Levels of sodium in the blood is often a misunderstood topic and it is extremely necessary that we as individuals understand the meaning and importance of maintaining the proper balance of sodium in the body.
In this article, we shall try to understand the meaning, caused, the signs and symptoms of low sodium levels. We shall also try to understand what are the different ways in which we can increase the much-needed sodium levels in the blood.
Meaning of Low Sodium
Let us first understand the very meaning of low sodium. It is an important element in the body which helps to maintain the proper balance of water in the cells that surround your body.
It is because of this that the blood pressure levels in the body are stabilized. When the levels of sodium in the blood go down, you have to face a lot of problems.
The condition is known as hyponatremia. When the sodium levels fall below the normal level of 135 mEq/L, it is known that your body has low sodium levels.
What causes Low Sodium Levels in the Body?
Let us now see the various reasons and causes of low levels of sodium:
- Heart failure
- Too much of sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Many types of kidney-related diseases
- Diarrhea or other types of problems in the digestive tract
- Drinking of water during exercise
- Taking a lot of water pills
- Liver diseases
- If you happen to suffer from Cushing’s syndrome
- If you are someone who suffers from the condition of diabetes insipidus
- An underactive thyroid may again be another reason as to why there is an imbalance in the level of water and sodium in the body
What are the Side Effects of Low Sodium Levels?
Having seen the various causes of low levels of sodium in the body, let us now understand the side effects that may be caused due to low levels of sodium in the blood:
- People with low sodium levels tend to experience frequent bouts of vomiting
- The patients are in a constant state of nausea
- Another side effect is that the levels of energy are really low in the body
- Patients also experience a constant This is often caused due to the weakness that the people experience within themselves as a result of low sodium levels
- Due to all the above reasons, the patients with low sodium levels remain irritated most of the times. They are, most of the times, in a state of complete confusion
- In some of the more extreme cases, it is known that the patients tend to suffer from different types of seizures. Patients may even get into a state of coma, which can again be deadly.
You should, however, know that low levels of sodium can be unrecognizable in most of the cases.
The signs, symptoms, and side effects as noted above are very general in nature and people might not even realize that you are suffering from hyponatremia.
How to Increase Sodium Levels in the Body?
The following are the various ways in which sodium levels of the body can be increased:
- The first and foremost thing that you should do is to reduce the quantity of water that you drink. In hyponatremia, usually, the body suffers as there is a sort of imbalance between the quantity of water and sodium. Hence, with less intake of water
- You could also increase the sodium level in the body by going for a drink that actually contains sodium. This will help to maintain a balance
- Another important cause of low sodium is that if you are into taking a lot of diuretics, your levels of sodium will come down. Hence, you should reduce the number of diuretics that you tend to intake.
- There are artificial ways of getting sodium injected into the body. You should regularly monitor and examine the levels of sodium in your blood, and if it does come down external injections are various other ways in which you can intake sodium
- You can also take in more salt. This may be counter-intuitive but you can ask your medical expert before taking this step. Salt is known to contain an adequate amount of sodium and taking the same in can help you in balancing sodium, you can take salt by making it a part of your salads, fruits that you eat, vegetables, amongst various other food items
Thus, you should not underestimate the levels of sodium in your body. Low levels of this electrolyte can prove to be really dangerous and that is why the same should be maintained within the recommended limits.