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Hyponatremia (Low Sodium)


What was the cause of your hyponatremia? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: doreen, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 20

I drink way too many bottles of water which is the cause of my hyponatremia. I constantly have sodium levels of below 110 and was asked to go to the hospital for treatment. I am addicted to water. I can't seem to control it, I was hoping this article would scare me to stop abusing water. Thank you.

Comment from: Mackie, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 28

I was lethargic and had bruised vertebrae in my back. My doctor checked my blood and my sodium was 125. I was hospitalized for four days and given sodium via infusion for four days, got my sodium level to 130 and sent home. Two days later my sodium was 125. My doctor said to get off my anti-depression medication and drink Powerade. Two days later my sodium was 116. I was admitted to skilled nursing facility and given sodium IVs for two weeks. They kept checking my sodium level until it was in low 130. The doctor said stress could also cause hyponatremia. I have been at 139 for some time. I am still drinking Powerade and taking sodium pills twice daily. From time to time I experience dizziness.

Comment from: gregb, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

My wife's sodium count was 117 when she was taken to the hospital after suffering from a severe seizure. It took the hospital 48 hours to get her level back up. They had to sedate and intubate her for 36 hours so that they could get CT and MRI tests because she would not stop moving. She was also given 4 mg of Ativan in the emergency room which did not work. This was before they sedated her. As far as we can tell the hyponatremia was caused by her drinking too much water (a gallon or more daily). This might be the reason for her simple seizures.

Comment from: mickey, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 14

I had chronic diarrhea and nausea for 6 days which caused the hyponatremia.

Comment from: Nemesis, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 06

Sulfasalazine treatment for seronegative spondyloarthropathy caused my hyponatremia.

Comment from: Cincygal, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

I had 2 seizures due to hyponatremia; found out sodium level was 123 and 125. I was given IV sodium in the hospital and it didn't budge. I was still at 125. I have been taking sodium salt pills for 4 days now and had blood test today to see if they were helping, it's only 126 now. The doctor cut my fluid a few days ago to 48 oz. a day hoping this would help, but it didn't. Now I have to have EEG brain scan and CT lung scan. I don't know what else to do! I have been admitted to hospital twice, went to hospital 2 other times and they released me.

Comment from: Sick Again, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 12

I go in the morning for more blood work. I've been feeling sick for months now. Last couple of day have been getting worse. I have blood work done and my sodium level may be back up for a few days. Then I'll start feeling sick again and it is back down. In the material that I've read about hyponatremia I haven't seen one of my symptoms. This has been happening for years. When I pick up something that is a little heavy I get sick and vomit. It can be a bag of cat food or a case of water. At the beginning of November this year I suddenly got a lot worse. I now know this could have been really dangerous. I went for 2 weeks without being able to get myself to the doctor and since I had never been diagnosed I didn't realize how sick I was. I live by myself so now I know that if I ever get to this point again I will know to call an ambulance.

Comment from: Pharoah, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: January 12

My sodium dipped to 116 at which point the doctor sent me to the emergency room. He ran tests for a week checking heart, lungs and kidneys. All were fine except a scarring in the lungs probably caused by coccidioidomycosis I contracted some 30 years ago. The low sodium (hyponatremia) was probably caused by a diuretic blood pressure medicine plus excessive sweating playing golf in the summer. My sodium was back up to 136 when I left the hospital a week later. I now drink a lot of Gatorade and V8 juice to keep my sodium levels up. I am 80 years old and that probably has something to do with the low sodium levels as well. Getting old is not for sissies!

Comment from: Jules, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

I had a terrible cold, and couldn't breathe through my nose, or sleep. I couldn't find any decongestants at home so I started drinking more water than usual. I also habitually drank a lot of water at night because my bedroom is dry, so my tolerance of it had to have gone up, and I guess my sodium levels were also always a bit low since I don't eat a lot of boxed or restaurant food. It also goes to show that when you don't weigh that much it's very easy to drink too much water and get hyponatremia without knowing what's wrong (even though I've heard about it before in advanced placement biology, what an idiot). I felt sick to my stomach, vomited, and started shaking horrendously, which made me feel something was really wrong, so I had my parents drive me to the clinic, where I had a grand mal seizure (and bit my tongue) and was driven in an ambulance to the hospital. They ruled everything else out like tumors and liver problems, found out I had severe hyponatremia (114 mEq/L), and I spent two days in a room with a saline drip until I was coherent and able to walk. The doctor explained everything to us like we were all morons, and brought in a psychiatrist because he didn't think I could possibly do it on accident, so it indubitably turned into the most embarrassing period of my life so far. I was put on a 1200 to 1500 ml daily fluid restriction and sent home.

Comment from: Rrobert C., 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 13

I was working in dreadful heat and humidity (over a 5 year period), and had 5 separate severe night (when sleeping) seizures in the final 18 months of my contract. None of the range of specialists I saw diagnosed the underlying problem, my naturally good (low) blood pressure, being thrust to dangerously low levels after I drank lots of water and urinated a lot at night. That washed a lot of salt out of my body causing the hyponatremia induced seizures. It stopped when I stopped drinking a lot of water and started having 12 salt tablets each day.

Comment from: lisa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

I drank a liter of water very quickly, which may have caused hyponatremia. I experienced dizziness and a bit of disorientation about half an hour later. This was followed by a headache. I am feeling much better, though I still have a slight headache. I am seeing my doctor in a few weeks. I wonder if I should supplement my electrolytes with a Gatorade or the equivalent.

Comment from: dobhuney, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 18

I suffered a bout of hyponatremia in November 2013. I was feeling unwell before that, tired, and a bit depressed. Then, I had an immense craving for salt. I was making popcorn in saucepan, and putting salt on it; eating vegemite (an Australian product), which contains a lot of salt. I also sprinkled salt into my hand and used that also. I was told by the hospital I would have had hyponatremia or a stroke. I remember nothing about it. I don't know if I had a seizure. I was found at home, unconscious, and revived by a friend who knew 1st aid. I'd been lying on the couch all night. He said my skin was sallow and my lips were blue; not enough oxygen and I was barely breathing. Ambulance got me to the hospital. A nurse was by my bedside for a few days. I was told I couldn't speak properly, slumped in a chair. I can't remember much about it at all. Then, one morning I sort of 'woke up', looked around and realized I was in a hospital. Things started improve, and I'm o.k. now, but extremely careful. Not sure what caused this to happen.

Comment from: just me, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

Doctor couldn't figure out why I was loosing sodium. I had to restrict water and fluid intake. After a bout with pneumonia, follow up CT-scan showed I had a tumor in the sternum. It turned put to be Small Cell Lung Cancer (thank goodness was stage 0-1, very early).

Comment from: Spider, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I started to feel so tired. It was an effort to get out of bed. On getting blood tests, it was discovered I had critically low sodium. Luckily the doctor at the hospital asked about diuretics as I was on Attacand Plus for blood pressure and this has a diuretic content. It was also mentioned that the low sodium had shown up in a blood test 12 months ago and the GP doctor had done nothing about it.

Comment from: Lil PJ, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 01

I had hyponatremia due to a medication I was started on for depression and seizure control. I ended up in the hospital for 2 days after being treated with sodium I.V. solution and pain medication.

Comment from: Bobbi-Jean, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

I have no idea! I had trauma surgery for total small bowel obstruction with vomiting of feces. Following 12-day hospital stay and surgery I was released and had an uneventful recovery almost. On day nine or 10 post-discharge I was on my daily walk and started feeling dizzy, sweaty, and sick. Next thing I know, I am back in ER with residents asking me why my sodium was so low and if I was confused. I was treated with fluids and released again only to be back in a few weeks. This happened seven times in seven months. o the individual patient and their story.

Comment from: Jane324, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: December 05

I have a friend who recently had a knee replacement. She was fine the evening of her surgery and the next day. The second day after her surgery she complained of not "tracking" very well. She hardly ate on that second day and became increasingly foggy and lethargic. She had no IVs since the day after her surgery. The third day, she had a major seizure and became unconscious. After the seizure she was transferred from the orthopedic unit to Intensive Care. There, we were told she had extreme hyponatremia. I wonder why this was not discovered earlier by checking her electrolytes or doing routine labs? She made no secret about feeling "loopy."

Comment from: cms, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 11

My Husband is in hospital for two weeks and been told he has low sodium levels. Test include: liver scan, endoscopy, camera to look into the stomach, CAT scans and various blood tests as well as a echo cardiogram, all which have come back OK. Reading this article has helped me identify some of the symptoms. He started with feeling sick, unable to eat or drink: over the last four weeks. I had the Doctor in the home two times because he was so weak and could barely sit up. I was told to make sure he drank water and he would soon stop being dehydrated. As he had not eaten or drank then for two weeks I took him to A& E dept' and he was admitted to the hospital and put on a drip. It is only now he has regained strength in his arms and beginning to eat small amounts. They are doing more blood tests to check the sodium level before letting him come home. His legs are still wobbly/ weak; his health problems include Emphysema, Liver damage, plus reactivated T.B which left the lungs in a worse condition. His recent drugs to rid him of the Fungi associated with Emphysema are antifungal and he has been taking them for 18 months. He has Bronchiosis inhalers and has his condition in control so when this all happened it seemed out of the blue, in reality his health and breathing has deteriorated over the last six months or so. He is still breathless and I shall ask what caused the low white blood cell count as well as the low sodium levels. This article has helped identify some of the symptoms he has had.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


"Overview of the treatment of hyponatremia in adults"

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