Hyponatremia– Sodium in an extremely important mineral in the body. It is an electrolyte which helps in regulation of amount of water in and around the cells of the body. Sodium is also extremely important for blood pressure regulation. Sodium is also required by nerves, muscles, and other tissues of the body for adequate functioning. Hyponatremia is a pathological condition in which there is a depletion of sodium levels in the body.
What Is Hyponatremia?
Hyponatremia as stated is a medical condition which develops when there is abnormal depletion in the levels of sodium in the blood. Hyponatremia can be caused either due to an underlying medical condition or consumption of excessive water during sporting activities.
How Is Hyponatremia Caused?
In Hyponatremia, the salt-water imbalance is usually caused by one of the three factors mentioned below:
- Euvolemic Hyponatremia: In this condition, the sodium percentage in the body remains the same but the percentage of water increases
- Hypervolemic Hyponatremia: In this condition, the content of both sodium and water increases but the percentage of increase in water is more than sodium
- Hypovolemic Hyponatremia: In this, there is loss of both water and sodium from the body but there is more loss of sodium from the body
Hyponatremia Can Also Be Caused By:
- Excessive burns
- Use of diuretics
- Heart failure
- Kidney disease
- Cirrhosis of liver
What Are Some Of The Symptoms Of Hyponatremia?
Symptoms Of Hyponatremia Include:
- Periods of confusion
- Excessive fatigue
- Appetite loss
- Muscle cramping
- Weakness of muscles
How Is Hyponatremia Diagnosed?
To diagnose Hyponatremia, the treating physician will do a detailed physical examination to look for a cause for the symptoms. The treating physician will also order investigations which are as follows:
- Blood osmolality
- Urine osmolality
- Urine sodium
What Are The Treatments For Hyponatremia?
For treatment of Hyponatremia, the underlying cause for it must be identified and treated.
Treatments For Hyponatremia Include:
- IV fluids
- Use of medication for relief of symptoms
- Restriction of water intake
What Is The Prognosis And Complications Of Hyponatremia?
The prognosis of Hyponatremia is dependent on the underlying cause. Acute Hyponatremia, which occurs very rapidly, is the most dangerous form than Hyponatremia that develops gradually and with time. This is because, when the levels of sodium start to fall gradually the brain cells have time to adjust and here is very minimal swelling of the cells.
In Severe Instances Of Hyponatremia, The Following Complications May Occur:
- Decreased level of consciousness
- Brain herniation
What Are The Ways To Prevent Hyponatremia?
One of the ways to prevent Hyponatremia is to treat the condition causing it. Apart from that, consumption of electrolytes, especially in active sportsmen is also imperative.