The change in medication has to be done very carefully under the supervision of a medical doctor. It is important that the elderly or caregivers do NOT stop medication. Leaf Group Ltd. Sodium is an electrolyte, a compound that conducts electrical signals to your nerves and muscles. Symptoms of low sodium may not appear until your blood sodium level has fallen to a dangerous point, according to an article in the June 15, 2000 issue of "American Family Physician." If you've been sick or have had reactions to medications that caused vomiting or diarrhea, you may have lost sodium as a result. Osteoporosis Monitoring your fluid intake and your cognitive status are important aspects of your care. Low Sodium and Dehydration. , A low sodium level in the blood is called hyponatremia and can be caused by several things. After being home for 2 days it dropped to 124. The elderly are prone to low blood sodium levels. Symptoms of low sodium can develop rapidly once your sodium levels drop. Various chemical messengers (hormones) and organs are involved in this process. Low sodium levels are often seen among the elderly, especially within those who are living in long-term facilities or staying at the hospital for any health-related reason. Low Sodium Blood Levels (Hyponatremia) in the Elderly Sodium is an essential mineral in the body that is an important component of many processes in the body. Atherosclerosis What causes Low Sodium Levels in the Body? Severe hyponatremia may cause a loss of consciousness and respiratory function. She is at the point where nothing more can be done to regulate her sodium. Symptoms can be absent, mild or severe. In severe hyponatremia, a person can slip into a coma and respiratory arrest may even occur. Water and sodium levels are closely related regulated together. Sodium is dissolved in the body’s fluids like the blood and tissue fluid. Sodium is an element, or an electrolyte, that is found in the blood. When the sodium levels fall below the normal level of 135 mEq/L, it is known that your body has low sodium levels. Severe hyponatremia is an emergency medical condition that requires immediate intervention to restore your fluid and electrolyte balance. used as a substitute for professional medical advice, It therefore does not clearly indicate a problem with sodium. Ongoing malaise--a general sense of physical discomfort--may be a sign that your sodium level is chronically low. Hyponatremia: How to Raise Low Blood Sodium Levels | Livestrong.com In the late stages of hyponatremia, you may have twitching, restlessness and other signs that your nervous system has been affected. It can be generally defined as a sodium concentration in the blood of less than 135 mmol/l, with levels below 120 mmol/l considered to be severe. However, it is often portrayed in a negative light as being a major health risk and rightfully so – high sodium levels are a major contributing factor in conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension). Seniors should have less sodium because they are more likely to have medical problems like kidney disease or diabetes that limit their body's ability to keep sodium levels balanced. Her last visit to the hospital her sodium level went 129. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse Healthy Bones Privacy Policy Nutrition. This should be done carefully in conjunction with a dietitian as excessive intake of salt and decreased water consumption can then lead to hypernatremia (high blood sodium) which has its own health consequences. Apart from these physiological changes with age, it may also be further exacerbated by various diseases and medication that can cause dehydration like : The signs and symptoms of low sodium levels are non-specific meaning it is not unique to the this condition. Dementia Hyponatremia may be a consequence of too much water in the body which then dilutes the sodium levels (solute dilution) but can also be due to too little sodium in the body (solute depletion). In many cases, too much water in the body dilutes the sodium, causing the … Sometimes low sodium levels may be a combination of both solute dilution and solute depletion. The condition is known as hyponatremia. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. To maintain a healthy balance of fluids and sodium, your doctor may recommend changes in any medications you may be taking that affect your sodium levels. Management of abnormalities in water homeostasis is frequently challenging. Nursing Home Hyponatremia may also be a … Hyponatremia refers to a low level of sodium in the blood. Elderly patients with low sodium levels are usually asymptomatic, although headaches, nausea, confusion and respiratory arrest show up in severe conditions, according to Kugler and Hustead for the American Family Physician journal from the American Academy of Family Physicians. Sodium and water levels in the body are tightly regulated to keep it functioning normally. person on 120 mg furosemide bd Dr. Budi Bahureksa answered 30 years experience Cardiology Volume: the sodium level is a paradoxic gauge for your volume status. Neurological changes are among the first signs of low sodium, an electrolyte that affects your fluid volume, nerve and muscle function. Did you know? Exercise and diet can either reduce or delay the incidence of diabetes by over 50%. Medication such as diuretics, antidepressants and pain killers. The elderly have to be extra cautious as they are at risk of two sodium-related problems – high sodium in the blood (hypernatremia) or low sodium in the blood (hyponatremia). Ongoing confusion and low energy levels may be signs that you have chronically low sodium. any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Sodium plays an essential role in various bodily functions, such as fluid balance, … Sodium levels in the blood have to be tightly controlled. Sodium concentration is higher in the bloodstream than inside cells. In fact, many other diseases which are common in the elderly may have one or more of these symptoms. Hyponatremia widely affects the geriatric age group, especially hospitalized elderly patients. Thiazide diuretics are usually well-tolerated but can cause hyponatremia in people prone to low sodium, particularly the elderly. Having your sodium levels checked regularly by your doctor should be a routine part of your medical care. Brain Problems . Hyponatremia is a low sodium concentration in the blood. and 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. Confusion, disorientation and drowsiness--common symptoms of low sodium--may masquerade as the symptoms of other neurological conditions in the elderly, such as vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Test Results. With age this regulation is affected. Mild symptoms include a decreased ability to think, headaches, nausea, and poor balance. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. The Effects of Low Sodium in the Elderly | Livestrong.com Dietary intake of water and salt intake may also be modified accordingly. Deep Vein Thrombosis The brain can swell quickly when sodium levels drop too low. If you live in a long-term care facility or you've been hospitalized, you may be especially prone to low sodium levels due to changes in your daily routines. Get the latest and accurate info on senior health, Skin Cancer (Malignant Tumors) in the Elderly. American Family Physician: Hypernatremia and Hyponatremia in the Elderly, Merck Manuals Online Medical Library: Sodium: Minerals and Electrolytes, PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION. Consult your doctor for a complete medical evaluation if you've had recent changes in your mental status, energy levels, nerve function or thirst. Maintaining proper sodium levels in your blood is critical to health. Neurological changes are among the first signs of low sodium, an electrolyte that affects your fluid volume, nerve and muscle function. Diabetes Mellitus Your sodium levels may get too low if your body loses too much water and electrolytes. Health issues arising from extremely low sodium levels may be fatal. Both these abnormal sodium states in the body can be harmful and seniors and their caregivers have to be prudent with regards to dietary sodium intake – not too much but not too little either. The sensation of thirst, renal function, concentrating abilities and hormonal modulators of salt and water balance are often impaired in the elderly, which makes such patients highl… Severe hyponatremia occurs when levels drop below 125 mEq/L. Hyponatremia is present when levels drop below 135 mEq/L. Changes in the way your body processes water can affect your balance of fluids and electrolytes as you age. My mother is now on hospice. Age, race and diet are certain factors which affect one’s chance of getting hyponatremia. Exercise and diet can either reduce or delay the incidence of diabetes by over 50%. Because age-related changes and chronic diseases are often associated with impairment of water metabolism in elderly patients, it is absolutely essential for clinicians to be aware of the pathophysiology of hyponatremia and hypernatremia in the elderly. This can cause mild symptoms of nausea and headaches and eventually lead to rapid brain swelling and death. Mobility Aid Sodium chloride is known commonly as table salt. Heart Disease Therefore the medication should be changed to drugs that do not have this adverse effect on salt and water levels. One of the common risk factors for dangerously low sodium levels is old age. generally, if an elderly person has sodium level go from 142 to 150 mmo/l in 24 hrs should anything be done & what? Hyponatraemia is a low level of sodium in the blood. Alzheimer’s Disease Confusion, disorientation and drowsiness--common symptoms of low sodium--may masquerade as the symptoms of other neurological conditions in the elderly, such as vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease. According to “Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests with Nursing Implications,” the normal sodium level in the blood is 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter of blood. The hormones aldosterone (made in the adrenal gland) and anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) or vasopressin (made in the pituitary) adjust the way the kidneys deal with water and sodium to maintain the appropr… Sodium is an essential mineral in the body that is an important component of many processes in the body. Without it, the normal water levels in the body cannot be maintained and nerve and muscle function would be severely compromised. advertisements are served by third party advertising companies. 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