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Sodium Deficiency - Signs You Are Suffering From It

Dr. A.A Khan 89% (901 ratings)
M.B.B.S,C.C.A,D.C.A,AASECT,FPA,AAD,M.I.M.S
General Physician, Gorakhpur  •  17 years experience
Sodium Deficiency - Signs You Are Suffering From It

Sodium deficiency or hyponatraemia refers to the low sodium concentration in the body of an individual. As other minerals, Sodium also plays essential roles in the human body. It is required for many of the functions of the body, including blood pressure management, fluid balance and the proper functioning of the nervous system. It may also sometimes lead to neurological impairments which affect walking and attention and could also result in bone fracture. Hyponatremia can be caused due to drinking too much of water, without enough replacement of sodium from the body. However, consuming too much of sodium can increase the volume of blood in the body, resulting in various health problems and can sometimes lead a person to coma.

The symptoms of sodium deficiency or hyponatraemia aren’t usually always specific. They can differ from person to person and depend on how rapid the fall in the sodium concentration of the body is. However, some of the common symptoms that are usually seen in the affected persons are as follows:

  1. Gastrointestinal distress: One of the symptoms of hyponatraemia includes gastrointestinal distress. It may cause a decrease in the appetite of an individual and also result in nausea and vomiting. However, if a person suffering from sodium deficiency experiences vomiting, then their problem may continue to worsen.
  2. Cognitive Impairment: Deficiency in sodium level can also result in abnormal mental status. Hyponatremia causes expanding of the tissue cells in the body. However, maximum tissues in the body can handle this change but the brain cannot. It is not capable of compensating for the increased size of the cells and as a result, the brain starts to dysfunction and causes a headache, confusion, lethargy and the problem of fatigue. With the worsening of the conditions, the person can experience hallucinations, decrease in consciousness and may also lead to coma.
  3. Muscular Problems: Due to the drop in Sodium concentration, a person can experience various muscular problems including spasms or cramps. He/She may also suffer from fatigue. The weakness in the muscles and seizures are some of the additional symptoms of sodium deficiency.

The severity of these symptoms depends on the speed i.e., on how fast the fall in the blood salt level is. A gradual, low-level drop can be tolerated if it lasts for a few days or weeks, but the deficiency of sodium in the body can be fatal if not treated as early as possible. It may even lead to the death of a person. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general physician.

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