Hypernatremia Symptoms And Treatment - Health Article

Hypernatremia Symptoms And Treatment

What is hypernatremia?


With hypernatremia electrolyte imbalance is referred to with increased sodium content in the blood serum. It is the opposite of hyponatremia. At this electrolyte disorder occurs when the body produces too much water is removed (dehydration). In rare cases it is the result of excessive sodium intake, such as by drinking salt water.

The water loss results from a rule:

-Decreased fluid intake (mainly affects older people who have a decreased sensation of thirst)
-Increased water excretion (urine, sweat) caused either by medication (diuretics, lithium) or disease (diabetes insipidus)
-An excess of mineralocorticoids, which usually occurs in connection with Conn's syndrome or Cushing's syndrome.

When water loss, sodium levels are normal in itself, but the sodium concentration in the blood rises by the lack of water. Already a slight increase triggers strong thirst, usually followed by hydration to eliminate the hypernatremia.

Hypernatremia Symptoms


Hypernatremia can often be difficult to establish because the symptoms are quite diffuse. Affected complain of general weakness, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. It can also occur edema. In severe cases, it comes to seizures and unconsciousness. In infants and neonates, the hypernatremia is often only by routine laboratory monitoring. Otherwise, symptoms such as muscular hypotonia, apathy, hyperexcitability, tremor, seizures or apnea show.

Of severe cases is when the sodium concentration in the blood plasma than 158 mmol / l (normal values ​​are in the range of 135 to 145 mmol / l). Values ​​above 180 mmol / l are lethal.

Treatment for hypernatremia


Hypernatremia can be relatively easily fixed by hydration, which occurs either orally or intravenously. This must however be done slowly, since rapid reduction of the sodium concentration can be life-threatening. This is due to that in prolonged hypernatremia, the water content decreases in the cells. A rapid lowering of serum sodium would lead to osmotic water influx into the cells and swell them. In the brain, this may result in a cerebral edema and because of the limited extensibility of the skull to brain damage. Therefore, a severe hypernatremia should always be treated by a doctor.

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