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What Is Hyponatremia And What Are Its Causes

Hyponatremia is the condition in which the concentration of sodium in the blood becomes low to abnormal levels. Sodium helps to regulate the water amount in and around your body cells. It is an electrolyte. In this condition, one or more factors are involved in the dilution of sodium in your body.

The water level in your body enhances when this condition occurs. As a result, cells start swelling, which leads to different health issues. These health issues can be mild to life-threatening. The goal of the treatment of hyponatremia is to resolve this condition.

You may need to reduce the amount of drinking water to solve this issue. In other cases, doctors may recommend medications and intravenous electrolyte solutions.

Symptoms

People with hyponatremia can have headaches, energy loss, vomiting and nausea, fatigue, and restlessness. They can experience muscle weakness and cramps, seizures, and even coma. Anyone who is experiencing severe symptoms needs immediate medical care.

The severe symptoms include seizures, vomiting, nausea, and loss of consciousness. Call the doctor if you think you are at risk of developing hyponatremia. Moreover, if you experience weakness, nausea, cramping, and headache, consult the doctor to plan a good treatment for you.

Causes

Sodium plays a vital role in your body. It helps to regulate blood pressure and fluids and supports your muscles and nerves. The normal range of blood sodium levels is 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter. 

When the sodium present in your blood falls below 135, you will have hyponatremia. Many lifestyle factors and other conditions cause hyponatremia. These factors are:

Medications

Some medications like water pills, pain medications, and antidepressants can affect the kidney and normal hormonal processes. It keeps concentrations of sodium healthy and normal.

Liver, Heart, And Kidney Problems

Congestive failure of the heart and certain other diseases play an important role in affecting kidneys and liver. These diseases cause the accumulation of fluids in your body. It dilutes the sodium within your body and lowers its levels.

Syndrome Of Inappropriate Anti-Diuretic Hormone (SIADH)

In this condition, an individual has high production of anti-diuretic hormones. It influences the body to retain water instead of excreting it regularly through urine.

Chronic Diarrhea Or Vomiting And Other Dehydration Causes

People with these conditions lose electrolytes like sodium. The level of ADH increases.

Drinking Excessive Water

Drinking water in excessive amounts can lower-sodium by affecting the ability of kidneys to excrete water. People lose sodium through drinking, performing other activities, and sweating. It dilutes the content of sodium in your body.

Changes In Hormones

Insufficiency of the adrenal gland affects the ability of the adrenal gland to produce hormones that work to maintain the balance of water, potassium, and sodium in your body. Low thyroid hormone can cause a reduction in the level of sodium in the blood.

Risk Factors

Following are the risk factors that can make you vulnerable to developing the condition of hyponatremia.

Age

People of old age are vulnerable to have hyponatremia because they take certain medications that increase the sodium imbalance within the body.

Drugs

Certain medications enhance the risk of hyponatremia, including thiazide diuretics, pain medications, and some antidepressants. 

Prevention

Following measures are important to prevent the condition of hyponatremia.

  • Treat Certain Associated Conditions: It is important to treat the associated conditions that work to contribute to hyponatremia, like insufficiency of the adrenal gland can help prevent the low sodium level in the blood.
  • Get Information About The Condition: It is important to educate yourself about the conditions involved in increasing the risk of hyponatremia. Be aware of the symptoms that show low levels of sodium in the blood. Talk to your doctor about medications risks.
  • Be Careful During High-Intensity Activities: It is important to take precautions while doing high-intensity activities. Athletes should drink more fluids because they lose them during the race.
  • Drink Moderate Amount Of Water: Water is important for your health, even life. Make sure you are drinking enough water or other fluids. Do not drink fluids in excessive amounts. Your thirst and urine color tell you if you need to drink more water. 

Do not ignore the condition of hyponatremia. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, seek immediate medical care. Your medical health care specialist will plan the best treatment for you. Early diagnosis and treatment save you from getting complications. 

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