A low level of sodium in your blood is termed as hyponatremia. Sodium is an essential mineral of your body that regulates the fluid balance and controls the blood pressure. It also controls your nerve functions and muscle contractions.
Hyponatremia may occur when there is an imbalance of either water or sodium. Several conditions or drinking too much water dilutes your sodium. As a result of sodium dilution, water levels rise in your body leading to swelling of the cells. The swelling may cause several health problems that range from mild to fatal conditions.
There are many factors that can cause low levels of sodium in your blood and include the following:
If the levels of sodium deplete gradually, then you may not experience any signs and symptoms. But if there is an abrupt decrease in the sodium levels, you may have following hyponatremia symptoms:
Sometimes, if the sodium levels drop rapidly, it may lead potential life-threatening diseases such as rapid brain swelling, coma, and death.
Factors that increase your risk of developing hyponatremia include the following:
Occasionally, your doctor suspect hyponatremia if you have neurological abnormalities. To confirm the diagnosis, your doctor might order blood test and urine tests; and also clinically assess the volume status in your body. The normal range of sodium in your blood is 135 to 145 mEq/L.
The hyponatremia treatment mostly depends on the underlying cause. If you’re diagnosed with moderate hyponatremia that may be due to your diuretics, drinking high amounts of water or diet, then your doctor might recommend lowering the intake of water or adjusts the dose of diuretics.
The treatment for severe and sudden decrease of sodium levels in your body includes the following: Your doctor might prescribe intravenous sodium infusion to increase the sodium levels in your blood. To manage the symptoms of hyponatremia such as headache and nausea, your doctor might recommend certain medications.
You can prevent hyponatremia by adopting few measures that are listed below: