How to Say It: hahy-po-nuh-TREE-mee-uh
Hyponatremia is a low level of sodium in the blood. It can be deadly if it is not treated.
This problem happens when there is too much water for the amount of sodium in the body.
This problem may be caused by:
Normal Anatomy of the Kidney
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This problem is more common in older adults. Other things that may raise the risk are:
Problems may be:
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Blood and urine tests will be done to check sodium levels.
Treatment depends on what is causing the problem and how severe symptoms are. The goal is to slowly raise sodium levels. Options are:
The risk of this problem may be lowered by drinking only as much fluid as is needed to meet thirst. Long or intense activity may need drinks with electrolytes.
American Society for Nutrition
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Hyponatremia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/approach-to/hyponatremia-approach-to-the-patient. Accessed August 19, 2021.
Hyponatremia. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/endocrine-and-metabolic-disorders/electrolyte-disorders/hyponatremia. Accessed August 19, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
James Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 8/19/2021