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Hyponatremia
(Low Blood Sodium)

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Hyponatremia facts

  • Hyponatremia refers to a low level of sodium in the blood.
  • Hyponatremia 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.
  • Symptoms are nonspecific and can include mental changes, headache, nausea and vomiting, tiredness, muscle spasms, and seizures.
  • Severe hyponatremia can lead to coma and can be fatal.
  • Treatment of hyponatremia involves intravenous fluid and electrolyte replacement, medications to manage the symptoms of hyponatremia, as well as any treatments for the underlying cause.

What is hyponatremia (low blood sodium)?

Hyponatremia refers to a lower-than-normal level of sodium in the blood. Sodium is essential for many body functions including the maintenance of fluid balance, regulation of blood pressure, and normal function of the nervous system. Hyponatremia has sometimes been referred to as "water intoxication," especially when it is due to the consumption of excess water, for example during strenuous exercise, without adequate replacement of sodium.

Sodium is the major positively charged ion (cation) in the fluid outside of cells of the body. The chemical notation for sodium is Na. When combined with chloride (Cl), the resulting substance is table salt (NaCl).

The normal blood sodium level is 135 - 145 milliEquivalents/liter (mEq/L), or in international units, 135 - 145 millimoles/liter (mmol/L). Results may vary slightly among different laboratories.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/4/2013

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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/hyponatremia/article.htm

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