Hypernatremia is when there is too much sodium in the body.
Hypernatremia happens when there is an imbalance in the amount of water and sodium in the body—too little water for the amount of 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:
Hypernatremia is more common in older adults. Other factors that may increase your chance of hypernatremia include:
—medications that increase urination
- Severe burns
- Losing too much fluid by sweating
- Having certain medical conditions such as central diabetes insipidus or kidney disorder
Hypernatremia may cause:
- Being thirsty
- Dry mouth
- Muscle weakness or muscle cramps
- Decreased urination
- Weight loss
- Muscle twitching
Untreated hypernatremia can be fatal.
Dry mouth is a symptom of hypernatremia.
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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:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of the fluids
- Work with your doctor to manage any health conditions