With age this regulation is affected. Medication such as diuretics, antidepressants and pain killers. Many factors can cause low blood sodium. Exercise and diet can either reduce or delay the incidence of diabetes by over 50%. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. Hyponatremia is a medical condition characterized by low concentration of sodium in the blood. Monitoring your fluid intake and your cognitive status are important aspects of your care. Sodium chloride is known commonly as table salt. Low sodium levels are often seen among the elderly, especially within those who are living in long-term facilities or staying at the hospital for any health-related reason. Nutrition. In many cases, too much water in the body dilutes the sodium, causing the … Hyponatremia is present when levels drop below 135 mEq/L. Her last visit to the hospital her sodium level went 129. A senior may find that their thirst mechanism is impaired and so is the kidney’s response to an important hormone known as ADH (anti diuretic hormone) which regulates the water output in the urine. She was admitted with 121 level. Health issues arising from extremely low sodium levels may be fatal. You may also need to reduce your fluid intake or increase the amount of salt you consume. Severe hyponatremia occurs when levels drop below 125 mEq/L. However, you may not experience headaches until your blood sodium level has dropped to a very low level. Although certain behavioral or cognitive changes may point to a low sodium level, the only way to confirm that you have low sodium, or hyponatremia, is through blood tests. Sodium plays an essential role in various bodily functions, such as fluid balance, … The hormones aldosterone (made in the adrenal gland) and anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) or vasopressin (made in the pituitary) adjust the way the kidneys deal with water and sodium to maintain the appropr… Sodium is an essential mineral in the body that is an important component of many processes in the body. Diabetes Mellitus Neurological changes are among the first signs of low sodium, an electrolyte that affects your fluid volume, nerve and muscle function. 2020 Sodium concentration is higher in the bloodstream than inside cells. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the This is controlled along with the water levels in the body fluids by increasing water intake with stimulation of thirst and regulating the water excretion through the urine. Low sodium deficiency occurs in approximately 20% of patients who are admitted into the hospital and 10% of those in an endurance sporting event. used as a substitute for professional medical advice, Without it, the normal water levels in the body cannot be maintained and nerve and muscle function would be severely compromised. Hyponatremia is … However, it is often portrayed in a negative light as being a major health risk and rightfully so – high sodium levels are a major contributing factor in conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension). Atherosclerosis What causes Low Sodium Levels in the Body? The normal adult value for sodium is 136-145 mEq/L. Nursing Home If you've been sick or have had reactions to medications that caused vomiting or diarrhea, you may have lost sodium as a result. Hyponatremia or low sodium blood levels may result from excess fluid in the body relative to a normal amount of sodium, or it may be due to a loss of sodium and body fluid caused by chronic conditions like kidney or … Eye Health The major cause of increase in the incidence of diabetes is a sedentary lifestyle. Headaches caused by the buildup of fluid in your brain tissues are a common symptom of hyponatremia. All rights reserved. Exercise Ongoing confusion and low energy levels may be signs that you have chronically low sodium. Symptoms of low sodium may not appear until your blood sodium level has fallen to a dangerous point, according to an article in the June 15, 2000 issue of "American Family Physician." After being home for 2 days it dropped to 124. Having your sodium levels checked regularly by your doctor should be a routine part of your medical care. Stomach Problems According to “Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests with Nursing Implications,” the normal sodium level in the blood is 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter of blood. Hyponatremia is a low sodium concentration in the blood. Your sodium levels may get too low if your body loses too much water and electrolytes. Severe hyponatremia is an emergency medical condition that requires immediate intervention to restore your fluid and electrolyte balance. This condition may be due to a variety of reasons including: over consumption of fluids, vomiting, diarrhea, burns, kidney disorders and a variety of other diseases. Neurological changes are among the first signs of low sodium, an electrolyte that affects your fluid volume, nerve and muscle function. The change in medication has to be done very carefully under the supervision of a medical doctor. Hypokalemia The condition is known as hyponatremia. Various chemical messengers (hormones) and organs are involved in this process. Varicose Veins, Dental Health Taking diuretics, pain medication, antidepressants or other prescription drugs may also alter your fluid balance. In the elderly, alterations in kidney function can affect the way your body concentrates urine and processes sodium. Anne Tourney specializes in health and nutrition topics. Deep Vein Thrombosis Causes of Hyponatremia: Heart disease may lead to low blood sodium levels. Dementia Exercise and diet can either reduce or delay the incidence of diabetes by over 50%. Sodium is an element, or an electrolyte, that is found in the blood. , Brain Problems and In fact, many other diseases which are common in the elderly may have one or more of these symptoms. Ongoing malaise--a general sense of physical discomfort--may be a sign that your sodium level is chronically low. It should not be Get the latest and accurate info on senior health, Skin Cancer (Malignant Tumors) in the Elderly. Once the sodium level drops, our cells expand from the abundance of water present in the blood. Do you think obesity is considered a health threat among the senior population? American Family Physician: Hypernatremia and Hyponatremia in the Elderly, Merck Manuals Online Medical Library: Sodium: Minerals and Electrolytes, PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION. diagnosis or treatment. Hyponatremia is an electrolyte imbalance and is indicated by a low level of sodium in the blood. If you live in a long-term care facility or you've been hospitalized, you may be especially prone to low sodium levels due to changes in your daily routines. In severe hyponatremia, a person can slip into a coma and respiratory arrest may even occur. Your heart function affects the volume of fluids in your body. This should be done carefully in conjunction with a dietitian as excessive intake of salt and decreased water consumption can then lead to hypernatremia (high blood sodium) which has its own health consequences. A normal sodium level is between 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). Without it, the normal water levels in the body cannot be maintained and nerve and muscle function would be severely compromised. Test Results. Care must be taken to correct the levels of sodium slowly, as rapid correction can cause sudden fluid shifts that can affect the brain, either by causing brain swelling or by breaking down myelin, the protective cover of the brain's cells. Low Sodium and Dehydration. The brain can swell quickly when sodium levels drop too low. Heart Disease Copyright © Copyright Policy Age, race and diet are certain factors which affect one’s chance of getting hyponatremia. When the sodium levels fall below the normal level of 135 mEq/L, it is known that your body has low sodium levels. . Hyponatremia is a condition where sodium levels in the blood are lower than normal. Changes in the way your body processes water can affect your balance of fluids and electrolytes as you age. Low sodium levels (hyponatremia) occur when there is a below-normal sodium level in the body. Maintaining proper sodium levels in your blood is critical to health. Nausea may be a sign of a low sodium level. Privacy Policy Skin Problems Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Hyponatremia: How to Raise Low Blood Sodium Levels | Livestrong.com She is a registered nurse with experience in medical-surgical nursing, behavioral health and geriatrics. 20 In most of the cases, the level of hyponatremia has been clinically significant, with serum sodium concentrations as low as 101 mEq/L and with symptoms ranging from confusion to seizures and coma. It is important that the elderly or caregivers do NOT stop medication. Changes in the way your body processes water can affect your balance of fluids and electrolytes as you age. The Effects of Low Sodium in the Elderly | Livestrong.com Hypernatremia occurs when sodium levels in the blood are too high. Management of abnormalities in water homeostasis is frequently challenging. However, high sodium is not unique to the elderly whereas low sodium levels (hyponatremia) are more likely to arise with age as well as in some diseases and the use of certain medication. Confusion, disorientation and drowsiness--common symptoms of low sodium--may masquerade as the symptoms of other neurological conditions in the elderly, such as vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease. She is at the point where nothing more can be done to regulate her sodium. person on 120 mg furosemide bd Dr. Budi Bahureksa answered 30 years experience Cardiology Volume: the sodium level is a paradoxic gauge for your volume status. Seniors older than 71 should limit themselves to 1.2 grams. Therefore the medication should be changed to drugs that do not have this adverse effect on salt and water levels. She's almost 94 and has been battling low sodium for the last couple of years. any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Water and sodium levels are closely related regulated together. Hyponatremia widely affects the geriatric age group, especially hospitalized elderly patients. Severe symptoms include confusion, seizures, and coma. Did you know? It therefore does not clearly indicate a problem with sodium. Sleep Disorders The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. Sodium is an electrolyte, a compound that conducts electrical signals to your nerves and muscles. Symptoms of low sodium can develop rapidly once your sodium levels drop. In the late stages of hyponatremia, you may have twitching, restlessness and other signs that your nervous system has been affected. Copyright © 2020 SeniorHealth365.com. For example, hormones involved include antidiuretic hormone and cortisol, and organs involved include the brain and kidneys. Know the causes, symptoms, and treatment of hyponatremia in elderly. Low Sodium Blood Levels (Hyponatremia) in the Elderly Sodium is an essential mineral in the body that is an important component of many processes in the body. Elderly patients with low sodium levels are usually asymptomatic, although headaches, nausea, confusion and respiratory arrest show up in severe conditions, according to Kugler and Hustead for the American Family Physician journal from the American Academy of Family Physicians. 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