Posted by: Tam | 2003/02/24

Lack of Sodium

Please advise what causes the lack of Sodium in the body, what the symptoms are the quickest way to sort it out.

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Our expert says:
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Tam, low sodium levels are called hyponatraemia and it is probably the most common electrolyte disturbance seen in hospital patients (up to 1% of patients). Basically the causes can be divided in two main groups:
1. Sodium depletion in excess of water depletion or replacement of sodium with water alone.
2. Water intake in excess of water output (always implies impaired water excretion).
Symptoms take a long time to develop, but eventually the brain cells start to swell and this may lead to confusion and convulsions. The treatment will depend on the underlying cause. The best would be to see your doctor and have it sorted out. Good luck.

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