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  • Hyponatremia


    Hyponatremia is a low sodium level in the blood. It is generally defined as a sodium concentration of less than 135 mmol/L (135 mEq/L), with severe hyponatremia being below 120 mEq/L. Symptoms can be absent, mild or severe. Mild symptoms include a decreased ability to think, headaches, nausea, and poor balance. Severe symptoms include confusion, seizures, and coma. The causes of hyponatremia are typically classified by a person's body fluid status into low volume, normal volume, or high volume. Low volume hyponatremia can occur from diarrhea, vomiting, diuretics, and sweating. Normal volume hyponatremia is divided into cases with dilute urine and concentrated urine. Cases in which the urine is dilute include adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, and drinking too much water or too much beer. Cases in which the urine is concentrated include syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH). High volume hyponatremia can occur from heart failure, liver failure, and kidney failure. Conditions that can lead to falsely low sodium measurements include high blood protein levels such as in multiple myeloma, high blood fat levels, and high blood sugar. Treatment is based on the underlying cause. Correcting hyponatremia too quickly can lead to complications. Rapid partial correction with 3% normal saline is only recommended in those with significant symptoms and occasionally those in whom the condition was of rapid onset. Low volume hyponatremia is typically treated with intravenous normal saline. SIADH is typically treated with fluid restriction while high volume hyponatremia is typically treated with both fluid restriction and a diet low in salt. Correction should generally be gradual in those in whom the low levels have been present for more than two days. Hyponatremia occurs in about 20% of those admitted to hospital and 10% of people during or after an endurance sporting event. Among those in hospital, hyponatremia is associated with an increased risk of death. The economic costs of hyponatremia are estimated at $2.6 billion in the United States.

  • Fluid balance


    Fluid balance is an aspect of the homeostasis of organisms in which the amount of water in the organism needs to be controlled, via osmoregulation and behavior, such that the concentrations of electrolytes (salts in solution) in the various body fluids are kept within healthy ranges. The core principle of fluid balance is that the amount of water lost from the body must equal the amount of water taken in; for example, in humans, the output (via respiration, perspiration, urination, defecation, and expectoration) must equal the input (via eating and drinking, or by parenteral intake). Euvolemia is the state of normal body fluid volume, including blood volume, interstitial fluid volume, and intracellular fluid volume; hypovolemia and hypervolemia are imbalances. Water is necessary for all life on Earth. Humans can survive for 4 to 6 weeks without food but only for a few days without water. Profuse sweating can increase the need for electrolyte replacement. Water-electrolyte imbalance produces headache and fatigue if mild; illness if moderate, and sometimes even death if severe.

  • Hypotonic hyponatremia


    Hypoosmolar hyponatremia is a condition where hyponatremia associated with a low plasma osmolality. The term "hypotonic hyponatremia" is also sometimes used. When the plasma osmolarity is low, the extracellular fluid volume status may be in one of three states: low volume, normal volume, or high volume.

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