10 Tips for Hypernatremia: Understanding Dehydration and Electrolyte
It is always important that you take in enough water to replace the water that you lose on the daily through the various body processes such as sweating and so forth. This not only helps prevent dehydration, it also helps prevent hypernatremia from ensuing. Hypernatremia is the condition where you have too much sodium in the body. Though sodium, and other electrolytes such as potassium, plays an important role in our body, its levels must stay within a given range otherwise we are likely to suffer serious problems. This article will look to highlight 10 tips as far as hypernatremia is concerned, covering everything from how the body controls sodium levels, to causes and so on, with the hope it will help you understand better dehydration and electrolytes.
- The first tip we are going to highlight as far as hypernatremia is concerned is that it can occur if you suffer too much water loss or too much sodium gain, all of which leads you to have elevated levels of sodium. If the amount of water in the body is too little as compared to the amount of sodium, then it could become a big problem for you. This goes to show how closely dehydration and the balance of electrolytes in the body are closely intertwined as issues with one brings about issues with the other. This is why conditions such as vomiting and diarrhea that can cause dehydration can also cause electrolyte imbalance in the body, including hypernatremia.
- The next tip we have for you as far as hypernatremia is concerned is that it is a condition that is easily and quickly corrected and controlled in healthy people. As is covered in detail over at the excellent frontlineer.com, the brain of a healthy person will recognize the need to correct sodium levels through receptors in the brain, which are triggered either by urine concentration or thirst. The response by the body to either alter the amount of sodium passed in the urine or increase water intake keeps this condition in check in most cases when dealing with healthy people.
- The next tip we have for you as far as hypernatremia is concerned has to do with the symptoms to look out for. Here, the main sign to look out for is excessive thirst with other symptoms being confusion, lethargy, headaches, personality changes as well as muscle spasms and twitches due to the fact sodium plays an important role in the functioning of our muscles and nerves. Severe cases may lead to seizures and coma and even death if not attended to, although such cases are rare.
- Another tip as far as hypernatremia goes is that older adults are at an increased risk of suffering from hypernatremia. As per the subject matter experts over at frontlineer.com, this is probably due to the fact that the older you get, the more your sense of thirst is diminished leading to elevated sodium levels above the normal range. Older adults are also more prone to diseases and illnesses that may alter the balance between water and sodium in the body.
- Other than age, it is also important that you are aware of some of the other risk factors as far as hypernatremia is concerned and this is going to be the basis of the next tip we are going to highlight for you. Other factors that increase the risk of you suffering from hypernatremia include certain medical conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes insipidus which is a rare medical condition, poorly controlled diabetes, dementia which explains why it is common in older adults, as well as fever, dehydration, diarrhea and vomiting.
- We also have to highlight what diagnosis of hypernatremia entails, which is going to be our next tip. Here, as is the case over at the excellent frontlineer.com, you will find that hypernatremia is diagnosed through blood tests although urine tests can also come in handy n identifying high sodium concentration levels. Given that hypernatremia is also likely to develop as a result of other underlying medical conditions as mentioned above, other tests depending on your medical history and symptoms may also be used to diagnose it.
- The next tip we are going to highlight as far as hypernatremia is concerned is on its treatment. Here, treatment is straightforward as it is mainly based on correcting the balance between sodium and fluid in your body. For mild cases, it may be treated by simply increasing your fluid intakes while severe cases may require you to be connected to an IV drip from where your doctor will monitor your sodium levels to ensure they are improving and as such be able to make adjustments as and when needed.
- As per the gurus over at frontlineer.com, as part of our next tip, it is important that we mention that there is a difference between hypernatremia and hyponatremia. The former as mentioned above is having sodium levels while the latter is having low sodium levels.
- The next tip we have for is as concerns the normal sodium range in the body, which is important as far as electrolyte balance in the body is concerned. The normal range of sodium in the body should be between 135-145, above which you will begin to suffer from hypernatremia.
- Another tip that we have for you, one that will help you in preventing dehydration as well as keeping your electrolytes balanced is that you should be wary of diuretics as well as certain medications such as steroids and laxatives, all of which can lead to an imbalance to electrolytes and can cause hypernatremia.
Hopefully, from this article you will be able to learn more about hypernatremia as well as understanding more on dehydration and electrolyte balance, with more on this and other related topics to be found over at the highly rated frontlineer.com