low sodium symptoms

Low sodium, also called hyponatremia, occurs when the sodium level in your blood is abnormally low. Sodium is an essential electrolyte that plays an important role in maintaining fluid balance in your body and conducting electrical signals. When sodium levels become too low, it can cause a variety of symptoms, which can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Mild cases may not show many noticeable symptoms, but as hyponatremia becomes more severe, symptoms can become more pronounced and potentially life-threatening. Here are some symptoms of low sodium:

low sodium symptoms

  • Nausea and vomiting: These symptoms are common in mild to moderate cases of hyponatremia.

  • Headache: Low sodium levels can cause headaches, which are often accompanied by fatigue.

  • Confusion or altered mental status: Severe hyponatremia can affect brain function, causing confusion, disorientation and, in extreme cases, even seizures or coma.

  • Muscle weakness and cramps: Sodium is important for muscle function. Low sodium levels can cause weakness, cramps and muscle twitches.

  • Fatigue and lethargy: Low sodium can lead to extreme tiredness and a lack of energy.

  • Irritability and restlessness: Changes in electrolyte balance can affect mood, causing irritability and restlessness.

  • Swelling: Hyponatremia can cause fluid to accumulate in cells, which can lead to swelling, especially in the feet, ankles, and legs.

  • Seizures: In severe cases, low sodium levels can lead to seizures, which are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

  • Coma and death: Extremely low sodium levels can result in a life-threatening condition, which can lead to coma or even death.

It is important to note that symptoms can vary greatly depending on the person's overall health, the underlying cause of the hyponatremia, and how rapidly the sodium levels have dropped. If you suspect that you or someone else is experiencing symptoms of low sodium, it is essential to seek medical attention, especially for severe or rapidly progressing symptoms. Hyponatremia can have serious consequences, and should be treated by health care professionals to find the underlying cause and bring sodium levels back to a safe range.