Hyponatremia is a low sodium concentration in the blood. The causes of hyponatremia are typically classified by a person’s body fluid status into low volume, normal volume, or high volume. Treatment is based on the underlying cause. Hyponatremia is the most common type of electrolyte imbalance. Signs and symptoms of hyponatremia include nausea and vomiting, headache, short-term memory loss, confusion, lethargy, fatigue, loss of appetite, irritability, muscle weakness, spasms or cramps, seizures, and decreased consciousness or coma. This results in increased pressure in the skull and causes hyponatremic encephalopathy. As pressure increases in the skull, herniation of the brain can occur, which is a squeezing of the brain across the internal structures of the skull.
Started in , this collection now contains interlinked topic pages divided into a tree of 31 specialty books and chapters. Content is updated monthly with systematic literature reviews and conferences. Although access to this website is not restricted, the information found here is intended for use by medical providers. Patients should address specific medical concerns with their physicians. Sodium Disorders Chapter. From Related Chapters. Page Contents Pathophysiology Impaired renal water excretion with continued water intake Identify the cause of Hyponatremia by identifying why the Kidney can not excrete excess water.
That makes it the most common electrolyte disorder that hospitalists manage, yet it still often goes untreated or undertreated. Findings like these—published online Aug. Chronic hyponatremia has been linked to balance problems and increased risk of falls and fractures, she noted. As yet, it’s unclear if these associations are causal—hyponatremia tends to denote poor overall health and is linked to several comorbidities. But she recommends taking hyponatremia seriously, starting with a hard look at potential underlying causes. In the past medical history, look for HIV, cirrhosis, heart failure, central nervous system disease, pulmonary disease, malignancy, and recent surgery. Besides seeking an underlying cause, hospitalists should determine how long a patient has been hyponatremic to guide treatment. Johnson said. Above all, the history of hyponatremia and the patient’s most recent previous serum sodium level are essential to know.