Readers ask: Why Do Elderly Have Low Sodium?

Hyponatremia is more common in older adults because they’re more likely to take medications or have medical conditions that put them at risk of the disorder. These risk factors include: Drugs that make you urinate more (diuretics) Some types of antidepressants.

What causes low sodium levels in the elderly?

What Causes Low Sodium in Elderly People? Medications such as diuretics, some types of antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications. Decreased liver, heart, or kidney function. Illnesses that can cause dehydration such as pneumonia.

Do sodium levels drop with age?

Analysis of plasma sodium values in healthy individuals has shown an age-related decrease of approximately 1 mEq/L per decade from a mean value of 141 ± 4 mEq/L in young subjects.

What is the most common cause of hyponatremia?

Hyponatremia is decrease in serum sodium concentration < 136 mEq/L (< 136 mmol/L) caused by an excess of water relative to solute. Common causes include diuretic use, diarrhea, heart failure, liver disease, renal disease, and the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH).

Why is sodium important for elderly?

Blood pressure, and therefore the risk of having a stroke or heart attack, significantly increases with age. As you get older it is important to keep salt intake as low as possible to help ensure that your blood pressure stays within a healthy range.

What causes sodium to drop?

A low sodium level has many causes, including consumption of too many fluids, kidney failure, heart failure, cirrhosis, and use of diuretics. Symptoms result from brain dysfunction.

What problems does low sodium cause?

Low blood sodium is common in older adults, especially those who are hospitalized or living in long-term care facilities. Signs and symptoms of hyponatremia can include altered personality, lethargy and confusion. Severe hyponatremia can cause seizures, coma and even death.

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Can an elderly person recover from low sodium?

Although there is no concrete evidence that the restoration of hyponatremia is associated with improved outcome, it is prudent to correct low sodium concentration even in “asymptomatic elderly individuals” because it is related to increased mortality and morbidity (eg, gait disturbances, falls, cognition impairment).

How long does it take to recover from low sodium?

Generally, low sodium is asymptomatic (does not produce symptoms), when it is mild or related to your diet. It can take weeks or months for you to experience the effects of low salt in your diet—and these effects can be corrected by just one day of normal salt intake.

How do you fix low sodium?

Treatment for low blood sodium

  1. cutting back on fluid intake.
  2. adjusting the dosage of diuretics.
  3. taking medications for symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and seizures.
  4. treating underlying conditions.
  5. infusing an intravenous (IV) sodium solution.

What are the warning signs of hyponatremia?

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.

Which organ is most affected by hyponatremia?

Hyponatremia occurs when your blood sodium level goes below 135 mEq/L. When the sodium level in your blood is too low, extra water goes into your cells and makes them swell. This swelling can be dangerous especially in the brain, since the brain cannot expand past the skull.

What is the fastest way to correct sodium?

In patients with severe symptomatic hyponatremia, the rate of sodium correction should be 6 to 12 mEq per L in the first 24 hours and 18 mEq per L or less in 48 hours. A bolus of 100 to 150 mL of hypertonic 3% saline can be given to correct severe hyponatremia.

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How do you raise your sodium level?

Options include:

  1. Intravenous fluids. Your doctor may recommend IV sodium solution to slowly raise the sodium levels in your blood.
  2. Medications. You may take medications to manage the signs and symptoms of hyponatremia, such as headaches, nausea and seizures.

What can elderly eat to increase sodium?

7 SURPRISINGLY HIGH SODIUM FOODS FOR SENIORS

  • #1: CEREAL. Most people think sugar is the ingredient to worry about with boxed cereals, but many have 180-300mg of salt per serving.
  • #2: BAGELS.
  • #3: PRE-MADE CAKES.
  • #4: VEGGIE BURGERS.
  • #5: PANCAKES.
  • #6: CERTAIN CHICKEN BREASTS.
  • #7: STORE BOUGHT COCKTAIL MIXES.

How much sodium does an 80 year old need?

How Much Sodium Should Older Adults be Getting? It is recommended to keep daily sodium intake between 1500-2000mg. It is crucial to read nutrition labels to know how much sodium is in a serving size.

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