If sodium levels drop quickly, the brain can go into shock. Low serum sodium, or hyponatremia, is the term used to describe sodium levels in the blood lower than 135 mmol/L on a basic metabolic panel. It is used in the treatment of diarrhea, muscle cramps, dehydration, and fever due to its property of holding water in the body tissues. The treatment for hyponatremia depends on the underlying cause of the condition and severe sodium deficiencies are also associated with a higher risk of death. A normal sodium level is between 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). Cells in other parts of the body can swell as well, but the cranium is hard and, so, the brain cells can only expand so much within the skull. But the more suble symptoms include: restlessness, muscle spasms or cramps, weakness, dizziness and tiredness – all of which can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Sodium is found in foods that we consume, the major source being the common table salt, that we use as seasoning for our foods. Due to the swelling of brain cells from an excess of water, a sodium deficiency will likely result in neurological symptoms. In healthy adults, what is considered to be normal sodium levels is anything between 135 and 145 mEq/L. However, the term “sodium deficiency” is a little misleading because this implies a lack of sodium in the diet. You even get salt from salty meats, fish, salted snacks, bouillon cubes, processed cheese, instant soups, and noodles, etc. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. As the brain is particularly sensitive to sodium, the other symptoms are neurological, such as confusion, sluggishness, loss of reflexive movement, convulsions, or even coma and death. This alkaline element is very essential for life, as it is present in the extra-cellular fluids. The first is a slow-developing lack of sodium with few signs, and the second is a rapidly occurring form with potentially life-threatening neurological symptoms. Sodium plays an important role in body water distribution. The deficiency, in very rare cases, may lead to shock due to extremely low blood pressure. Sodium deficiencies that occur in low body fluid volumes are usually due to diarrhea, diuretics, excessive sweating, or vomiting. In disorders like congestive heart failure and kidney failure, the body often retains more fluid, and thus, sodium gets diluted. Salt deficiency consequences - seizures or coma. A low sodium, high potassium or low cortisol level may indicate Addison's disease. Sodium is an essential mineral that is found in any food, specially processed ones. One of the neurological symptoms of sodium deficiency is seizures. The symptoms of hyponatremia tend to be neurologic. Sodium is an electrolyte that plays an essential role in regulating the levels of water and other substances in the body. In fact, the majority of the population far exceed them and are at risk of serious health complications including high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke. taking certain medications, including antidepressants and pain medications. If Addison's disease is suspected, blood tests will be carried out to measure the levels of sodium, potassium and cortisol in your body. Symptom #3: Short Term Memory Loss. While you lose a little sodium every day when you sweat or urinate, it is generally not enough to cause a sodium deficiency unless you are severely malnourished. Would you like to write for us? This will help decrease the likelihood of low sodium levels from recurring. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), and American Diabetes Association (ADA), one should consume less than 1500 mg of sodium (3/4 teaspoon or 3.75 grams of salt) per day. Sodium Deficiency (hyponatremia); Symptoms, Causes & Treatment Sodium has a bad reputation in the health community because of many health problems associated with high sodium levels, including high blood pressure, headache, heart diseases, and thrombosis. Consumption of sodium-rich food should be closely monitored as it can affect the body negatively and may cause diseases like hypertension. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. It maintains a balance of positive and negative ions in the body fluid and tissues. This condition is also called water intoxication. Sodium is an essential electrolyte in the body. Sodium deficiency is a condition where human body lacks sodium. If the condition remains for a prolonged period of time, coma and seizures can occur. How quickly the sodium level falls - hyponatraemia can be divided into acute or chronic. The kidneys and adrenal glands are responsible for regulating sodium levels. Causes of Sodium Deficiency . A deficiency of sodium causes reduced growth and feed efficiency. The body may have too little, too much, or just enough liquid and still have low sodium. Sodium deficiency is extremely rare, but it can occur. If the sodium concentration drops quickly to critical levels, seizures, coma, and death may occur. Low blood sodium is common in older adults, especially those who are hospitalized or living in long-term care facilities. Pomerat, in Progress in Brain Research, 1965. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. It works along with potassium, which is another important cation present in the intracellular fluids. Treatment. Sodium deficiency causes a loss in fluid balance in cells (intracellular) and outside of cells (extracellular), and this can result in severe headaches caused by brain cell swelling. Hyponatremia occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. Critically low sodium levels in the blood is also referred to as hyponatremia. Severe hyponatremia can cause seizures, coma and even death. Human beings consume sodium in the form of sodium chloride. So, they also suggest that daily consumption of sodium should not be more than 2300 mg. (one teaspoon or 6 grams of salt). If your blood sodium levels get too low, you might develop a condition called hyponatremia. Just adding a spoonful of table salt to a dish cannot help raise blood sodium levels. To diagnose the condition, your doctor may order a blood test and urine test to confirm the diagnosis. 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