If your muscles are not able to get rid of waste products, like lactic acid because of your low blood sodium levels, then those waste products stay in the muscles causing cramps, spasms and weakness. Sodium is an electrolyte mineral that influences fluid level, nerve function and muscle activity. National Kidney Foundation. Accessed April 6, 2018. If you are experiencing symptoms that can be associated with low blood sodium, contact your provider. nutrition a-z: top foods. They may also require drugs to treat seizures or other hyponatremia symptoms. All rights reserved. Hyponatremia refers to a low level of sodium in the blood. This condition particularly arises because of dehydration in the body. Sodium is not just an element but an important element for the human body. Premenopausal women appear to be at the greatest risk of hyponatremia-related brain damage. Salt may make your meal taste good, but too much of it can lead to inflammation from fluid retention. Abnormally low sodium could also be a sign of Addison’s disease, a condition that happens when your adrenal glands on top of your kidneys become damaged, minimizing certain hormones in your body. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. SIADH usually requires ongoing treatment to prevent hyponatremia. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. When symptoms occur they include: If the condition worsens, it can cause severe symptoms, particularly in older adults. Normal Levels This content does not have an English version. What causes Low Sodium Levels in the Body? Analysis of patient data reveals most common complications of COVID-19, Winter holidays away from the motherland: Effects on migrants' mental health, How gut microbes contribute to good sleep, In Conversation: Volunteering for a COVID-19 vaccine trial. Sodium Levels. 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 congestive heart failure. People with congestive heart failure, kidney and liver diseases may have an excess of fluid accumulating in the body that dilutes the sodium within the body. Learning how to season properly is an art form — too little salt means the flavor won't pop, and too much salt will overwhelm the dish. © 1998-2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). The body may have too much, too little, or a normal amount of fluid. Mag *lowers* sodium and further decreases adrenal activity. The main role of sodium is an electrolyte that maintains fluid balance in the body. This situation arises if there is too much fluid in the body, as the fluid leads to dilution of sodium, or if the sodium levels are too low in the body. Sodium usually has a negative connotation to it, but in actuality, sodium is necessary for many functions of your body. What causes hyponatremia? High levels indicate hyperchloremia, while low levels…, Drinking too much water can lead to water intoxication, which can be fatal. It manages numerous functions including blood pressure, nerve functions and muscle functions. Other medical conditions and factors that can cause sodium levels to fall include: diarrhea or vomiting heart failure kidney disease liver disease medication use syndrome of inappropriate ADH secretion (SIADH) Depending on the cause of hyponatremia, you may simply need to cut back on how much you drink. HTMA is about balancing in the long run, not taking massive doses of any one nutrient. Critically low sodium levels in the blood is also referred to as hyponatremia. However, there are some ways to help your body process and flush out sodium when it is in your body. The simple solution is to drink more. A normal blood sodium level is between 135 and 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). Severe symptoms may include: Hyponatremia can result in death in extreme cases. Electrolytes need to be maintained in an even balance for your body to function properly. When the two symptoms occur together, a range of health issues may be responsible, including migraines…, Gatorade contains electrolytes that rehydrate people after exercise, but it also contains sugar and artificial colors. 1. For example, people with severe vomiting or diarrhea lose sodium. To improve their outlook, people should be aware of the symptoms of hyponatremia and seek prompt medical attention if they experience any of them. When the body’s balance of electrolytes becomes unstable, the person suffers from hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is a medical term used to describe deficiency of sodium. Acute hyponatremia, which develops quickly, is more severe than chronic cases, which have a longer onset time. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/hyponatremia. The outlook for people with low sodium levels depends on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause. Those at risk of low sodium levels should be especially vigilant. Learn who is at risk for low sodium levels and the dangers of this condition. Hyponatremia and hypernatremia. In: Conn's Current Therapy 2017. Hyponatremia occurs when the body contains too little sodium for the amount of fluid it contains. Drinks enriched with sodium such as vegetable juices can boost your blood sodium levels. Hyponatremia is the most common electrolyte disorder that doctors encounter. A simple blood test is all that is required to test for sodium levels in the body. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Hyponatremia is a condition where a person has low sodium levels, which can increase the risk of drinking too much water. Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Kengne FG, et al. Could telomere shortening protect against cancer? Sodium deficiencies that occur in low body fluid volumes are usually due to diarrhea, diuretics, excessive sweating, or vomiting. A low sodium level in the blood is a potentially life-threatening condition. A low sodium level in the blood is a potentially life-threatening condition. Drinks enriched with sodium such as vegetable juices can boost your blood sodium levels. One thing that is recommended is to limit your sodium intake to five grams or less every day, as advised by the World Health Organization, as eating salt-preserved foods like meat and vegetables can cause stomach cancer. While less extreme, muscular twitches can also be a result. Doctors usually order the bicarbonate test together with other electrolytes, such as sodium, chloride, and potassium, or together with blood gases and blood pH, explains Lab Tests Online. Test Results According to “Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests with Nursing Implications,” the normal sodium level in the blood is 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter of blood. A decrease in blood sodium concentration, also called hyponatremia, can cause seizures, while low potassium levels in the bloodstream, or hypokalemia, can lead to heart problems. While sodium is an important mineral, it can have adverse effects on the body when present in higher or lower than normal levels. Keep Your Kidneys Healthy. Everybody knows that salt makes your thirsty. The body continually maintains a specific concentration of sodium in the blood and fluids. What Happens to Your Body When You Reduce Salt Intake? When this happens, the additional fluid dilutes sodium levels, making your sodium level seem low on a blood test. Bope ET, et al. Those who have mild to moderate hyponatremia resulting from lifestyle factors or medication may be able to increase sodium to normal levels by: Individuals with severe symptoms often require hospitalization and an intravenous (IV) sodium treatment to get their sodium levels back to normal. Magnesium *decreases* adrenal function, while sodium supports it. Call your doctor if you know you are at risk of hyponatremia and are experiencing nausea, headaches, cramping or weakness. Doctors usually order the bicarbonate test together with other electrolytes, such as sodium, chloride, and potassium, or together with blood gases and blood pH, explains Lab Tests Online. It helps regulate blood pressure and is needed for proper muscle and nerve cell functioning. While sodium in the diet is often thought of in a negative way, the fact is that sodium plays an important role in the body's processes, and without it we would die. sodium level and water go hand in hand--changes in salt levels are usually a change in the balance of water/fluid in the body. As the condition worsens, people may experience symptoms, such as: Severe hyponatremia occurs when levels drop below 125 mEq/L. When the sodium levels fall below the normal level of 135 mEq/L, it is known that your body has low sodium levels. Low blood sodium in older adults: A concern? Heart, liver and kidney diseases can cause the level of sodium to decrease as well. Causes of Hyponatremia: Hyponatremia is a medical term used to describe deficiency of sodium. The following measures may help you prevent hyponatremia: Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Signs and symptoms of hyponatremia can include altered personality, lethargy and confusion. Sodium regulates the body's water pressure and balances, and transmits nerve impulses that allow muscles to move and contract. When you stop eating salt, quite a few things happen, as we often eat plenty of it in our day-to-day lives. The most common form is sodium chloride, found in table salt. Is Gatorade good or bad for…, The chloride levels in the blood should be 96 and 106 milliequivalents per liter (MEq/L). Hypokalemia, or low sodium, can occur when you lose too much sodium from the body or if you have an underlying medical issue that dilutes the amount of sodium in the body. nutrition a-z: genes. Kidney International Reports. The condition is known as hyponatremia. 2. Low serum sodium, or hyponatremia, is the term used to describe sodium levels in the blood lower than 135 mmol/L on a basic metabolic panel. 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