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… Hyponatremia may also be a … 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 … Causes of Hyponatremia: The condition is known as hyponatremia. She was admitted with 121 level. 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). 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. Age, race and diet are certain factors which affect one’s chance of getting hyponatremia. Know the causes, symptoms, and treatment of hyponatremia in elderly. Having your sodium levels checked regularly by your doctor should be a routine part of your medical care. Water and sodium levels are closely related regulated together. Changes in the way your body processes water can affect your balance of fluids and electrolytes as you age. Skin Problems She's almost 94 and has been battling low sodium for the last couple of years. Copyright Policy Neurological changes are among the first signs of low sodium, an electrolyte that affects your fluid volume, nerve and muscle function. Hyponatremia is … Stomach Problems The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse used as a substitute for professional medical advice, 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. When the levels of sodium in the blood go down, you have to face a lot of problems. Low sodium deficiency occurs in approximately 20% of patients who are admitted into the hospital and 10% of those in an endurance sporting event. Did you know? 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. Maintaining proper sodium levels in your blood is critical to health. Do you think obesity is considered a health threat among the senior population? Both of these amounts are less than the 1.5 grams of sodium adults between 19 and 50 years old can consume. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. The major cause of increase in the incidence of diabetes is a sedentary lifestyle. Anne Tourney specializes in health and nutrition topics. 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. 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. Symptoms can be absent, mild or severe. What causes Low Sodium Levels in the Body? Terms of Use Tourney earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Regis University. Copyright © 2020 SeniorHealth365.com. Hypernatremia occurs when sodium levels in the blood are too high. She is a registered nurse with experience in medical-surgical nursing, behavioral health and geriatrics. Severe hyponatremia is an emergency medical condition that requires immediate intervention to restore your fluid and electrolyte balance. Hypokalemia It is important that the elderly or caregivers do NOT stop medication. In many cases, too much water in the body dilutes the sodium, causing the … Get the latest and accurate info on senior health, Skin Cancer (Malignant Tumors) in the Elderly. Hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is a condition that means you don’t have enough sodium in your blood. Nutrition. Ongoing confusion and low energy levels may be signs that you have chronically low sodium. All rights reserved. Balancing Your Fluid Intake and Output Limit your water intake to 1–1.5 L (34–51 fl oz) per day if … It should not be Hyponatremia is present when levels drop below 135 mEq/L. Hyponatraemia is a low level of sodium in the blood. Sodium and water levels in the body are tightly regulated to keep it functioning normally. 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." The treatment of dehydration includes the administration of fluids, either orally or intravenously. 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. The Effects of Low Sodium in the Elderly | Livestrong.com Your sodium levels may get too low if your body loses too much water and electrolytes. . Atherosclerosis advertisements are served by third party advertising companies. The change in medication has to be done very carefully under the supervision of a medical doctor. Various chemical messengers (hormones) and organs are involved in this process. Monitoring your fluid intake and your cognitive status are important aspects of your care. When the sodium levels fall below the normal level of 135 mEq/L, it is known that your body has low sodium levels. 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. Symptoms of low sodium can develop rapidly once your sodium levels drop. Healthy Bones Sodium is dissolved in the body’s fluids like the blood and tissue fluid. This can cause mild symptoms of nausea and headaches and eventually lead to rapid brain swelling and death. 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. Leaf Group Ltd. and Dietary intake of water and salt intake may also be modified accordingly. 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. Brain Problems Hyponatremia widely affects the geriatric age group, especially hospitalized elderly patients. However, you may not experience headaches until your blood sodium level has dropped to a very low level. Heart Disease 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. Health issues arising from extremely low sodium levels may be fatal. Hyponatremia is an electrolyte imbalance and is indicated by a low level of sodium in the blood. The brain can swell quickly when sodium levels drop too low. 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. For example, hormones involved include antidiuretic hormone and cortisol, and organs involved include the brain and kidneys. Management of abnormalities in water homeostasis is frequently challenging. In the elderly, alterations in kidney function can affect the way your body concentrates urine and processes sodium. Liver failure may also affect the amount of sodium in your bloodstream. Copyright © Neurological changes are among the first signs of low sodium, an electrolyte that affects your fluid volume, nerve and muscle function. Most cases of prolonged hyponatremia in the elderly are related to medication. Sodium plays an essential role in various bodily functions, such as fluid balance, … Headaches may be a sign of severe hyponatremia or another serious medical condition and warrant prompt medical attention. Sleep Disorders Sodium is an element, or an electrolyte, that is found in the blood. Treatment to raise sodium levels depends on the cause and symptoms. Regulatory mechanisms help control and maintain sodium levels. Hyponatremia: How to Raise Low Blood Sodium Levels | Livestrong.com The major cause of increase in the incidence of diabetes is a sedentary lifestyle. My mother is now on hospice. Hyponatremia is a condition where sodium levels in the blood are lower than normal. Eye Health diagnosis or treatment. Low Sodium and Dehydration. Alzheimer’s Disease Drinking too much water to compensate for your loss of fluids can contribute to low sodium levels. 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. They can also have overly high levels of water in the blood, which reduces the overall blood sodium concentration, according to Mayo Clinic. Heart disease may lead to low blood sodium levels. Dementia Exercise and diet can either reduce or delay the incidence of diabetes by over 50%. After being home for 2 days it dropped to 124. Consult your doctor for a complete medical evaluation if you've had recent changes in your mental status, energy levels, nerve function or thirst. Arthritis Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor use in the elderly population is associated with the development of hyponatremia. Seniors older than 71 should limit themselves to 1.2 grams. Test Results. Exercise Irritable Bowel Syndrome Low sodium levels (hyponatremia) occur when there is a below-normal sodium level in the body. A normal sodium level is between 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). Thiazide diuretics are usually well-tolerated but can cause hyponatremia in people prone to low sodium, particularly the elderly. Hyponatremia is a low sodium concentration in the blood. Mobility Aid 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. Sodium chloride is known commonly as table salt. In fact, critically low sodium levels can be downright dangerous, placing the body and brain at risk. generally, if an elderly person has sodium level go from 142 to 150 mmo/l in 24 hrs should anything be done & what? If you've been sick or have had reactions to medications that caused vomiting or diarrhea, you may have lost sodium as a result. Varicose Veins, Dental Health In severe hyponatremia, a person can slip into a coma and respiratory arrest may even occur. Exercise and diet can either reduce or delay the incidence of diabetes by over 50%. A low sodium level in the blood is called hyponatremia and can be caused by several things. In the late stages of hyponatremia, you may have twitching, restlessness and other signs that your nervous system has been affected. Nursing Home LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The normal adult value for sodium is 136-145 mEq/L. Severe symptoms include confusion, seizures, and coma. Urinary tract problems that may hamper the output of urine. Endocrine diseases affecting the thyroid and adrenal glands. Nausea may be a sign of a low sodium level. 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. In fact, many other diseases which are common in the elderly may have one or more of these symptoms. , Without it, the normal water levels in the body cannot be maintained and nerve and muscle function would be severely compromised. One of the common risk factors for dangerously low sodium levels is old age. 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. 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). With age this regulation is affected. Hearing Problems Ongoing malaise--a general sense of physical discomfort--may be a sign that your sodium level is chronically low. 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. Many factors can cause low blood sodium. You may also need to reduce your fluid intake or increase the amount of salt you consume. Mild symptoms include a decreased ability to think, headaches, nausea, and poor balance. Osteoporosis Sodium is an electrolyte, a compound that conducts electrical signals to your nerves and muscles. The elderly are prone to low blood sodium levels. Sometimes low sodium levels may be a combination of both solute dilution and solute depletion. Her last visit to the hospital her sodium level went 129. 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. Taking diuretics, pain medication, antidepressants or other prescription drugs may also alter your fluid balance. American Family Physician: Hypernatremia and Hyponatremia in the Elderly, Merck Manuals Online Medical Library: Sodium: Minerals and Electrolytes, PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the Severe hyponatremia may cause a loss of consciousness and respiratory function. 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). 2020 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. 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. She is at the point where nothing more can be done to regulate her sodium. Deep Vein Thrombosis 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). Once the sodium level drops, our cells expand from the abundance of water present in the blood. any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Severe hyponatremia occurs when levels drop below 125 mEq/L. 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. Sodium levels in the blood have to be tightly controlled. Diabetes Mellitus These are two crucial mechanisms that regulate the sodium levels. Your heart function affects the volume of fluids in your body. 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. Changes in the way your body processes water can affect your balance of fluids and electrolytes as you age. It therefore does not clearly indicate a problem with sodium. Privacy Policy 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. Hyponatremia is a medical condition characterized by low concentration of sodium in the blood. Sodium deficiency is also known as hyponatremia. Sodium concentration is higher in the bloodstream than inside cells. Therefore the medication should be changed to drugs that do not have this adverse effect on salt and water levels. 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. Headaches caused by the buildup of fluid in your brain tissues are a common symptom of hyponatremia. Medication such as diuretics, antidepressants and pain killers. 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. Without it, the normal water levels in the body cannot be maintained and nerve and muscle function would be severely compromised. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM 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… Learn about the symptoms of low sodium, sodium blood tests, and normal sodium levels. More can be done to regulate her sodium level went 129 is frequently challenging headaches be! 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