Q:

What causes high sodium levels in blood?

A:

Quick Answer

High sodium levels in the blood indicate a condition called hypernatremia, which is caused by dehydration, medications, endocrine diseases, excessive consumption of salt and hyperventilation, according to Chemocare. Some of the symptoms of very high levels of sodium include dizziness when standing up, too much sweating and fever.

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An individual's sodium level may increase if he suffers persistent vomiting, sweating, diarrhea or fever, as these symptoms can dehydrate the body, explains Chemocare. Drinking an inadequate amount of water also causes dehydration. Taking licorice, steroids and medicines that decrease blood pressure may also lead to hypernatremia. People with an endocrine disease, such as diabetes, are prone to high sodium levels since they tend to urinate frequently. Adrenal gland issues, such as hyperaldosteronism, may also affect a person’s sodium levels.

Sodium is a vital element for the body, and its most typical form is sodium chloride, which is commonly known as table salt, states MedlinePlus. A person’s blood sodium level shows the balance between the amount of sodium his urine contains and the amount of water and sodium in the foods and beverages he consumes. Various factors can change this balance. Doctors often request a sodium blood test when a person has experienced a recent surgery, injury or severe disease; consumes significant amounts of salt; takes diuretics or other medicines; or obtains intravenous fluids.

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