Hyponatremia Complications: Causes & Treatment
The causes of hyponatremia are many and varied. They include dehydration, excessive alcohol intake, medications, stress, and other medical conditions. There are several treatments available to treat these problems. Some of them may even be life threatening if not treated properly.
Diuretics: These drugs work by increasing urine production (diuresis). Diuretic drugs are used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney failure, and other conditions. If taken too much they can cause water retention which can lead to death.
Alcohol: When taken excessively, alcohol produces excessive urine formation. This causes a loss of minerals and water from the body. Taken in excess, alcohol can cause dehydration and ultimately lead to death.
Stress: Some people are unable to handle stressful situations. When they encounter these circumstances, their body shuts down. This condition is known as “shock” or “nervous collapse”. A person who suffers from shock has a rapid pulse, a shallow breathing pattern, and a loss of blood pressure. If untreated, it can lead to death.
Other medical conditions: If you have a medical condition that affects your heart, brain, or kidneys, your body may not be able to handle any additional water loss. The following conditions can cause hyponatremia:
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Other diseases: There are other diseases that can cause hyponatremia. They include Addison’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome, and diabetes.
In addition to the causes already mentioned, there may be other medical problems that can lead to hyponatremia. Those problems may include:
However, there are other factors that can cause hyponatremia. These factors include:
Signs you are not getting enough salt.
Tips to remember:
When you do not get enough salt, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
Muscle twitching and tingling in the hands, feet, and lips
Loss of appetite
Faintness or light-headedness
If these symptoms persist, you may have to see a doctor immediately.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Hyponatremia: diagnosis, complications, and management including V2 receptor antagonists (EA Elhassan, RW Schrier – Current opinion in nephrology and …, 2011 – journals.lww.com)
- Therapeutic recommendations for management of severe hyponatremia: current concepts on pathogenesis and prevention of neurologic complications. (A Soupart, G Decaux – Clinical nephrology, 1996 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Consequences of inadequate management of hyponatremia (HJ Adrogué – American journal of nephrology, 2005 – karger.com)
- Incidence of postoperative hyponatremia and complications in critically-ill children treated with hypotonic and normotonic solutions (AK Au, PE Ray, KD McBryde, KD Newman… – The Journal of …, 2008 – Elsevier)
- Preoperative hyponatremia and perioperative complications (AA Leung, FA McAlister, SO Rogers… – Archives of internal …, 2012 – jamanetwork.com)
- Complications and management of hyponatremia (RH Sterns, SM Silver – Current Opinion in Nephrology and …, 2016 – journals.lww.com)