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. Dietary intake of water and salt intake may also be modified accordingly. Treatment to raise sodium levels depends on the cause and symptoms. 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. A normal sodium level is between 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). Your sodium levels may get too low if your body loses too much water and electrolytes. Water and sodium levels are closely related regulated together. Sodium deficiency is also known as hyponatremia. Hyponatremia widely affects the geriatric age group, especially hospitalized elderly patients. One of the common risk factors for dangerously low sodium levels is old age. Did you know? Various chemical messengers (hormones) and organs are involved in this process. Consult your doctor for a complete medical evaluation if you've had recent changes in your mental status, energy levels, nerve function or thirst. Both of these amounts are less than the 1.5 grams of sodium adults between 19 and 50 years old can consume. Hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is a condition that means you don’t have enough sodium in your blood. All rights reserved. Exercise and diet can either reduce or delay the incidence of diabetes by over 50%. Hyponatremia refers to a low level of sodium in the blood. Deep Vein Thrombosis The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse Although certain behavioral or cognitive changes may point to a low sodium level, the only way to confirm that you have low sodium, or hyponatremia, is through blood tests. Hyponatremia is a low sodium concentration in the blood. My mother is now on hospice. Osteoporosis Nutrition. She is a registered nurse with experience in medical-surgical nursing, behavioral health and geriatrics. 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. Terms of Use Skin Problems Medication such as diuretics, antidepressants and pain killers. Mild symptoms include a decreased ability to think, headaches, nausea, and poor balance. Tourney earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Regis University. The normal adult value for sodium is 136-145 mEq/L. Urinary tract problems that may hamper the output of urine. Headaches caused by the buildup of fluid in your brain tissues are a common symptom of hyponatremia. In fact, many other diseases which are common in the elderly may have one or more of these symptoms. A low sodium level in the blood is called hyponatremia and can be caused by several things. Maintaining proper sodium levels in your blood is critical to health. any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Sodium concentration is higher in the bloodstream than inside cells. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Severe hyponatremia is an emergency medical condition that requires immediate intervention to restore your fluid and electrolyte balance. She was admitted with 121 level. Anne Tourney specializes in health and nutrition topics. The elderly are prone to low blood sodium levels. Care must be taken to correct the levels of sodium slowly, as rapid correction can cause sudden fluid shifts that can affect the brain, either by causing brain swelling or by breaking down myelin, the protective cover of the brain's cells. Sodium is an essential mineral in the body that is an important component of many processes in the body. The condition is known as hyponatremia. 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. Varicose Veins, Dental Health 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. Changes in the way your body processes water can affect your balance of fluids and electrolytes as you age. Brain Problems Sometimes low sodium levels may be a combination of both solute dilution and solute depletion. Sodium is dissolved in the body’s fluids like the blood and tissue fluid. The change in medication has to be done very carefully under the supervision of a medical doctor. What causes Low Sodium Levels in the Body? Neurological changes are among the first signs of low sodium, an electrolyte that affects your fluid volume, nerve and muscle function. However, you may not experience headaches until your blood sodium level has dropped to a very low level. Healthy Bones Health issues arising from extremely low sodium levels may be fatal. , Hyponatremia is an electrolyte imbalance and is indicated by a low level of sodium in the blood. Low Sodium and Dehydration. Know the causes, symptoms, and treatment of hyponatremia in elderly. Thiazide diuretics are usually well-tolerated but can cause hyponatremia in people prone to low sodium, particularly 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. Alzheimer’s Disease Leaf Group Ltd. Neurological changes are among the first signs of low sodium, an electrolyte that affects your fluid volume, nerve and muscle function. 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. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the It should not be Taking diuretics, pain medication, antidepressants or other prescription drugs may also alter your fluid balance. Privacy Policy In many cases, too much water in the body dilutes the sodium, causing the … Exercise Taking diuretics, pain medication, antidepressants or other prescription drugs may also alter your fluid balance. Headaches may be a sign of severe hyponatremia or another serious medical condition and warrant prompt medical attention. Atherosclerosis A senior may find that their thirst mechanism is impaired and so is the kidney’s response to an important hormone known as ADH (anti diuretic hormone) which regulates the water output in the urine. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor use in the elderly population is associated with the development of hyponatremia. Symptoms of low sodium can develop rapidly once your sodium levels drop. The major cause of increase in the incidence of diabetes is a sedentary lifestyle. 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." Management of abnormalities in water homeostasis is frequently challenging. She's almost 94 and has been battling low sodium for the last couple of years. Ongoing confusion and low energy levels may be signs that you have chronically low sodium. Heart disease may lead to low blood sodium levels. Arthritis generally, if an elderly person has sodium level go from 142 to 150 mmo/l in 24 hrs should anything be done & what? Regulatory mechanisms help control and maintain sodium levels. Stomach Problems Hearing Problems Without it, the normal water levels in the body cannot be maintained and nerve and muscle function would be severely compromised. The major cause of increase in the incidence of diabetes is a sedentary lifestyle. Monitoring your fluid intake and your cognitive status are important aspects of your care. 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… In the late stages of hyponatremia, you may have twitching, restlessness and other signs that your nervous system has been affected. Copyright © 2020 SeniorHealth365.com. 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 plays an essential role in various bodily functions, such as fluid balance, … Sodium is an electrolyte, a compound that conducts electrical signals to your nerves and muscles. This is controlled along with the water levels in the body fluids by increasing water intake with stimulation of thirst and regulating the water excretion through the urine. 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. Mobility Aid Many factors can cause low blood sodium. Once the sodium level drops, our cells expand from the abundance of water present in the blood. Get the latest and accurate info on senior health, Skin Cancer (Malignant Tumors) in the Elderly. Hyponatremia is a medical condition characterized by low concentration of sodium in the blood. After being home for 2 days it dropped to 124. If you've been sick or have had reactions to medications that caused vomiting or diarrhea, you may have lost sodium as a result. Seniors older than 71 should limit themselves to 1.2 grams. Therefore the medication should be changed to drugs that do not have this adverse effect on salt and water levels. Your heart function affects the volume of fluids in your body. 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). Hyponatraemia is a low level of sodium in the blood. diagnosis or treatment. When the sodium levels fall below the normal level of 135 mEq/L, it is known that your body has low sodium levels. 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. With age this regulation is affected. 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. Hyponatremia: How to Raise Low Blood Sodium Levels | Livestrong.com 20 In most of the cases, the level of hyponatremia has been clinically significant, with serum sodium concentrations as low as 101 mEq/L and with symptoms ranging from confusion to seizures and coma. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. Test Results. You may also need to reduce your fluid intake or increase the amount of salt you consume. 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