Sodium is a mineral element which is an important part of the human body. Function of Sodium. Treatment depends on the cause. Normally, your sodium level should be between 135 and 145 milliequivalents per liter. Initial stages of low levels may not present any symptoms unless they drop rapidly. Falsely low sodium levels Very high cholesterol levels. syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone, 6 Little-Known Dangers of Restricting Sodium Too Much, 13 Foods That Are Good for High Blood Pressure, Raise Low Blood Pressure Naturally Through Diet, drinking too much water during exercise (this is very rare). 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. Losing sodium quickly is a medical emergency. A basic metabolic panel is often part of a routine physical. The recreational drug known as ecstasy can lead to a rapid drop in sodium levels that may result in death. If you’re an athlete, it’s important to drink the right amount of water during exercise. We’ve always been told we should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day to stay healthy. If you seek medical advice for any of these symptoms, you can expect a thorough examination by your physician. The results of this test will help your doctor determine the cause of your low blood sodium: Treatment for low blood sodium varies depending on the cause. Causes of Low Sodium Levels. This tests the amounts of electrolytes and minerals in your blood. All rights reserved. Certain factors increase your risk of low blood sodium, including: If you’re at risk for low sodium, you may need to be more careful about your intake of electrolytes and water. Hormone conditions such as syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) are among the main causes of low sodium levels. It controls the volume of fluid in the body and helps maintain the acid-base level. Symptoms and the condition of hyponatremia may be treated and possibly prevented with lifestyle choices and remedies. A diagnosis of hyponatremia may result from an osmolality (chemical) blood test, a urine osmolality, a comprehensive metabolic panel, or a urine sodium test. Since sodium also plays a role in muscle contraction, critically low sodium levels can also cause muscle weakness, cramps or spasms. Last medically reviewed on December 17, 2020. You should also consider drinking rehydration beverages like Gatorade or Powerade. Sodium and water levels in the body are tightly regulated to keep it functioning normally. The most common form is sodium chloride, found in table salt. If your sodium levels fall gradually, you may not experience any symptoms. If you have low blood pressure, you may want to consider changing your diet. It can cause loss of consciousness, seizures, and coma. Insufficient sodium in your blood is also known as hyponatremia. Sodium deficiency in cases of normal fluid volume are most often caused by adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, or drinking too much beer or water. Low blood sodium is common in older adults, especially those who … Hyponatremia occurs when sodium levels in the blood are too low. What Causes Low Blood Sodium Levels? Low sodium levels can also be due to fluctuations in hormone levels, according to Mayo Clinic. Some of the known causes of low sodium levels include: 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… This stage causes us to lose electrolytes such as sodium and other fluids. Certain health conditions can create an environment within our body where fluid retention is a major factor. These drinks contain electrolytes, and help replenish sodium lost through sweating. Drinks such as hot chocolate, flavored coffees, and fruit juices may have high sodium content but do not offer essential nutrients. It may include: Keeping your water and electrolyte levels in balance can help prevent low blood sodium. Low sodium in blood is medically referred to as hyponatremia and can lead to serious consequences if left untreated. A low sodium level has many causes, including consumption of too many fluids, kidney failure, heart failure, cirrhosis, and use of diuretics. Symptoms of low blood sodium can vary from person to person. You can keep your adrenal glands working properly by maintaining a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, coconut products, seaweed, and foods enriched in B vitamins. If you have any questions about low sodium levels and alcohol, please let us know and the team will gladly answer your questions. Hyponatremia or low sodium blood levels may result from 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 or … Symptoms include lethargy, confusion, and fatigue. A low sodium in blood level can lead to scary outcomes if ignored. In this brief article, we have talked about low sodium levels and alcohol, symptoms of low sodium levels and alcohol, causes of low sodium levels, and more information about low sodium levels and alcohol. Our adrenal glands also need appropriate sleep, rest, and exercise to produce sufficient hormones to balance the electrolyte levels. We include products we think are useful for our readers. It's most often caused by excessive vomiting. The recreational drug ecstasy, which is an amphetamine, can cause salt levels to become dangerously low. Over-the-counter and prescribed medications may have an adverse effect on the sodium levels in our blood. These drinks are also helpful if you lose a lot of fluids through vomiting or diarrhea. Hyponatremia is present when levels drop below 135 mEq/L. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. If your blood sodium levels are low but your urine sodium levels are high, your body is losing too much sodium. With low blood sodium (hyponatremia), the imbalance of water to sodium is caused by one of three conditions: Euvolemic hyponatremia -- total body water increases, but the body's sodium content stays the same Hypervolemic hyponatremia -- both sodium and water content in the body increase, but the water gain is greater As our blood sodium levels drop, it is important to take note of recent lifestyle changes, any existing or new health conditions, and possible effects of prescribed medication. But how much water you should actually drink is more…, Foods that are rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium can help lower blood pressure. The best sports drinks will have 100 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, and 28 milligrams of potassium in an eight-ounce serving. Lundman, S., “Is V8 Juice Good for You?” Livestrong, December 18, 2013; http://www.livestrong.com/article/409207-is-v8-juice-good-for-you/, last accessed April 11, 2017. Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***. Blood sodium levels can drop gradually or rapidly, depending on the underlying cause. Many people tend to be afraid with high level of sodium within their body. Strenuous exercise such as running can cause us to sweat profusely and replenishing with water may dilute our sodium content. Very high blood sugar levels. A blood test can help your doctor check for low sodium levels. When this happens, your body's water levels rise, and your cells beg… Hence, you should reduce the number of diuretics that you tend to intake. Hyponatremia may also be a symptom of certain medical conditions. Its symptoms are similar to those caused by dehydration. Health conditions affecting our hormone balance can also cause hyponatremia. It’s important to increase your fluid intake if: You should drink no more than 1 liter of water per hour. Sign Up for the Latest Health News and Tips, Home » General Health » Low Sodium in Blood (Hyponatremia): Definition, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment. Learn more about conditions associated with abnormal results. Our adrenal glands produce hormones to help balance the water, sodium, and potassium levels. Sodium plays a key role in your body function. 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 be treated. 10 Ways to Control Blood Sugar without Medication, Low Sodium in Blood (Hyponatremia): Definition, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyponatremia/basics/treatment/con-20031445, http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/drinks-increase-sodium-intake-10730.html, http://www.healthline.com/health/hyponatremia#1, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000394.htm, http://www.livestrong.com/article/409207-is-v8-juice-good-for-you/. On the flip side, we can easily become dehydrated by not drinking sufficient amounts of water. Other risk factors include consumption of the recreational drug Ecstasy, sudden exposure to a hot climate, or a strict low-sodium diet. drug induced low sodium FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here You have 3 open access pages. Causes of low sodium include: severe vomiting or diarrhea taking certain medications, including antidepressants and pain medications taking diuretics (water pills) Sodium concentration is higher in the bloodstream than inside cells. Hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is a condition that means you don’t have enough sodium in your blood. But why is it so important to maintain a good balance within your sodium levels in the body? Drugs A sodium level in the blood that is too low is dangerous and can cause seizures and coma. Here’s our process. Learn more about the medical uses for salt. taking medications for symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and seizures, infusing an intravenous (IV) sodium solution. Addison's disease can disrupt the balance of not only salt but also potassium and water. Most foods have sodium in them. When sodium levels drop slowly, the condition is called chronic hyponatremia and patients may experience nausea, vomiting, headache and confusion. The official hyponatremia definition is the lack of sodium in the blood necessary to regulate the water used by our cells. A sodium blood test is a routine test that allows your doctor to see how much sodium is in your blood. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. If they drop very quickly, your symptoms may be more severe. There is the problem of the critically low sodium levels being caused by many different reasons, including a number of health diseases and/or disorders. Although the American Heart Association estimates 97% of Americans consume too much sodium, hyponatremia is a common condition. Low sodium in your blood can cause a condition named Hyponatremia. People who suffer from SIADH produce excess amounts of the antidiuretic hormone (ADH). At first, people become sluggish and confused, and if hyponatremia worsens, they may have muscle twitches and seizures and become progressively unresponsive. The severity of the symptoms depends on how low the sodium levels are in the bloodstream and how quickly they fall. We'll…. “Drinks To Increase Sodium Intake,” San Francisco Gate; http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/drinks-increase-sodium-intake-10730.html, last accessed April 10, 2017. Don’t forget that it’s possible to drink too much water too quickly. Health conditions affecting our hormone balance can also cause hyponatremia. Men should aim for 3 liters. Regulatory mechanisms help control and maintain sodium levels. 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. The sodium levels in our blood become depleted as we sweat, and we may overcompensate by drinking too much water. Symptoms result from brain dysfunction. A normal sodium level is between 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). Hypernatremia is rare. It's also called a serum sodium test. Overhydration, or drinking too much water, is a potentially deadly condition. There are some suggestions for low sodium treatment at home, which also may help to prevent levels from dropping. Your body loses a certain amount of sodium each day through sweat and when you go to the bathroom. 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). Drugs like corticosteroids, laxatives, bicarbonate, and diuretics may also.Health conditions affecting … A urine sodium test can be used to determine your kidney function and level of hydration. Another important cause of low sodium is that if you are into taking a lot of diuretics, your levels of sodium will come down. When looking for high-sodium drinks to increase levels, limit beverages that do not have any nutritional benefit. There are artificial ways of getting sodium injected into the body. The […] Yes, it causes some problems including hypertension. Hyponatremia causes can be linked to direct and indirect factors. It occurs when your serum sodium level exceeds 145 mEq/L. Low sodium levels can be caused by a host of factors. Learn more about low sodium levels, risk factors… Treatment depends on the cause… Low functioning adrenal glands and an underactive thyroid will cause sodium levels to drop. If the levels aren’t restored, the person may suffer severe health consequences. Under a doctor’s care, or as an existing hospital patient, you may receive a prescribed dose of diuretics, a sodium solution through intravenous injection or pill form, for the symptoms. Our adrenal glands produce hormones to help balance the water, sodium, and potassium levels. Sodium chloride—also known as salt—is used in medical treatments such as IV infusions and catheter flushes. Low sodium levels can occur in patients whose cancers produce ADH-like hormones, from other cancer complications and different treatment side effects. Severe symptoms include confusion, seizures, and coma. This hormone plays a key role in water retention, but too much of it causes your body to store excess amounts of water. If your levels are abnormal, your doctor will order a urine test to check the amount of sodium in your urine. Low sodium levels may be a sign of dehydration or organ failure. Certain risk factors including age can also heighten the chance of developing low blood sodium levels. During a typical day, women should aim to drink 2.2 liters of fluids. 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Medications, medical conditions, and fluid loss from sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting can all lead to hyponatremia. It may identify low blood sodium in someone without any symptoms. What does it mean to have low blood sodium? Learn about causes, symptoms, treatments, and more. It’s caused less commonly by diabetes insipidus. Low sodium in the blood can cause confusion, lethargy, and nausea. Sodium deficiencies that occur in low body fluid volumes are usually due to diarrhea, diuretics, excessive sweating, or vomiting. Learn which foods to eat and what to avoid. Once the sodium level drops, our cells expand from the abundance of water present in the blood. It’s important for proper muscle and nerve function. It's often recommended to reduce sodium to lower blood pressure. Here are 6 reasons why restricting sodium too much can be harmful. Hyponatremia causes neurologic symptoms ranging from confusion to seizures to coma. Treatment. Drinks enriched with sodium such as vegetable juices can boost your blood sodium levels. In addition, some other medical conditions of major organs such as heart, liver, kidneys may also be some of the causes of hyponatremia. It occurs when a person doesn’t get enough water, either because of limited access to water or an impaired thirst mechanism. There are several common causes of low sodium, including diarrhea, excessive sweating, and vomiting . Metabolic alkalosis is a type of alkalosis that occurs when your blood becomes overly alkaline. It occurs when water and sodium are out of balance. Hyponatremia is a condition characterized by low levels of sodium in the blood. Hyponatremia is a low sodium concentration in the blood. We will next investigate hyponatremia causes. Older adults and young children are more susceptible to electrolyte and fluid imbalances. Sodium intake, ” Medline Plus ; https: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000394.htm, last accessed April 11, 2017, nausea... 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