What is Hyponatremia?

Hyponatremia is a condition which occurs when the amount of sodium in a person’s blood becomes lower than normal. Sodium is an electrolyte which helps in regulating the amount of water in and around the cells. In Hyponatremia, the sodium in the body becomes diluted and the body's water level increases. This leads to swelling in the patient’s cells which can cause a number of dangerous health problems.


 Symptoms of Hyponatremia include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pain
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Seizures
  • Coma


Causes of Hyponatremia include:

  • Medications like water pills, antidepressants and pain relievers may lead to Hyponatremia.
  • Heart, kidney and liver diseases.Congestive heart failure and certain other diseases related to the kidneys, heart or liver can dilute the sodium in the patient’s body.
  • Syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone (SIADH). This disease leads to the production of high levels of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) in the body which causes retention of water in the body instead of excretion.
  • Diarrhea leads to loss of body fluids including electrolytes like sodium.
  • Excess intake of water: Drinking too much water, especially while exercising, dilutes the sodium content in blood.
  • Consuming very little water can also cause loss of fluids and electrolytes. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water everyday keeps the body hydrated.
  • Hormonal changes: Problems like Adrenal gland insufficiency affect the body’s hormonal balance which in turn disturbs the body's balance of sodium, potassium and water.
  • Drugs: Intake of recreational drugs like Ecstasy lowers the sodium levels in the body and may cause Hyponatremia.


 The risk factors associated with Hyponatremia are:

  • The risk of developing Hyponatremia increases with age.
  • Certain drugs like thiazide diuretics, antidepressants, pain medications and recreational drugs (Ecstasy) increase the risk of Hyponatremia in people.
  • Certain diseases: Diseases like kidney disease, syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone (SIADH) and heart failure increase the risk of Hyponatremia.
  • Excess intake of water: Drinking too much water, especially during rigorous exercise dilutes the sodium content in the blood and may cause Hyponatremia.


Hyponatremia can be prevented by timely diagnosis and treatment of diseases like adrenal gland insufficiency that lower the blood sodium levels. Controlling the intake of fluids while exercising can also help in preventing Hyponatremia.

How is it diagnosed?

The doctor checks the medical history and conducts a physical examination of the patient. To further confirm the presence of Hyponatremia or l...

How is it treated?

The treatment for Hyponatremia focuses at curing the underlying cause of the disease. If the patient has Hyponatremia due to excessive intake of water, the doctor may ask to temporarily reduce the intake of fluids. However, if the disease is sever..

  • Intravenous fluids

    The doctor injects fluids like IV sodium solution into the patient’s veins to increase the sodium content in the blood.

  • Medications

    The doctor may advise certain medicines to control the symptoms of Hyponatremia and provide relief to the patient.

When do I contact the doctor?

One should seek medical help when prominent signs and symptoms of Hyponatremia are observed or if a person is suffering from a disease that poses a risk of Hyponatremia.

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How does Medanta provide care?

Medanta ensures expert care for its patients who are diagnosed with Hyponatremia at the Institute of Kidney and Urology. The institute is a unique resource for patients who are suffering from any disorder associated with the urinary system, includ..

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