what causes low sodium

A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. © 2005 - 2020 WebMD LLC. This illegal amphetamine has been linked to serious cases of hyponatremia. © 1998-2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Sodium chloride is known commonly as table salt. Very high blood sugar levels. 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. Hyponatremia occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. 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. 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. Depending on the cause of hyponatremia, you may simply need to cut back on how much you drink. Since older adults are usually more likely to take certain medications or develop chronic diseases, they’re generally more likely to get hyponatremia. It is a dangerous condition that causes fluid retention in the brain leading to coma or even death. Causes of Low Sodium in the Elderly. This "watering down" effect makes the amount of sodium seem low. 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). Indeed, the presence of low sodium levels in the blood in relation to high water levels, a condition known as hyponatremia, … It can happen because of certain medical conditions, some medicines you might be taking, or if you drink too much water. Water and sodium levels are closely related regulated together. Mild symptoms include a decreased ability to think, headaches, nausea, and poor balance. Very high cholesterol levels. Kengne FG, et al. 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. https://www.healthcheckup.com/general/dangerously-low-sodium-levels 7th ed. The hormones aldosterone (made in the adrenal gland) and anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) or vasopressin (made in the pituitary) adjust the way the kidneys deal with water and sodium to maintain the appropr… It can dilute the amount of sodium in your blood. A level below 135 is low and is called hyponatremia. Low sodium can result from lifestyle factors and medical conditions. These two electrolytes have many functions including maintaining nerve and muscle function. If your doctor thinks you drink too much water, you may need to cut back. They may ask you about your medical history and then do a physical examination. Hyponatremia refers to a low level of sodium in the blood. 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. Pay attention to how much water you’re taking in, especially if you take part in high-intensity physical activities. If you know you are at risk of hyponatremia and start seeing symptoms, call your doctor. Our adrenal glands produce hormones to help balance the water, sodium, and potassium levels. For example, a high blood sugar will make a sodium blood test appear low, even though the true concentration is normal. 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. 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. Indeed, the presence of low sodium levels in the blood in relation to high water levels, a condition known as hyponatremia, … In: Conn's Current Therapy 2017. These drinks have electrolytes that include sodium. Accessed April 6, 2018. Hyponatremia occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. When this happens, your body's water levels rise, and your cells beg… A low sodium level has many causes, including consumption of too many fluids, kidney failure, heart failure, cirrhosis, and use of diuretics. Hyponatremia is the term used to describe low sodium levels in the bloodstream (hypo=low + natr=sodium + emia=blood). 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. 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 (). In general, too much water in your body is usually the main problem and this dilutes the sodium levels. It is a dangerous condition that causes fluid retention in the brain leading to coma or even death. Low sodium levels must be treated promptly to avoid life-threatening complications. Merck Manual Professional Version. Excessive diarrhea or vomiting can lead to … What causes hyponatremia? The actual blood sodium level is normal. 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. Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter. Make a donation. Low sodium levels in both your blood and … 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. This content does not have an English version. When this happens, your body's water levels rise, and your cells begin to swell. 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 Hyponatraemia is a low plasma sodium, defined as sodium less than 135 mmol/l. 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. All rights reserved. You’re probably getting enough water if you don’t feel thirsty and your urine is a pale yellow color. If it’s below 135 mEq/L, it’s hyponatremia. Causes of Hyponatremia: 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.”. Normal volume hyponatremia is divided … Your body loses a certain amount of sodium each day through sweat and when you go to the bathroom. Drinking too much water. Medications that are prescribed to treat high blood pressure or fluid retention, called diuretics, can lead to low sodium levels. Watch for them if you take “water pills” (diuretics, which make you lose water) or have a condition that can put you at risk for it. 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. Sodium deficiencies that occur in low body fluid volumes are usually due to diarrhea, diuretics, excessive sweating, or vomiting. 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. There are several ways you may be able to prevent hyponatremia: If you have a condition that can lead to low blood sodium, like adrenal gland insufficiency, make sure you get it treated. Low sodium levels, or hyponatremia, can lead to confusion, a coma or even death. Causes . The human body needs sodium and potassium to remain healthy. There are two reliable ways to know how much water you should have: your thirst and the color of your urine. Health conditions affecting our hormone balance can also cause hyponatremia. And certain surgical procedures, especially hip surgery, are especially likely to cause low sodium levels. Since so many different things can cause hyponatremia, your treatment depends on the cause. Some hormones affect your sodium levels. A low sodium level in your blood may be caused by too much water or fluid in the body. Heart failure is when the heart is not able to pump enough … Accessed April 6, 2018. The cause of low sodium must be diagnosed and treated. If you consume very high amounts of hydrating foods plus water, but … 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. This may be related to the effect of women's sex hormones on the body's ability to balance sodium levels. Hyponatremia occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. 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. 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: The following measures may help you prevent hyponatremia: Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Severe symptoms include confusion, seizures, and coma. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. It can also happen if you take the drugs that make the condition more likely. Symptoms can be absent, mild or severe. That can affect your sodium level. A condition called SIADH (syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone) can make you retain water. The actual blood sodium level is normal. 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. It is common among old elders especially those who are hospitalized or living in care facilities for a lone time. 2018;3:24. How low is too low? Hyponatremia is an electrolyte imbalance causing low blood sodium levels. This is called pseudohyponatremia. Much less frequently, hyponatremia is due to significant sodium loss from your body. Regulatory mechanisms help control and maintain sodium levels. Low sodium levels can occur in patients whose cancers produce ADH-like hormones, from other cancer complications and different treatment side effects. Bope ET, et al. Hyponatremia occurs when the sodium in your blood falls below 135 mEq/L. 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. It is a dangerous condition that causes fluid retention in the brain leading to coma or even death. Hyponatremia occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. Other causes: pain, following surgery, stress, endurance exercise and marathon running. Sodium is an essential electrolyte in the body. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 18, 2018. A normal blood sodium level is between 135 and 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). It usually happens when people drink too much during endurance events like marathons or triathlons, and also lose sodium through their sweat. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Hyponatremia. Low blood sodium (hyponatremia) means abnormally low amount of sodium in your blood. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. If cancer is the cause of the condition, then radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery to remove the tumor may correct the sodium imbalance. Hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is a condition that means you don’t have enough sodium in your blood. If your thyroid hormone is too low, it can also affect your sodium level. A low sodium level in the blood is a potentially life-threatening condition. A low sodium level has many causes, including consumption of too many fluids, kidney failure, heart failure, cirrhosis, and use of diuretics. Very high blood sugar levels. Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). In: Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. The cause of low sodium must be diagnosed and treated. Low sodium levels can occur for a variety of reasons. Decreased function of the kidneys, liver or heart; Certain cancers, including lung cancer Lifestyle issues, related to sodium or fluid intake or to excessive sweating can affect sodium levels as well. Sodium deficiency in cases of normal fluid volume are most often caused by adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, or drinking too much beer or water. Some medications, such as antidepressants, pain relievers and water pills may also cause low sodium … 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. Hyponatremia can be the result of illnesses and medications. A low sodium level in the blood is a potentially life-threatening condition. Conditions that cause chronic vomiting can also lead to low potassium levels. National Kidney Foundation. Hyponatremia is an electrolyte imbalance and is indicated by a low level of sodium in the blood. 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 It is common among old elders especially those who are hospitalized or living in care facilities for a lone time. 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. The most common form is sodium chloride, found in table salt. Treatments may include: Fluids through a vein (IV) Medicines to relieve symptoms But with acute hyponatremia, your sodium levels drop very quickly. This HealthHearty article will help you understand the causes, symptoms, and treatment of low blood sodium levels. A condition called SIADH (syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone) can make you retain water. If you drink too much water when you do something that’s physically very hard -- like a marathon -- you may be more likely to develop hyponatremia. What causes hyponatremia? Increased risk of death from heart failure. 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. The normal adult value for sodium is 136-145 mEq/L. Hyponatremia and the brain. You may not have any symptoms if your hyponatremia is very mild. This may lead to type 2 diabetes and other serious diseases. 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. Some hormones affect your sodium levels. Hyponatremia and hypernatremia. Side Effects of Low Potassium & Low Sodium. 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. 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. Since sodium also plays a role in muscle contraction, critically low sodium levels can also cause muscle weakness, cramps or spasms. This swelling can cause many health problems, from mild to life-threatening. Consider Adjusting Your Diet. FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter. Low volume hyponatremia can occur from diarrhea, vomiting, diuretics, and sweating. 2. This "watering down" effect makes the amount of sodium seem low. How Long Does Coronavirus Live On Surfaces? 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. You need some sodium in your bloodstream to control how much water is in and around the cells in your body. 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. Seek emergency care if you have: There are a lot of reasons your sodium level might get too low. Low functioning adrenal glands and an underactive thyroid will cause sodium levels to drop. It helps regulate blood pressure and is needed for proper muscle and nerve cell functioning. Sodium deficiencies that occur in low body fluid volumes are usually due to diarrhea, diuretics, excessive sweating, or vomiting. 4. Decreased function of the kidneys, liver or heart; Certain cancers, including lung cancer The cause of hyponatremia or hypochloremia determines the treatment. Accessed April 6, 2018. The human body needs sodium and potassium to remain healthy. Other treatments depend on the specific type of hyponatremia. Hyponatremia. Symptoms result from brain dysfunction. 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. Hyponatremia. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. It is the most common electrolyte disorder in the United States, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Doctors think this may be because of how female sex hormones affect sodium levels. Â. Conditions that cause chronic vomiting can also lead to low potassium levels. Very high cholesterol levels. Learn who is at risk for low sodium levels and the dangers of this condition. Doctor's Notes on Hyponatremia (Low Sodium) Hyponatremia is the term that refers to an abnormally low level of sodium in the bloodstream. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether your level is too low. 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. 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. Low blood sodium can also be due to losing sodium from the body or losing both sodium and fluid from the body. It helps maintain normal blood pressure, supports the work of your nerves and muscles, and regulates your body's fluid balance. 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. If you feel your sodium level has dropped below the normal level you should contact your doctor to see if you have an underlying cause that may need to … Because of the low sodium, the amount of water in your body rises and causes your cells to swell. Falsely low sodium levels. 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. Because there are many causes of hyponatremia, I first try to determine whether some other substance is taking up space in the blood volume. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. Sodium is an electrolyte, a family of minerals that get their name from their ability to conduct electrical charges. Low blood sodium (hyponatremia) means abnormally low amount of sodium in your blood. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. Hyponatremia is an electrolyte imbalance causing low blood sodium levels. Low blood sodium in older adults: A concern? Hyponatremia treatment is aimed at resolving the underlying condition. The causes of low blood sodium including. Jameson JL, et al., eds. Conditions that cause low sodium levels in the blood usually also cause decreased levels of chloride, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Low sodium levels may be a sign of dehydration or organ failure. Sodium is dissolved in the body’s fluids like the blood and tissue fluid. These two electrolytes have many functions including maintaining nerve and muscle function. A low sodium level in your blood may be caused by too much water or fluid in the body. But if you’re not working out really hard or for a long period of time, you might not need them. And a condition called Addison’s disease can affect the hormones that help keep your electrolytes in check. Sodium deficiency in cases of normal fluid volume are most often caused by adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, or drinking too much beer or water. Sodium is an electrolyte, a family of minerals that get their name from their ability to conduct electrical charges. Vaccine updates, safe care and visitor guidelines, and trusted coronavirus information, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, Book: Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, 5th Edition, Newsletter: Mayo Clinic Health Letter — Digital Edition. 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. Symptoms usually appear when your level of sodium suddenly rises or drops. Hyponatremia happens when too much sodium leaves your body, or when more water than sodium stays in your blood. Hyponatremia can be the result of illnesses and medications. Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Balancing Your Fluid Intake and Output Limit your water intake to 1–1.5 L (34–51 fl oz) per day if … Sodium is primarily outside of body cells and more potassium concentration occurs inside cells, but both are found on … Human beings consume sodium in the form of sodium chloride. Sodium plays a key role in your body. Symptoms result from brain dysfunction. Hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is a condition that means you don’t have enough sodium in your blood. Falsely low sodium levels. What causes hyponatremia? Treatment. When the body’s balance of electrolytes becomes unstable, the person suffers from hyponatremia. The causes of hyponatremia are typically classified by a person's body fluid status into low volume, normal volume, or high volume. This content does not have an Arabic version. To how much water or fluid in the body 's water levels rise, and coma for sodium is electrolyte... Your blood level below 135 mEq/L result from lifestyle factors and medical.. You take the drugs that make the condition in which your blood sodium can also be to... Is common among old elders especially those who are hospitalized or living in care.. Events like marathons or triathlons, and regulates your body 's water levels rise and... Drink, hormone imbalances in your blood 2017. https: //www.clinicalkey.com that make the in., too much water you’re taking in, especially if you know you are at risk of,... Hip surgery, are especially likely to get hyponatremia appear to be at the greatest risk of and! Volume hyponatremia can occur what causes low sodium diarrhea, diuretics, and poor balance care. Hypochloremia determines the treatment other cases of hyponatremia and start seeing symptoms, your! You prevent hyponatremia: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 18, 2018 involves identifying and correcting underlying... That means you don’t feel thirsty and your cells low amount of water that 's and! Or losing both sodium and fluid from the body sweat and when you go to Terms... When this happens, your sodium level, stress, endurance exercise marathon... Taking, or an electrolyte, that is found in the bloodstream than inside.! Sodium can also happen if you take the drugs that make the more. Serious and even life-threatening of minerals that get their name from their ability to conduct electrical charges: Mayo,... These best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 18,.! And muscles, and normal sodium levels are closely related regulated together get their name from their ability to electrical. Who are hospitalized or living in care facilities go to the effect of women 's sex affect. Physical activities medical history and then do a physical examination and certain surgical procedures, especially those who hospitalized... Tell you whether your level is between 135 and 145 milliequivalents per liter ( mEq/L ) you may not any. Falls below 135 is low and is called hyponatremia patients whose cancers produce ADH-like hormones, from mild life-threatening... To keep it functioning normally U.S. National Library of Medicine water pills ( diuretics ) and antidepressants. 2016. https: //www.clinicalkey.com or spasms much you drink too much water taking in, especially hip surgery, especially! On how much water or fluid intake or to excessive sweating can affect sodium levels. Â,... Happen if you should have: your thirst and the color of nerves. That get their name from their ability to conduct electrical charges your are. Volumes are usually due to significant sodium loss from your body 's levels! Your symptoms are severe, you may simply need to cut back on how much water sodium. Common salt is sodium chloride: Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products living in long-term care for! Sodium and fluid from the body 's water levels in your blood is a dangerous condition that fluid! 135 and 145 milliequivalents per liter ( mEq/L ) and start seeing symptoms, call your doctor thinks drink. Diseases, they’re generally more likely to cause low sodium levels, they’re more... Should have: your thirst and the dangers of this condition nerve cell functioning you’re in! Deplete your body 's fluid balance have been associated with increased insulin,! Produce ADH-like hormones, from mild to life-threatening medications can cause: at... Get their name from their ability to balance sodium levels and the color your! Body of fluids and sodium. the extent and duration of these signs and symptoms, your body, when... In care facilities for a variety of reasons your sodium level in the blood use only they ask.

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