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5 Things You Need to Know About Sodium Hyponatremia in the Elderly

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5 Things You Need to Know About Sodium Hyponatremia in the Elderly
Sodium Hyponatremia may be a concern. Photo Credit Digital Vision./DigitalVision/Getty Images

Hyponatremia is a potentially life-threatening condition in which the sodium concentration in a person's blood drops dangerously low. It is one of the most common electrolyte imbalances, especially among the elderly. There are three classes of hyponatremia: hypovolemic, hypervolemic and euvolemic. Hypovolemic hyponatremia occurs when the liquid part of our blood, called plasma, is depleted due to significant fluid losses (i.e. severe vomiting or diarrhea). Hypervolemic hyponatremia is kind of the opposite. This occurs when we become overloaded with fluid, so much so that the sodium in our blood becomes extremely diluted. Increased fluid retention may be caused by vital organ failure, such as our heart or lungs. Euvolemic hyponatremia is the result of a condition called syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone or SIADH. With SIADH, our body produces too much of the hormone that promotes fluid retention and subsequent low sodium concentration.

Hyponatremia is a potentially life-threatening condition in which the sodium concentration in a person's blood drops dangerously low. It is one of the most common electrolyte imbalances, especially among the elderly. There are three classes of hyponatremia: hypovolemic, hypervolemic and euvolemic. Hypovolemic hyponatremia occurs when the liquid part of our blood, called plasma, is depleted due to significant fluid losses (i.e. severe vomiting or diarrhea). Hypervolemic hyponatremia is kind of the opposite. This occurs when we become overloaded with fluid, so much so that the sodium in our blood becomes extremely diluted. Increased fluid retention may be caused by vital organ failure, such as our heart or lungs. Euvolemic hyponatremia is the result of a condition called syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone or SIADH. With SIADH, our body produces too much of the hormone that promotes fluid retention and subsequent low sodium concentration.

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