Low sodium levels in the elderly
Those who have mild to moderate hyponatremia resulting from lifestyle factors or medication may be able to increase sodium to normal levels by: drinking less fluids (often less than 1 quart per day) adjusting medication dose or switching medications.
Treatment 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.
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.
Salt tablets The concept of treating low serum sodium with sodium supplements has intuitive appeal. However, sodium chloride tablets are seldom helpful in treatment because hyponatraemia usually reflects an imbalance in total body water, rather than sodium depletion.
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.
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.
Patients with hyponatremia had a hospital stay of 7.6 days compared with 5.6 days for those with normonatremia, a significant difference between the groups. Hyponatremia at the time of hospital admission is associated with an increased risk of death and longer in-patient stays, according to a new study.
In hyponatremia, the level of sodium in blood is too low. 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.
Chronic caffeine intake increases urinary sodium excretion without affecting plasma sodium concentration .
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.
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.
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.