Q:

What causes sodium deficiency?

A:

Quick Answer

Sodium deficiency occurs when a person drinks too much water or sweats too much, leading to a condition called hyponatremia, according to About.com. Hyponatremia results from low levels of sodium in the blood.

Know More
What causes sodium deficiency?
Credit: The Washington Post The Washington Post Getty Images

Full Answer

Sodium is an important nutrient needed by the body, as it maintains balance in fluid levels by working with water, potassium and chloride, explains About.com. Becoming deficient in sodium is unlikely for people who eat enough food daily, even if they avoid salt and heavily processed foods. Small amounts of sodium are found naturally in meat, seafood, vegetables, breads, milk and cheese. When a person drinks too much water, the sodium levels in his blood are lowered to dangerous levels, causing hyponatremia. Symptoms of hyponatremia include vomiting, nausea, muscle cramps and dizziness. This condition leads to shock and coma if not treated.

It takes 6 gallons of water on a daily basis to affect a healthy young adult, notes About.com. People with heart or liver kidney problems have higher risks of hyponatremia and must consult a doctor to find out the right amounts of water to drink every day.

About.com adds that it is also possible to become deficient in sodium by sweating too much, like over-exerting the body on a really hot day. This can be prevented by drinking sports drinks that contain electrolytes.

Learn more about Medical Ranges & Levels

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a Vitamin B12 deficiency?

    A:

    According to Harvard Medical School, a vitamin B12 deficiency can occur if a person is either not consuming enough vitamin B12 or her body cannot properly absorb the nutrient. A vitamin B12 deficiency can range from mild to severe and can have symptoms such as fatigue, jaundice and weight loss.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    How is low blood sodium treated?

    A:

    In mild cases, low blood sodium or hyponatraemia can be treated if the person suffering from the illness makes adjustments to their diet. More severe cases of hyponatraemia are treated by administering electrolytes and fluids intravenously, according to WebMD. People with severe or acute hyponatraemia may also need certain medications in order to manage the symptoms associated with low levels of sodium in the blood.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What causes low sodium in the blood?

    A:

    Low sodium in the blood, or hyponatremia, has several possible causes, including certain medications, syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone, hormonal changes and heart, kidney or liver conditions. Other sources of low sodium are overconsumption of water, dehydration, use of ecstasy and chronic vomiting or diarrhea, states Mayo Clinic.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What causes low sodium in the body?

    A:

    Low sodium in the body, also known as hyponatremia, is caused by hormonal changes; dehydration; heart, kidney and liver problems; or chronic, severe diarrhea or vomiting, according to Mayo Clinic. Some medications, such as antidepressants, pain relievers and water pills may also cause low sodium levels.

    Full Answer >

Explore