Hyponatremia occurs when there is a low concentration of sodium in your bloodstream. Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a crucial role in maintaining the blood pressure, helps your nervous system and regulates the fluid balance of the body. The blood sodium level is between 135 and 145 mEq/L. But in the case of hyponatremia, the sodium in your blood falls below 135 mEq/L.
The biggest cause of hyponatremia is excess consumption of water, others may include underlying medical conditions. It seems odd to come to terms with the fact that water can also be bad for your body, but we have to go with the old saying, “anything in excess is bad.”
Drinking excessive water lowers the sodium level, by straining the kidneys’ ability to excrete water. Hence, it causes swelling of the cells. If not treated on time, hyponatremia can cause many health problems which can lead to fatal consequences.
There are certain signs that can help diagnose the problem of hyponatremia. Headache and seizures are the top rankers. Followed by nausea, vomiting, confusion and fatigue. Also, some other conditions may include restlessness, irritability and the rarest but most damaging is coma.
Complications related to hyponatremia depends on the type of it. In case of chronic hyponatremia, sodium levels drop gradually over the time period of 48 hours or maybe longer. This can be treated under medical guidance.
Whereas, in the case of acute hyponatremia, sodium level drops rapidly. It is potentially dangerous for the body, leads to rapid swelling in the cells, eventually causing coma and death.
Always remember that if you are experiencing any of the above-given symptoms, do not wait for anything and immediately consult your doctor. But there are certain measures to prevent hyponatremia.