Low sodium levels in the blood occur when there is a lower than normal concentration of sodium in the blood. This is a condition often referred to as hyponatremia. Sodium is an electrolyte that helps maintain blood pressure and helps regulate nerve and muscle function. Low sodium levels can cause symptoms including confusion, lethargy, and cramping, which are usually brought on by other medical conditions or illnesses. Low sodium levels in the blood can occur due to a number of causes and conditions that can be detected.
Hypoadrenalism is an adrenal deficiency that causes the adrenal glands, located on top of the kidneys, to produce insufficient amounts of steroid hormones. Most symptoms caused by hypoadrenalsim are due to a decrease in production of the steroid hormone cortisol. This condition can be potentially fatal if left undiagnosed and corrected. Hypoadrenalism can be major factor in causing low sodium levels of the blood in addition to contributing to low blood sugar, hormone and cortisol levels.
Hypothyroidism is a condition known to cause low sodium levels in the blood. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone for the body to function and send necessary chemical messages to other parts of the body that regulate hormones and metabolic levels. Hypothyroidism is a common condition that often goes undiagnosed but can be easily be treated; this condition affects both men and women but is most common in women.
Salt Losing Nephropathy
Salt losing nephropathy causes abnormal urinary sodium loss that can lead to hypotension and the onset of side effects like vomiting, dehydration, and vascular collapse. This condition is more common in children than adults, and it is a well known contributor to low sodium blood levels. Causes of salt losing nephropathy have been linked to infected organs, auto-immune disorders, allergies and genetic disorders. The condition is treated by monitoring salt intake and using medicines that help lower blood pressure and protect the kidneys.
The uses of diuretics are known to contribute to low levels of sodium in the blood. Diuretics are used to remove fluids from the body through urination. They can be over-the-counter or prescription drugs and also holistic remedies used for treatment of fluid retention in the body's tissues for a condition known as edema. Diuretics are also used as a weight-loss aid to help the body release fluid that has been retained. Excessive use of these diuretics can be attributed to low sodium levels in the blood, and dehydration can occur if these regimens are not monitored.
Diarrhea is a common problem that is known to trigger low sodium levels in the blood, as well as nausea, and dehydration. It is a loose, watery stool that is often caused by something that has been ingested related to food poisoning, viruses or infectious bacteria. Additional symptoms that can be detected include abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, and digestive problems. Over-the-counter medications and homeopathic remedies are often used to treat these symptoms and to restore sodium loss and rehydration.