Hyponatremia refers to a low sodium blood level. The sodium in the body becomes overdiluted with water and the sodium concentration falls below 136 milliequivalents per liter of blood. Persons with malfunctioning kidneys
(the kidneys cannot eliminate excess fluids properly) usually develop the disorder. Heart failure
, cirrhosis and adrenal hormone deficiency may also cause hyponatremia.
Symptoms include nausea
, confusion, lethargy, agitation, delusions and vomiting. If the disorder affects the central nervous system, symptoms may be severe, including seizure
, stupor, coma
and brain damage. The condition may be fatal.
Failure to diagnose hyponatremic encephalopathy or undue delay in diagnosis may be medical malpractice
. Overtreatment with fluids may lead to severe brain injury. Physicians
should treat hyponatremic encephalopathy with caution.
- Blood Disorders: Overview