Low sodium levels in elderly
A low sodium level in the elderly can cause neurological symptoms. If elderly people’s sodium levels become too low, they will experience neurological symptoms such as headache and confusion. When the body is low on electrolytes like sodium, it will start to break down muscle tissue for energy.
Hyponatremia in elderly subjects is mainly caused by drugs (more frequently thiazides and antidepressants), the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIAD) or endocrinopathies; however, hyponatremia is multifactorial in a significant proportion of patients.
A low sodium level has many causes , including consumption of too many fluids, kidney failure, heart failure, cirrhosis, and use of diuretics. Symptoms result from brain dysfunction.
Options include: Intravenous fluids. Your doctor may recommend IV sodium solution to slowly raise the sodium levels in your blood . Medications. You may take medications to manage the signs and symptoms of hyponatremia, such as headaches, nausea and seizures.
Hyponatremia occurs when sodium levels in the blood are too low . Symptoms include lethargy, confusion, and fatigue. It can result from underlying conditions, such as kidney failure, or other factors, such as drinking too much water or taking certain medications.
Hyponatremia treatments may include changing a medication that affects your sodium level, treating the underlying disease, changing the amount of water you drink or changing the amount of salt in your diet.
In elderly patients with a diet poor in protein and sodium , hyponatremia may be worsened by their low solute intake. The kidney’s need to excrete solutes aids in water excretion. An increase in dietary protein and salt can help improve water excretion.
Who is most at risk for hyponatremia? Anyone can develop hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is more likely in people living with certain diseases, like kidney failure, congestive heart failure , and diseases affecting the lungs, liver or brain . It often occurs with pain after surgery.
In many hospital laboratories 160 mEq/L is chosen as the upper critical value. The evidence of this study suggests that sodium in the range of 155-160 mEq/L is associated with high risk of death and that 155 mEq/L rather than 160 mEq/L might be more suitable as the upper critical level .
Chronic caffeine intake increases urinary sodium excretion without affecting plasma sodium concentration .
High- Sodium Foods Smoked, cured, salted or canned meat, fish or poultry including bacon, cold cuts, ham, frankfurters, sausage, sardines, caviar and anchovies. Frozen breaded meats and dinners, such as burritos and pizza. Canned entrees, such as ravioli, spam and chili. Salted nuts. Beans canned with salt added.
In patients with severe symptomatic hyponatremia , the rate of sodium correction should be 6 to 12 mEq per L in the first 24 hours and 18 mEq per L or less in 48 hours.
Although sodium may take longer to normalise within the brain and hence the neuropsychiatric symptoms take longer to resolve but serum levels should be corrected as advised earlier no faster than 10-12 mEq/L in 24 hrs . Levels lower than 105 mEq/L are prone to develop osmotic demyelination if corrected too rapidly.
Highlights. Nephrologists say low sodium salts have higher percentage of potassium, which, if consumed in larger amount, can be equally bad for health . It can cause hyperkalemia — excess levels of potassium in blood — that is known to cause symptoms such as weakened pulse, slow heartbeat or muscle weakness.
Chronic, severe vomiting or diarrhea and other causes of dehydration . This causes your body to lose electrolytes, such as sodium , and also increases ADH levels. Drinking too much water. Drinking excessive amounts of water can cause low sodium by overwhelming the kidneys’ ability to excrete water.
How is the sodium blood test done? This test is performed on a blood sample, obtained by venipuncture. A technician will insert a small needle into a vein on your arm or hand. This will be used to fill a test tube with blood.