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.
What happens when sodium levels drop too low?
Hyponatremia occurs when sodium levels in the blood are too low. Symptoms include lethargy, confusion, and fatigue. It can result from underlying conditions, such as kidney failure, or other factors, such as drinking too much water or taking certain medications.
What happens if you have too little sodium in your body?
In severe cases, low sodium levels in the body can lead to muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Eventually, lack of salt can lead to shock, coma and death. Severe salt loss is very unlikely to happen because our diets contain more than enough salt.
Can a person recover from low sodium levels?
Hyponatremia can result from multiple diseases that often are affecting the lungs, liver or brain, heart problems like congestive heart failure, or medications. Most people recover fully with their doctor’s help.
How do you fix low sodium?
Treatment for low blood sodium
- cutting back on fluid intake.
- adjusting the dosage of diuretics.
- taking medications for symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and seizures.
- treating underlying conditions.
- infusing an intravenous (IV) sodium solution.
How do elderly increase sodium levels?
How to Increase Sodium Levels in Elderly People
- Adjust or change medications.
- Cut back on water and fluid consumption.
- Seek treatment for underlying conditions or diseases.
- Eat foods that are high in sodium.
- Increase dietary protein to aid in water excretion.
- Infusing an intravenous sodium solution.
What are the warning signs of hyponatremia?
Hyponatremia signs and symptoms may include:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Loss of energy, drowsiness and fatigue.
- Restlessness and irritability.
- Muscle weakness, spasms or cramps.
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.
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.
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.
Can low sodium cause stroke like symptoms?
Symptoms of hyponatremia can be indistinguishable from ischemic stroke and include changes in consciousness, seizure, or coma. Other neurological symptoms that are commonly associated with strokes, such as weakness, numbness, or uncoordinated movements, can also be seen with hyponatremia.
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.
Will eating more salt help hyponatremia?
In elderly patients with a diet poor in protein and sodium, hyponatremia may be worsened by their low solute intake. The kidney’s need to excrete solutes aids in water excretion. An increase in dietary protein and salt can help improve water excretion.
What can I drink to increase sodium levels?
8 Healthy Drinks Rich in Electrolytes
- Coconut water. Coconut water, or coconut juice, is the clear liquid found inside of a coconut.
- Watermelon water (and other fruit juices)
- Electrolyte-infused waters.
- Electrolyte tablets.
- Sports drinks.
Which fruit has high sodium?
Products made from these fruits like applesauce, apple juice, dried apples, jams made from apples and guavas are also sodium-rich. Avocados, papaya, mangoes, carambola, pineapple, bananas, watermelons and pears also contain sodium but in low quantities. Celery and beet are two vegetables with high sodium content.
What foods raise sodium levels?
- Smoked, cured, salted or canned meat, fish or poultry including bacon, cold cuts, ham, frankfurters, sausage, sardines, caviar and anchovies.
- Frozen breaded meats and dinners, such as burritos and pizza.
- Canned entrees, such as ravioli, spam and chili.
- Salted nuts.
- Beans canned with salt added.