Hyponatremia is a medical term used to describe a condition when the sodium level in a person’s body is extremely low. The human body needs sodium and some other electrolytes to ensure the proper transportation of water throughout the body. It is an essential element of body which is required to maintain homeostasis.
Normal level of sodium in blood is around 135 mmol/L, when the sodium level gets lower than 135 mmol/L, the body begins experiencing various problems depending on severity of low sodium and rate of decline of sodium levels in the body.
Some of the most common symptoms of hyponatremia are as follows:
Signs and Symptoms
- Confusion and hallucinations
- Spasms in muscle
- Restlessness and irritability
The signs mentioned above appear when the sodium level fluctuates. In some cases, the symptoms can be intense. However, some of them can be serious and even life-threatening to the person experiencing them. Hence, it is advised that if a person shows such symptoms, they must immediately visit the best neurology hospital in India and get a diagnosis done to avoid any unfortunate situation.
There are various causes that can affect the sodium level in a body. Some of them include:
- Heart, kidney and liver problems:
Diseases of heart, kidney and liver can cause accumulation of fluids in the body. This leads to the dilution of the sodium; hence, lowering the sodium level in the body.
Medications are one important and common cause of low sodium levels specially in elderly population. Certain medications including antidepressants, blood pressure lowering medications, diuretics (medications which increase urine output) and pain medications can cause the person to urinate more than usual.
The lack of water in the body interrupts the electrolytes making them lose faster; thereby causing hyponatremia. This can occur due to lose motions, excessive vomiting, excessive sweating example in case of extreme high temperature.
- Too Much Water
It is not just dehydration but also drinking too much water that can lead to hyponatremia. An uncommon cause of hyponatremia is excessive water drinking.
- Syndrome of Inappropriate Anti-Diuretic Hormone (SIADH)
In this condition, the body starts producing high levels of ananti-diuretic hormone which leads to the retention of water instead of its normal excretion through urine.
- Diarrhoea or Vomiting
During vomiting and other conditions like diarrhea, the body loses fluids and electrolytes like sodium which may lead to hyponatremia.
- Changes in Hormones
Addison’s disease affects the body’s balance of sodium, potassium and water. Moreover, even low level of thyroid hormone also affects the sodium level in the body. Low level of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) is a very common problem.
- Ecstasy Drug
A recreational amphetamine, it can significantly raise the risk of severe hyponatremia.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The symptoms of hyponatremia can vary from person to person. Therefore, to determine the accurate condition, the doctors will conduct several tests including blood and urine test. A physical examination and information about the medical history of the patient is also a part of the diagnosis process. The right approach is to get a detailed history of circumstances and a detailed clinical and neurological examination. To get the best diagnosis, one can go to the best neurology hospital in Indiaand consult a trusted doctor.
As per the reports of the diagnosis, the doctor will then go about the treatment options that are suitable for the patient. In a severe case, the patient might need to stay in the hospital for the treatment.
Treatment options will depend primarily on the cause of low sodium. It can be as simple as stopping the medication which is the culprit, to starting a medication to prevent recurrent low sodium levels. Other common strategies include replacing Sodium with intravenous fluids in case of water loss, administering concentrated sodium containing fluids, or starting measures to remove excessive fluids which are causing low sodium due to dilution. Even very rapid correction of low sodium levels can be very hazardous and hence right approach is of utmost importance for a safe recovery.
Preventing hyponatremia is not impossible and can be done through several ways. Some of the best ways include:
- Getting awareness: It is important to know about such condition so that one can keep the precautionary facts in mind and avoid hyponatremia.
- Being careful during high-intensity activities: When involved in activities like race, people should drink only as much water as they lose through sweating.
- Drinking water in moderation: There is no denial in fact that water is important for a healthy body; however, it is not good to over drink. So, keeping moderation in drinking water is quite essential.
- Preferring sports beverage: During marathons or any other high-intensity activity, people should consider a beverage that contains electrolyte to prevent hyponatremia.
- Treat associated conditions: If a person is suffering from a condition that increases the risk of hyponatremia, they should get the treatment in time to avoid any fatal health complication.
By staying informed about Hyponatremia, one can keep themselves away from falling prey to this condition.
*Article is for information purpose only .