Hyponatremia critically low sodium in the human organism
Hyponatremia is a condition of the body with a low content of sodium ions in the blood, less than a critical quantity - 135 mmol/L.
This condition may be acute or chronic.
Acute hyponatremia develops within 12 hours or less and ends in death.
Chronic hyponatremia, developing slowly within a longer period and becoming apparent less intensively, isn’t dangerous for life. However, urgent measures must be taken in order to eliminate this condition.
The consequences of hyponatremia are a sharp increase of fluids in the body and brain edema.
Why does it occur? In the human body, all the fluids are found in two mediums in the cells or in the extracellular condition. Water can pass freely from the cell to the extracellular space. The brain is an exception. With hyponatremia, the collection of water in the cells occurs. It can’t pass into the extracellular space. This leads to the swelling of the brain cells.. It leads to edema.
What causes such a condition in a person?
Hyponatremia happens when there’s blood dilution. It happens extremely rarely because a person drinks too much water. Usually this occurs with the increased production of the antidiuretic hormone (it reduces urea excretion). A disease of the lungs may provoke the development of hyponatremia. It happens especially often with malignant diseases of lungs and AIDS.
Acute malfunction of the central nervous system (traumas, brain infectious diseases, thrombosis of the brain vessels, haematoma) involves hyponatremia with sharp symptoms increasing. Applied medicines, which provoke low sodium, play an important role in this.
The main factor that causes hyponatremia is the reduction of all the active blood particles per 1 liter.
The concentration of substances, present in the blood per 1 liter, is called blood osmolarity.
This condition occurs often after surgeries on the urinary bladder or prostate.
Another factor, which causes hyponatremia, is hyperglycemia, accompanying sugar diabetes. In this case, blood osmolarity can be within the norm or higher. With type I diabetes, water enters the extracellular space from the cells. There’s a high content of glucose in the extracellular space. Due to this, the concentration of sodium decreases.
Usually hyponatremia occurs:
when there’s decrease of the blood particle concentration,
water accumulation and sodium loss simultaneously.
Low sodium often develops with application of diuretic medicines.
Hyponatremia occurs with an increased antidiuretic hormone production and the simultaneous supply of excess water to the body. Antidiuretic hormone is produced in an increased quantity if a person suffers from psychosis, an infectious brain disease, strokes, brain tumors, lung diseases, and stress caused by pain when some medicines are taken.
The lack of oxygen and the lack of carbonic acid in the blood stimulate an increased discharge of the antidiuretic hormone.
The extreme exhaustion of the body and other malfunctions in the function of the glands of internal secretion (adrenal glands, thyroid gland) also contribute to the increase of the hormone level.
Consumption of a large quantity of water, which overwhelms the kidneys, causes hyponatremia. This can happen with nervous system diseases, associated with an increased thirst, which may be provoked by the medicines taken.
Hyponatremia may occur in people who consume large amounts of beer.
In a situation in which the accumulation of sodium in the body is lower that the accumulation of water, symptoms of hyponatremia appear. This can happen with heart, kidney or liver diseases. In this case, the severity of hyponatremia depends on the underlying disease and the condition of the patient.
What are the symptoms of hyponatremia?
Headache, sluggishness, and drowsiness appear in the beginning of the disease. A person doesn’t react to the surroundings, and reflexes are oppressed.
If the patient’s condition worsens, coma and convulsions may occur.
Chronic hyponatremia is easier to deal with because the body uses compensatory reactions. This is the body’s adjustment to certain damaging processes. In the given case, the human body re-forms to protect its essential organ the brain. That’s why an excess of fluid in the brain is removed into the extracellular medium. This makes brain edema less complicated.
Therefore, the symptoms expressed are not as l that intense.
With the acute form of hyponatremia, compensatory processes can’t mobilize all the body’s resources quickly. They need some time. Therefore, the body uses only available resources, which are not sufficient enough to withdraw fluid out of the brain and preserve life.
Hyponatremia is the indicator of the total body’s edema.
First, the patient’s general condition is estimated,
the duration of the disease and physiological characteristics,
the degree of the revealed symptoms’ severity.
The medical assistance is aimed to prevent low sodium in the human body quickly and eliminate symptoms of hyponatremia. Further steps are meant to treat the underlying disease which causes hyponatremia.