How is low sodium treated?

In an emergency setting, low sodium is most often treated with the introduction of a sodium chloride solution into the bloodstream through intravenous (IV) delivery. Additional treatment will depend on the underlying causes of low sodium levels.

For more moderate cases of low sodium, your health care provider may suggest restricting your water intake or prescribing medications that treat low sodium.

If you are taking diuretic medications for high blood pressure or for other reasons, your health care provider will check your sodium levels on a regular basis and may suggest changes in your medication regimen if you develop mild hyponatremia.

What are the potential complications of low sodium?

Complications of untreated or poorly controlled low sodium can be serious, even life threatening in some cases. You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care provider design specifically for you. Complications of low sodium include:

  • Brain damage
  • Impaired balance and coordination
  • Seizures and tremors
  • Unconsciousness and coma

References:

  1. Hyponatremia. PubMed Health, a service of the NLM from the NIH. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001431/.
  2. Fluid and electrolyte balance. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/fluidandelectrolytebalance.html.
INTRODUCTION

What is low sodium?

Low sodium, medically known as hyponatremia, is a lack of balance between the water and salt (sodium) levels in your body. A correct level of sodium is important for the proper function of your muscles and nerves.

... Read more about low sodiumintroduction

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of low sodium?

Common symptoms of low sodium

You may experience low sodium symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times any of these low sodium symptoms can be severe:

CAUSES

What causes low sodium?

There are several common causes of low sodium, including diarrhea, excessive sweating, and vomiting. Medications that are prescribed to treat high blood pressure or fluid retention, called diuretics, can lead to low sodium levels.

Causes of low sodium

A number of medical conditions or circumstances... Read more about low sodiumcauses

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 5, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Heart, Blood and Circulation