What is it?

Hyponatremia occurs when the concentration of sodium in the blood is abnormally low. Sodium is an electrolyte, and it helps regulate the amount of water that's in and around the cells.
In hyponatremia, one or more factors- ranging from an underlying medical condition to drinking too much water- cause the sodium in your body to become diluted. When this happens, your body's water levels rise, and your cells begin to swell. This swelling can cause many health problems, from mild to life-threatening.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Low Blood Sodium

Signs & symptoms

Hyponatremia signs and symptoms may include:
* Nausea and vomiting
* Headache
* Confusion
* Loss of energy, drowsiness and fatigue
* Restlessness and irritability
* Muscle weakness, spasms or cramps
* Seizures
* Coma

Diagnosis

The doctor will start by asking about your medical history and doing a physical examination.
However, because the signs and symptoms of hyponatremia occur in many conditions, it's impossible to diagnose the condition based on a physical exam alone. To confirm low blood sodium, your doctor will order blood tests and urine tests.

Treatment

Hyponatremia treatment is aimed at addressing the underlying cause, if possible.
If you have moderate, chronic hyponatremia due to your diet, diuretics or drinking too much water, your doctor may recommend temporarily cutting back on fluids. He or she may also suggest adjusting your diuretic use to increase the level of sodium in your blood.
If you have severe, acute hyponatremia, you'll need more-aggressive treatment. Options include:
* Intravenous fluids- Your doctor may recommend IV sodium solution to slowly raise the sodium levels in your blood. This requires a stay in the hospital for frequent monitoring of sodium levels as too rapid of a correction is dangerous.
* Medications- You may take medications to manage the signs and symptoms of hyponatremia, such as headaches, nausea and seizures.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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