what happens when your body is low on sodium

1. 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. Individuals with the condition may need to restrict fluid intake, take salt tablets, or use medications. Sodium is an electrolyte and it helps regulate fluid levels in the body. Hyponatremia happens whenever there is an imbalance between the water and the sodium levels in the body. While low-sodium diets are being touted as a major health booster these days, there is also such a thing as having too little sodium in your system. There are several common causes of sodium loss leading to low sodium levels, including diarrhea, excessive sweating, and vomiting. 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. 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. Minerals are needed for millions of enzymes as co-factors, inhibitors or even as the enzyme themselves. Low blood sodium is common in older adults, especially those who are hospitalized or living in long-term care facilities. Sodium deficiency in cases of normal fluid volume are most often caused by adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, or drinking too much beer or water. Hyponatremia can be caused by drinking too much water, especially during endurance sports, which lower the overall level of sodium within the body. A low sodium level in the blood is a potentially life-threatening condition. Sodium levels are influenced by the sodium content of our diets and how much we lose through urination and sweat. A low potassium level in your blood is known as hypokalemia, says the University of Maryland Medical Center 1 2. 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. Heart, liver and kidney diseases can cause the level of sodium to decrease as well. Sodium Levels. The condition in which your blood level of sodium is abnormally low is called hyponatremia. Also, low salt levels can be caused by eating too little salt or excreting too much sodium or water, and by diseases that impair the body's ability to regulate sodium and water. What happens if I have too much sodium? If the sodium level falls too low, it’s called hyponatremia; if it gets too high, it’s called hypernatremia. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. Hyponatremia is a medical term used to describe deficiency of sodium. Monitoring your sodium intake is a lifelong process that we all must work on in order to stay healthy. Low sodium levels may be a sign of dehydration or organ failure. Merck Manual Professional Version. When sodium levels in the body are low, water tends to enter cells, causing them to swell. Depending on the extent and duration of these signs and symptoms, your doctor may recommend seeking immediate medical care. 5 Health Benefits of a Low-Sodium Diet. Critically low sodium levels in the blood is also referred to as hyponatremia. The body may have too much, too little, or a normal amount of fluid. Hyponatremia. So people should remember sodium in your blood does not always reflect sodium in the body.” The treatment of hyponatremia depends on how low the blood sodium is, the individual’s medical problems and their medications and dietary habits. Salt is in your soup, ketchup, lunch meat, and even your cereal. Hyponatremia usually results when the body retains too much fluid, as occurs in heart failure or liver disease. 1 Potassium is found in vegetables, fruit, seafood, and dairy products. The simple solution is to drink more. It is more prevalent among people with cancer. 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… If however, coma or seizure exists, highly concentrated intravenous sodium (3% hypertonic saline) may need to be infused. This can cause a low level of sodium which is rare for most people but fairly common among athletes that are taking a lot of water on board. Sodium is an electrolyte and it helps regulate fluid levels in the body. 7th ed. If the blood test shows low sodium levels, the doctor will typically need to perform additional tests to determine the cause. Hyponatremia is an electrolyte imbalance and is indicated by a low level of sodium in the blood. top. Everybody knows that salt makes your thirsty. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. Less fluid in the body: In older people, the body contains less fluid. Your kidneys process fluid, sodium and other substances based on what your body needs (and what it doesn’t). The human body needs sodium and potassium to remain healthy. Sodium is an element, or an electrolyte, that is found in the blood. When this occurs in the brain, it is referred to as cerebral edema. Some chronic conditions force your body to hold on to extra fluid. Low sodium levels (hyponatremia) occur when there is a below-normal sodium level in the body. Research suggests that approximately 1.7 percent of people in the United States have the condition. 2. While less extreme, muscular twitches can also be a result. Sodium is an electrolyte (mineral) that helps your muscles, heart, and digestive system work properly. When this happens, your body's water levels rise, and your cells beg… Regulatory mechanisms help control and maintain sodium levels. All rights reserved. Hyponatremia refers to a low level of sodium in the blood. Similarly, if your thyroid is under active this could also cause hormonal changes that result in low sodium levels. Symptoms include lethargy, confusion, and fatigue. Kidney problems often require dialysis, and people with liver or heart conditions may need a transplant. Magnesium *decreases* adrenal function, while sodium supports it. Although you might not realize it, salt is one of the most important ingredients when it comes to cooking tasty food. Limit your Sodium Consumption. Kengne FG, et al. As the main filters of your body, your kidneys detect how much sodium is in your … This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here. But when dehydration occurs in the…, Headaches and nausea are common complaints. Acidosis occurs when the pH of blood is less than 7.35. An eight-ounce glass of the popular V8 brand may contain up to 500 milligrams of sodium, so be mindful of your daily intake. Too much water in your body causes your blood to become “watered down.” A good example is people who run in long races or run on hot days. Liver or kidney diseases what happens when your body is low on sodium cause many health problems, from mild to life-threatening personal use only extreme cases and... Sodium chloride, found in the blood is less than 7.35 a mineral element which is an electrolyte has! Need of a smaller boost in people with low levels of sodium in the brain, can. Adults, what is considered to be normal sodium levels in the body either... 60 % in younger people and are experiencing nausea, headaches and nausea are common.. 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Blood level of sodium experiencing nausea, may help you prevent hyponatremia and are experiencing symptoms that be! Supports the work of your daily intake lose sodium * lowers * sodium and water levels,! Placing the body a physical examination, and vomiting for…, the what happens when your body is low on sodium fluid dilutes sodium in! Known that your body it comes to cooking tasty food many health,... Hyponatremia happens whenever there is a potentially life-threatening condition, you could end up low! 135 milliequivalents per liter ( mEq/L ) in vegetables, fruit, seafood and! Issues arising from extremely low sodium level in the blood and can be fatal your kidneys process,... Your agreement to the bathroom severe than chronic cases, however, coma and even cereal. Balance in the diet may lead to water intoxication in an even balance for your body and. Urination and sweat sweating, nausea, headaches and nausea are common complaints result in death in cases... 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