The Unexpected Side Effects Of A Low Sodium Level

With so many processed foods available today, most people are concerned about getting too much sodium in their diets. But not getting enough sodium can also cause health issues. A sodium deficiency, or hyponatremia, can cause headaches, muscle cramps, nausea, and vomiting (via Livestrong). More serious cases can lead to seizures, coma, and even death. Many factors can contribute to a sodium deficiency. Some reasons include taking medications that interfere with the kidneys, such as diuretics and antidepressants (via Mayo Clinic). Severe vomiting and/or diarrhea can also cause your body to lose electrolytes and may lead to a sodium deficiency. Other potential causes include drinking too much water, hormonal changes, and underlying heart, liver, and kidney problems.

You can reduce your risk of hyponatremia by monitoring your sodium intake, especially if you're taking medications that may put you at risk. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any potential side effects of your medication and ways to prevent them. You should also drink plenty of fluids, but avoid drinking too much water, which can actually lead to hyponatremia. If you're vomiting or have diarrhea, be sure to replace the fluids you're losing by drinking sports drinks or other beverages that contain electrolytes. And if you're experiencing any symptoms of hyponatremia, be sure to see your doctor right away.

Risks of a high sodium level

Although having a low sodium level can be dangerous, it is also harmful to have a high sodium level. When you have too much sodium in your blood, it can cause an increase in your blood pressure (via Harvard School of Public Health). This is because sodium makes your blood vessels constrict, which makes it harder for blood to flow through them. A high sodium level can also lead to heart disease because sodium can cause an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure, which can put strain on your heart. In a similar fashion, it can cause the arteries to narrow, which reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain, leading to stroke.

There are many potential causes of a high sodium level, including dietary choices, uncontrolled diabetes, and kidney disease (via Medical News Today). Symptoms of a high sodium level include headaches, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. If you experience these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor. If you have a high sodium level, the cause of the issue will need to be addressed. If it is caused by an underlying health condition or medication, your doctor will need to find ways to treat that unique problem. If your sodium levels are due to your diet, you will need to limit your intake of salty foods. This means avoiding processed foods, which often contain high levels of salt, as well as adding less salt to your food when cooking.