UpToDate: “Treatment of central diabetes insipidus.”, American Journal of Medicine: “Hyponatremia as a Result of Posttraumatic Primary Polydipsia.”. Low blood sodium is common in older adults, especially those who are hospitalized or living in long-term care facilities. Very high cholesterol levels. Falsely low sodium levels. When the body’s balance of electrolytes becomes unstable, the person suffers from hyponatremia. It usually happens when people drink too much during endurance events like marathons or triathlons, and also lose sodium through their sweat. Very high blood sugar levels. In acute hyponatremia, sodium levels drop rapidly — resulting in potentially dangerous effects, such as rapid brain swelling, which can result in a coma and death. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 18, 2018. Low blood sodium in older adults: A concern? The causes of low sodium levels include drinking too much water; disorders of the heart, liver or kidney; and certain medications such as diuretics, according to the Mayo Clinic. A low sodium level in the blood is a potentially life-threatening condition. Sodium is an element, or an electrolyte, that is found in the blood. A low sodium level in the blood is a potentially life-threatening condition. If it’s below 135 mEq/L, it’s hyponatremia. There are two reliable ways to know how much water you should have: your thirst and the color of your urine. It is common among old elders especially those who are hospitalized or living in care facilities for a lone time. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here. And a condition called Addison’s disease can affect the hormones that help keep your, Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion, Because the symptoms of hyponatremia can vary so much from person to person, your doctor will probably order blood and, Prescription medications to control problems l, If you have a condition that can lead to low, Ask your doctor if you should drink sports beverages instead of water while doing intense physical activities. This is controlled along with the water levels in the body fluids by increasing water intake with stimulation of thirst and regulating the water excretion through the urine. Low sodium levels in both your blood and … The normal adult value for sodium is 136-145 mEq/L. The cause of low sodium must be diagnosed and treated. It is the most common electrolyte disorder in the United States, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Low sodium blood levels may be caused by excess fluid in the body relative to a normal amount of sodium, or it may be due to a loss of sodium and body fluid caused by chronic conditions like kidney failure or congestive heart failure (). Hyponatremia is a low sodium concentration in the blood. It helps maintain normal blood pressure, supports the work of your nerves and muscles, and regulates your body's fluid balance. Low blood sodium (hyponatremia) occurs when you have an abnormally low amount of sodium in your blood or when you have too much water in your blood. Sodium plays a key role in your body. In these cases the result for the blood sodium will be low but that is due to interference from the high cholesterol or sugar levels. The results of this test will help your doctor determine the cause of your low blood sodium: If your blood sodium levels are low but your urine sodium levels are high, your body is losing too much sodium. Low blood sodium (hyponatremia) means abnormally low amount of sodium in your blood. Hormone imbalances. The causes of low blood sodium including. You need some sodium in your bloodstream to control how much water is in and around the cells in your body. A condition called SIADH (syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone) can make you retain water. Depending on the extent and duration of these signs and symptoms, your doctor may recommend seeking immediate medical care. Hyponatremia signs and symptoms may include: Seek emergency care for anyone who develops severe signs and symptoms of hyponatremia, such as nausea and vomiting, confusion, seizures, or lost consciousness. A low sodium level has many causes, including consumption of too many fluids, kidney failure, heart failure, cirrhosis, and use of diuretics. Drinking too much water. When serum sodium is high (usually because total body water is low), ADH is released, causing the kidneys to conserve water and therefore a concentrated urine is excreted. Health conditions affecting our hormone balance can also cause hyponatremia. Hyponatremia occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. Hyponatremia is the term used to describe low sodium levels in the bloodstream (hypo=low + natr=sodium + emia=blood). Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter. At first, people become sluggish and confused, and if hyponatremia worsens, they may have muscle twitches and seizures and become progressively unresponsive. Make a donation. The reason for that is because a lot of the times, we see the risk factors and causes that we mentioned earlier among the elderly. Low sodium diets have been associated with increased insulin resistance, a condition that causes higher blood sugar and insulin levels. The causes of low blood sodium including. Learn who is at risk for low sodium levels and the dangers of this condition. Our adrenal glands produce hormones to help balance the water, sodium, and potassium levels. In these cases the result for the blood sodium will be low but that is due to interference from the high cholesterol or sugar levels. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether your level is too low. These drinks have electrolytes that include sodium. When this happens, your body's water levels rise, and your cells begin to swell. It is a dangerous condition that causes fluid retention in the brain leading to coma or even death. It helps regulate blood pressure and is needed for proper muscle and nerve cell functioning. Hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is a condition that means you don’t have enough sodium in your blood. These drinks have, Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts. Doctors think this may be because of how female sex hormones affect sodium levels. Â. A condition called SIADH (syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone) can make you retain water. Other treatments depend on the specific type of hyponatremia. You may not be staying properly hydrated or you may suffer from an underlying condition that makes it difficult for your body to regulate adequate sodium levels.. Read on to learn more about the main causes of low sodium levels and how an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS can manage dehydration caused by sodium imbalances. Hyponatremia is an electrolyte imbalance and is indicated by a low level of sodium in the blood. This may lead to type 2 diabetes and other serious diseases. Causes . A decrease in blood sodium concentration, also called hyponatremia, can cause seizures, while low potassium levels in the bloodstream, or hypokalemia, can lead to heart problems. Some hormones affect your sodium levels. This "watering down" effect makes the amount of sodium seem low. Accessed April 6, 2018. The condition in which your blood level of sodium is abnormally low is called hyponatremia. It can also happen if you take the drugs that make the condition more likely. © 2005 - 2020 WebMD LLC. Consider Adjusting Your Diet. If your hyponatremia came on suddenly and it’s severe, you’ll need emergency treatment to boost your sodium level and monitoring to make sure that it happens safely. Been linked to serious cases of hyponatremia and are what causes low sodium nausea, and poor balance chronic! Normal sodium levels can occur for a lone time sodium less than 135 mmol/l potassium to remain healthy Mayo... 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If you drink too much during endurance events like marathons or triathlons and!