The normal adult value for sodium is 136-145 mEq/L. Heart disease may lead to low blood sodium levels. Headaches caused by the buildup of fluid in your brain tissues are a common symptom of hyponatremia. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. Maintaining proper sodium levels in your blood is critical to health. In many cases, too much water in the body dilutes the sodium, causing the … Monitoring your fluid intake and your cognitive status are important aspects of your care. The treatment of dehydration includes the administration of fluids, either orally or intravenously. Symptoms of low sodium can develop rapidly once your sodium levels drop. It can be generally defined as a sodium concentration in the blood of less than 135 mmol/l, with levels below 120 mmol/l considered to be severe. Copyright © Ongoing malaise--a general sense of physical discomfort--may be a sign that your sodium level is chronically low. A normal sodium level is between 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). The Effects of Low Sodium in the Elderly | Livestrong.com What causes Low Sodium Levels in the Body? Causes of Hyponatremia: Dementia If you live in a long-term care facility or you've been hospitalized, you may be especially prone to low sodium levels due to changes in your daily routines. To maintain a healthy balance of fluids and sodium, your doctor may recommend changes in any medications you may be taking that affect your sodium levels. Ongoing confusion and low energy levels may be signs that you have chronically low sodium. Both these abnormal sodium states in the body can be harmful and seniors and their caregivers have to be prudent with regards to dietary sodium intake – not too much but not too little either. These are two crucial mechanisms that regulate the sodium levels. Hyponatremia is a condition where sodium levels in the blood are lower than normal. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Deep Vein Thrombosis This should be done carefully in conjunction with a dietitian as excessive intake of salt and decreased water consumption can then lead to hypernatremia (high blood sodium) which has its own health consequences. This can cause mild symptoms of nausea and headaches and eventually lead to rapid brain swelling and death. Sodium concentration is higher in the bloodstream than inside cells. Water and sodium levels are closely related regulated together. Test Results. Her last visit to the hospital her sodium level went 129. Hyponatraemia is a low level of sodium in the blood. Care must be taken to correct the levels of sodium slowly, as rapid correction can cause sudden fluid shifts that can affect the brain, either by causing brain swelling or by breaking down myelin, the protective cover of the brain's cells. Exercise and diet can either reduce or delay the incidence of diabetes by over 50%. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse Exercise This is controlled along with the water levels in the body fluids by increasing water intake with stimulation of thirst and regulating the water excretion through the urine. In fact, many other diseases which are common in the elderly may have one or more of these symptoms. Taking diuretics, pain medication, antidepressants or other prescription drugs may also alter your fluid balance. Confusion, disorientation and drowsiness--common symptoms of low sodium--may masquerade as the symptoms of other neurological conditions in the elderly, such as vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease. A low sodium level in the blood is called hyponatremia and can be caused by several things. Sodium is an essential mineral in the body that is an important component of many processes in the body. Without it, the normal water levels in the body cannot be maintained and nerve and muscle function would be severely compromised. Leaf Group Ltd. Learn about the symptoms of low sodium, sodium blood tests, and normal sodium levels. Do you think obesity is considered a health threat among the senior population? Heart Disease Hearing Problems Changes in the way your body processes water can affect your balance of fluids and electrolytes as you age. Hyponatremia is a medical condition characterized by low concentration of sodium in the blood. Neurological changes are among the first signs of low sodium, an electrolyte that affects your fluid volume, nerve and muscle function. 20 In most of the cases, the level of hyponatremia has been clinically significant, with serum sodium concentrations as low as 101 mEq/L and with symptoms ranging from confusion to seizures and coma. You may also need to reduce your fluid intake or increase the amount of salt you consume. Hypernatremia occurs when sodium levels in the blood are too high. Hyponatremia is … All rights reserved. The sensation of thirst, renal function, concentrating abilities and hormonal modulators of salt and water balance are often impaired in the elderly, which makes such patients highl… It is generally defined as a sodium concentration of less than 135 mmol/L (135 mEq/L), with severe hyponatremia being below 120 mEq/L. Healthy Bones Hyponatremia or low sodium blood levels may result from excess fluid in the body relative to a normal amount of sodium, or it may be due to a loss of sodium and body fluid caused by chronic conditions like kidney or … The elderly are prone to low blood sodium levels. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the The hormones aldosterone (made in the adrenal gland) and anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) or vasopressin (made in the pituitary) adjust the way the kidneys deal with water and sodium to maintain the appropr… Dietary intake of water and salt intake may also be modified accordingly. Brain Problems Severe symptoms include confusion, seizures, and coma. Exercise and diet can either reduce or delay the incidence of diabetes by over 50%. A senior may find that their thirst mechanism is impaired and so is the kidney’s response to an important hormone known as ADH (anti diuretic hormone) which regulates the water output in the urine. Consult your doctor for a complete medical evaluation if you've had recent changes in your mental status, energy levels, nerve function or thirst. Varicose Veins, Dental Health Privacy Policy Hyponatremia is a low sodium concentration in the blood. She is a registered nurse with experience in medical-surgical nursing, behavioral health and geriatrics. Your heart function affects the volume of fluids in your body. Copyright © 2020 SeniorHealth365.com. Stomach Problems any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. generally, if an elderly person has sodium level go from 142 to 150 mmo/l in 24 hrs should anything be done & what? Once the sodium level drops, our cells expand from the abundance of water present in the blood. Various chemical messengers (hormones) and organs are involved in this process. Hyponatremia may be a consequence of too much water in the body which then dilutes the sodium levels (solute dilution) but can also be due to too little sodium in the body (solute depletion). The elderly have to be extra cautious as they are at risk of two sodium-related problems – high sodium in the blood (hypernatremia) or low sodium in the blood (hyponatremia). Sodium and water levels in the body are tightly regulated to keep it functioning normally. They can also have overly high levels of water in the blood, which reduces the overall blood sodium concentration, according to Mayo Clinic. It therefore does not clearly indicate a problem with sodium. Thiazide diuretics are usually well-tolerated but can cause hyponatremia in people prone to low sodium, particularly the elderly. Anne Tourney specializes in health and nutrition topics. With age this regulation is affected. Changes in the way your body processes water can affect your balance of fluids and electrolytes as you age. Sodium chloride is known commonly as table salt. and Balancing Your Fluid Intake and Output Limit your water intake to 1–1.5 L (34–51 fl oz) per day if … She was admitted with 121 level. . Many factors can cause low blood sodium. Symptoms of low sodium may not appear until your blood sodium level has fallen to a dangerous point, according to an article in the June 15, 2000 issue of "American Family Physician." Urinary tract problems that may hamper the output of urine. Both of these amounts are less than the 1.5 grams of sodium adults between 19 and 50 years old can consume. person on 120 mg furosemide bd Dr. Budi Bahureksa answered 30 years experience Cardiology Volume: the sodium level is a paradoxic gauge for your volume status. She is at the point where nothing more can be done to regulate her sodium. Symptoms can be absent, mild or severe. Management of abnormalities in water homeostasis is frequently challenging. Hyponatremia is present when levels drop below 135 mEq/L. Nutrition. advertisements are served by third party advertising companies. Therefore the medication should be changed to drugs that do not have this adverse effect on salt and water levels. Eye Health Sleep Disorders Headaches may be a sign of severe hyponatremia or another serious medical condition and warrant prompt medical attention. Most cases of prolonged hyponatremia in the elderly are related to medication. Nursing Home When the sodium levels fall below the normal level of 135 mEq/L, it is known that your body has low sodium levels. Skin Problems Sodium plays an essential role in various bodily functions, such as fluid balance, … Sodium is an electrolyte, a compound that conducts electrical signals to your nerves and muscles. Confusion, disorientation and drowsiness--common symptoms of low sodium--may masquerade as the symptoms of other neurological conditions in the elderly, such as vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. Regulatory mechanisms help control and maintain sodium levels. Low Sodium Blood Levels (Hyponatremia) in the Elderly Sodium is an essential mineral in the body that is an important component of many processes in the body. Hyponatremia refers to a low level of sodium in the blood. Sodium deficiency is also known as hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is an electrolyte imbalance and is indicated by a low level of sodium in the blood. Sometimes low sodium levels may be a combination of both solute dilution and solute depletion. When the levels of sodium in the blood go down, you have to face a lot of problems. My mother is now on hospice. Having your sodium levels checked regularly by your doctor should be a routine part of your medical care. Age, race and diet are certain factors which affect one’s chance of getting hyponatremia. Because age-related changes and chronic diseases are often associated with impairment of water metabolism in elderly patients, it is absolutely essential for clinicians to be aware of the pathophysiology of hyponatremia and hypernatremia in the elderly. Hyponatremia: How to Raise Low Blood Sodium Levels | Livestrong.com The major cause of increase in the incidence of diabetes is a sedentary lifestyle. However, it is often portrayed in a negative light as being a major health risk and rightfully so – high sodium levels are a major contributing factor in conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension). Hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is a condition that means you don’t have enough sodium in your blood. In the late stages of hyponatremia, you may have twitching, restlessness and other signs that your nervous system has been affected. Sodium is an element, or an electrolyte, that is found in the blood. Medication such as diuretics, antidepressants and pain killers. Liver failure may also affect the amount of sodium in your bloodstream. If you've been sick or have had reactions to medications that caused vomiting or diarrhea, you may have lost sodium as a result. Nausea may be a sign of a low sodium level. Seniors older than 71 should limit themselves to 1.2 grams. Mobility Aid American Family Physician: Hypernatremia and Hyponatremia in the Elderly, Merck Manuals Online Medical Library: Sodium: Minerals and Electrolytes, PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION. Diabetes Mellitus She's almost 94 and has been battling low sodium for the last couple of years. Severe hyponatremia may cause a loss of consciousness and respiratory function. , used as a substitute for professional medical advice, Health issues arising from extremely low sodium levels may be fatal. This condition may be due to a variety of reasons including: over consumption of fluids, vomiting, diarrhea, burns, kidney disorders and a variety of other diseases. In fact, critically low sodium levels can be downright dangerous, placing the body and brain at risk. The brain can swell quickly when sodium levels drop too low. Mild symptoms include a decreased ability to think, headaches, nausea, and poor balance. Taking diuretics, pain medication, antidepressants or other prescription drugs may also alter your fluid balance. Get the latest and accurate info on senior health, Skin Cancer (Malignant Tumors) in the Elderly. Hyponatremia may also be a … Hyponatremia widely affects the geriatric age group, especially hospitalized elderly patients. Sodium levels in the blood have to be tightly controlled. Treatment to raise sodium levels depends on the cause and symptoms. In the elderly, alterations in kidney function can affect the way your body concentrates urine and processes sodium. The major cause of increase in the incidence of diabetes is a sedentary lifestyle. Severe hyponatremia is an emergency medical condition that requires immediate intervention to restore your fluid and electrolyte balance. Low sodium levels are often seen among the elderly, especially within those who are living in long-term facilities or staying at the hospital for any health-related reason. After being home for 2 days it dropped to 124. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor use in the elderly population is associated with the development of hyponatremia. Hypokalemia Sodium is dissolved in the body’s fluids like the blood and tissue fluid. Apart from these physiological changes with age, it may also be further exacerbated by various diseases and medication that can cause dehydration like : The signs and symptoms of low sodium levels are non-specific meaning it is not unique to the this condition. It is important that the elderly or caregivers do NOT stop medication. Alzheimer’s Disease The change in medication has to be done very carefully under the supervision of a medical doctor. Osteoporosis Arthritis Neurological changes are among the first signs of low sodium, an electrolyte that affects your fluid volume, nerve and muscle function. diagnosis or treatment. One of the common risk factors for dangerously low sodium levels is old age. Elderly patients with low sodium levels are usually asymptomatic, although headaches, nausea, confusion and respiratory arrest show up in severe conditions, according to Kugler and Hustead for the American Family Physician journal from the American Academy of Family Physicians. 2020 Atherosclerosis The urinary sodium level (>20 mEq/L), urinary osmolality (>100 mOsm/kg), and low serum uric acid levels are findings that supported the diagnosis of the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuresis (also known as the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone, or SIADH). The condition is known as hyponatremia. Terms of Use Severe hyponatremia occurs when levels drop below 125 mEq/L. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Know the causes, symptoms, and treatment of hyponatremia in elderly. Copyright Policy Low sodium levels (hyponatremia) occur when there is a below-normal sodium level in the body. Did you know? According to “Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests with Nursing Implications,” the normal sodium level in the blood is 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter of blood. Although certain behavioral or cognitive changes may point to a low sodium level, the only way to confirm that you have low sodium, or hyponatremia, is through blood tests. Low Sodium and Dehydration. Tourney earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Regis University. Endocrine diseases affecting the thyroid and adrenal glands. Your sodium levels may get too low if your body loses too much water and electrolytes. In severe hyponatremia, a person can slip into a coma and respiratory arrest may even occur. Low sodium deficiency occurs in approximately 20% of patients who are admitted into the hospital and 10% of those in an endurance sporting event. Without it, the normal water levels in the body cannot be maintained and nerve and muscle function would be severely compromised. It should not be Seniors should have less sodium because they are more likely to have medical problems like kidney disease or diabetes that limit their body's ability to keep sodium levels balanced. However, you may not experience headaches until your blood sodium level has dropped to a very low level. Drinking too much water to compensate for your loss of fluids can contribute to low sodium levels. However, high sodium is not unique to the elderly whereas low sodium levels (hyponatremia) are more likely to arise with age as well as in some diseases and the use of certain medication. For example, hormones involved include antidiuretic hormone and cortisol, and organs involved include the brain and kidneys. Battling low sodium, sodium blood tests, and treatment of hyponatremia in the body not. Fluids, either orally or intravenously has to low sodium levels in the elderly done very carefully under the supervision a... 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