Health Information

How to Treat Hyponatremia When the Body Does Not Enough Sodium


Sodium is an element that performs very important functions in the body.

Sodium is a chemical compound that does not occur in its pure form. In everyday life, this element is part of various compounds: salt, soda. The human body contains about 70-110 g of sodium.

When it enters the body, sodium is absorbed in the small intestine and spreads in the pericellular fluid, cells. A small part is located in the bone and cartilage. After absorption, this element is involved in metabolic processes.

Sodium in combination with potassium and chlorine has a positive effect on the body: it helps to normalize the excitability of nerve and muscle fibers.

Sodium in the body performs the following functions:

  • Prevents dehydration.
  • Maintains the required osmotic pressure in liquids.
  • Takes part in the transport of carbon dioxide in the respiratory system.
  • Promotes activation of enzymes of the endocrine and digestive systems.
  • Normalizes neuromuscular activity.
  • Participates in muscle contraction.

In addition, sodium helps maintain the activity of the cardiovascular system, has a beneficial effect on the heart muscle, normalizes myocardial function, and blood pressure.

The required daily dose for an adult is 2-4 g.

The norm for children depends on age. The balance of this element directly depends on the functioning of the kidneys. They are responsible for its quantitative content in the body. If the kidneys are healthy, then there will be no deficiency and lack of sodium in the body.

Sodium deficiency: causes and symptoms

With sodium deficiency, dehydration may occur

Sodium deficiency in the body in medical practice is called hyponatremia. This condition is diagnosed if the Na content in the blood is less than 135 mmol / L.

The main reasons for the development of hyponatremia:

  1. Chronic kidney disease.
  2. The use of diuretic drugs.
  3. Stones in the kidneys.
  4. Nephropathy
  5. Gastrointestinal diseases (pancreatitis, fistulas, peritonitis, etc.).
  6. Cirrhosis of the liver.
  7. Heart failure.

Lack of sodium may be due to prolonged vomiting, diarrhea, profuse blood loss, severe sweating, impaired thermoregulation. Loss of this macronutrient may be due to burns, frostbite.

A decrease in Na can be observed with the introduction of an intravenous large amount of a hypotonic solution, excessive consumption of water. The last reason is usually associated with mental illness.

With a salt-free diet, a fasting fast, sodium intake is reduced.

Symptoms of sodium deficiency in many people may be absent. It depends on the severity of the condition. Usually, with a bright deficiency of Na in the body, the internal and external state of a person changes.

The following symptoms may indicate a lack of sodium in the body:

  • leg cramps
  • loss of appetite
  • stomach cramps
  • muscle weakness
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • drowsiness
  • fatigue
  • skin rashes

In addition, there may be signs of central nervous system dysfunction, which manifest as impaired consciousness, increased nervous irritability, etc. If the deficiency of Na is due to hypovolemic reasons, i.e. diseases of the kidneys, heart, gastrointestinal tract, then the patient's heart rhythm is disturbed, the pressure decreases and he is constantly tormented by thirst. If some of these symptoms are present, then you should consult a doctor and undergo an examination.

What is dangerous sodium deficiency in the body

Lack of sodium is a threat to life!

When ingested, sodium accumulates in the body and can compensate for the deficiency for a while.

A great danger to humans is a decrease in sodium levels to 115 mmol / L. Then the patient has signs of damage to the nervous system, symptoms of renal and heart failure. With untimely treatment, the proteins break down, the osmotic pressure decreases and the amount of nitrogen increases, as a result, the body cramps, and a coma can occur.

If the lack of sodium in a patient is determined for a long time, then the functions of the kidneys, digestive and cardiovascular systems are impaired.

As a result, the patient’s digestion worsens, the amount of urine decreases, blood pressure decreases, and collapse may develop.

Hyponatremia is a very dangerous condition that can lead to serious consequences, so you should consult a doctor in time and take the appropriate tests.

What to do: treatment and nutrition

Normalize sodium levels with proper nutrition

To confirm the diagnosis of hyponatremia, it is necessary to take a blood test, urine test. The doctor can visually examine and suggest that this led to a lack of sodium in the body.

Treatment is carried out depending on the severity of the disease, which is why sodium deficiency in the body is caused:

  1. If the lack of sodium is due to hypovolemic reasons, then an intravenous infusion of saline is carried out until the symptoms of the disease completely disappear.
  2. If the reason was the uncontrolled use of diuretics, then patients are prescribed potassium preparations. In addition, the patient should limit fluid intake to 1 liter. This also applies to people in whom hyponatremia is asymptomatic.
  3. To maintain the desired level of sodium in the blood serum, Demeclocycline may be prescribed. Then you do not need to limit fluid intake.
  4. If the lack of sodium is poorly expressed, then intravenous administration of Vaprizol can be prescribed for 1-3 days at a rate of 20 mg / sut. If necessary, an increase of up to 40 mg / sut is possible.

  • The body cannot independently produce sodium and comes to us with food. The main source of sodium is table salt. One teaspoon contains about 2 g of this substance.
  • Sodium is present in brines, sea salt, salted meat, soy sauce, beef, cheeses, milk, eggs. In a small amount, this element is found in seafood, celery, seaweed, carrots, and mineral water.
  • In case of sodium deficiency, medium-salted herring, sheep’s cheese from sheep’s milk, smoked and semi-smoked sausages should be introduced into the diet. In addition, sodium is found in sauerkraut, shrimp, canned vegetables, and wheat bread.
  • Sodium is found not only in animal products, but also in plant origin. The absorption of this substance is best accomplished by vitamin D. Foods that are saturated with proteins interfere with the normal absorption of sodium. A deficiency in the body of potassium and chlorine also prevents the intake of a sufficient amount of sodium.

More information on hyponatremia can be found in the video:

You should know that additionally sodium in a larger dosage should be taken in the following cases:

  • Heavy physical exertion.
  • Heavy sweating.
  • Taking diuretics.
  • Extensive burns.
  • Adrenal cortex insufficiency.

It is simple to increase sodium intake in the body - it is enough to salt food during cooking. However, this method is not recommended, since excess salt in the body is more difficult to remove. In addition, sodium in foods is much more beneficial than this macrocell contained in salt.

Have you noticed a mistake? Select it and press Ctrl + Enterto let us know.


Most patients have no symptoms, but symptoms of the disease that causes the state of hyponatremia may occur.

Severe hyponatremia can cause osmotic redistribution of water from blood plasma to body cells, including brain cells. Typical symptoms in this case include dizziness, vomiting, headaches and general malaise. As hyponatremia deepens, confusion of thoughts, numbness (stupor), and coma can occur. Since dizziness in itself is a stimulus for the excretion of ADH (antidiuretic hormone), there is the possibility of a self-enhancing effect cycle (positive feedback).

Reasons [edit |