|CRDAMC Homepage | CRDAMC Library Phone #: (254) 288-8366 | CRDAMC Library Fax #: (254) 288-8368|
by Marjorie Montemayor-Quellenberg, MA
Hypernatremia is when there is too much sodium in the body. It may be serious and requires care from your doctor.
Hypernatremia happens when there is an imbalance in the amount of water and sodium in the body—too little water, too much sodium.
The main cause of hypernatremia is having more water leave your body than enter it. This causes dehydration. A person can become dehydrated in different ways, such as:
Risk Factors TOP
Factors that may increase your chance of hypernatremia include:
Hypernatremia may cause:
Untreated hypernatremia can be fatal.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. You will be asked about your fluid intake and urine output. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
Liquids can be given by mouth or IV to balance the fluids in your body. The fluid will contain a specific concentration of water, sugar, and sodium. Reintroducing fluids slowly into your body will lower the sodium to a normal level. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.
You may also be given medication to treat nausea.
To help reduce your chance of getting hypernatremia:
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Adrogué HJ, Madias NE. Hypernatremia. N Engl J Med. 2000; 342(20):1493-1499.
Chassagne P, Druesne L, et al. Clinical presentation of hypernatremia in elderly patients: a case control study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006;54(8):1225-1230.
Dehydration and hypovolemia in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated October 5, 2015. Accessed September 30, 2016.
Hypernatremia. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated August 19, 2016. Accessed September 30, 2016.
Hypernatremia. The Merck Manual Professional Edition website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated March 2013. Accessed February 26, 2014.
Stuart W, Smellie A, et al. Hyponatraemia and hypernatraemia: Pitfalls in testing. BMJ. 2007; 334(7591): 473-476.
Last reviewed December 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 12/20/2014
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.