Thursday, October 26, 2006

Low blood sodium (Na), Hyponatremia

Hyponatremia is an abnormally low concentration of sodium in the blood. Severe hyponatremia may lead to rapid swelling of the brain, which can be fatal. Low blood sodium is common in older adults. This is due to age-related changes and increased prevalence of chronic disease that may impair the body's normal sodium balance.

Potential causes of hyponatremia include:
  • Medications such as certain diuretics, antidepressants and pain medications
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency)
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Cirrhosis
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart failure
Signs and symptoms of hyponatremia include:
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased consciousness or coma
Because these signs and symptoms are nonspecific and occur in many conditions, the only way a doctor can confirm low blood sodium is by a blood test.

Treatment of hyponatremia is directed at the underlying cause, if it can be identified and corrected. Your doctor may advise you to temporarily cut back on fluids to increase blood sodium levels.

1 comment:

nitrile exam gloves said...

Thanks for the symptomic analysis...this really helps to know what has happened to the body.Gastroenteritis is really very painful an dangerous to health.