Sodium is a mineral that we obtain through food and that our body requires to function properly, since it helps balance body fluids, regulates blood pressure and takes care of muscles and nerves. The most popular form of sodium is table salt.
Its importance means that sodium levels in our body must be taken into account and controlled. The way to do this is by checking these values with regular blood electrolyte tests. The normal sodium levels in adults are between 136 and 145 mEq / L but what happens when you have higher than they should? For what reasons does it occur? In this FastlyHealarticle you will find the causes and recommendations for high sodium .
Causes of high blood sodium
Excess sodium in our blood tests is a condition called hypernatremia, the causes of which can include various factors:
- Dehydration : when we lose too much body fluids, either due to lack of water intake or after having suffered vomiting, diarrhea, burns or sweating, the levels of this mineral can skyrocket.
- Abusive salt intake : diet also has a lot to do with this problem, and it is that adding too much salt to our dishes directly influences the levels. Most processed and frozen products are also high in sodium.
- Use of medications : certain drugs such as birth control pills, laxatives, corticosteroids and ibuprofen, among others, increase the amount of sodium that circulates in our bloodstream.
- Diabetes insipidus : this is a type of diabetes in which the patient’s kidneys are unable to retain water from the body and eliminate more than they should through urine, which occurs frequently throughout the day.
- Disorders in the adrenal glands : These glands are located on the kidneys and are responsible for producing vital hormones. Certain diseases such as Cushing’s syndrome or hyperaldosteronism cause overproduction and can be reflected in sodium levels.
Symptoms and consequences of high blood sodium
When excess sodium is present , symptoms can be very subtle. Among them, we can notice weakness, drowsiness, irritability and dizziness when getting up or changing position. In more severe cases of hypernatremia, especially if caused by dehydration, fever, extreme sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures may occur.
The most important thing to keep in mind are the risks we run from having high sodium levels :
- Arterial hypertension : it is one of the most well-known consequences, and that is that excessive consumption of salt in our meals can significantly increase blood pressure and favor the appearance of heart or kidney problems, among others.
- Gastric disorders and kidney damage : Eating too much sodium can also be harmful to the gastric walls, causing gastritis and stomach ulcers, while increasing the work of the kidneys, which must eliminate it, which can end up affecting them.
- Bone and skin problems : Some studies have linked excess sodium with a higher chance of suffering from osteoporosis . Similarly, poor blood circulation also causes edema, varicose veins and other similar problems.
Recommendations for high blood sodium
If after taking a blood test, sodium levels appear soaring, it is time to take some recommendations to reduce sodium in the blood :
- The first step is to consult with the doctor to find out if there is a major illness that is causing this condition. If levels are very high, intravenous fluid administration and follow-up may be recommended.
- Sodium levels should be lowered little by little, as the body gets used to this excess and a sudden drop could be really dangerous. Therefore, it is best to entrust this task to professionals.
- Hydration is essential. They should ingest about two liters of water a day and modify the diet as the doctor considers; the amount of salt allowed probably does not exceed one gram per day.
- Regarding diet, try to avoid processed foods and put salt aside. You can opt for spices or other seasonings that give flavor to your dishes. On the other hand, potassium helps to balance sodium in the blood; fresh fruit, green leafy vegetables, meat and milk will be your allies.
Remember that you must take into account the recommendations that your doctor indicates, since they will be adapted to your specific case.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to High sodium: causes and recommendations , we recommend that you enter our Kidneys and urinary system category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.