Anything in excess is dangerous—even drinking too much water. Excessive water intake is one of the causes for decreased blood sodium level, or a condition known as hyponatremia. This condition happens when there is lower than the normal sodium amount in the blood. Suspect that you have this if you feel nausea, muscle cramps, headache, disorientation and tiredness.
Think about your recent activities. Did you sweat a lot or have you maintained low-salt diet lately? Did you take more water than you’re supposed to? If yes, then you probably have hyponatremia. Increasing your blood sodium level is highly important, or else your condition might lead to coma or seizures. Consult a doctor immediately for severe cases. Acting too late might lead to the patient’s coma or seizure.
Below are some ways to increase blood sodium levels for less severe cases:
- Drink less water. Do this if you think you’ve been drinking too much water lately. The ideal amount is at least eight glasses of water everyday. If you are drinking triple or double than this, then consider cutting down your intake. Decrease a glass of water everyday until you reach the ideal number of glasses.
- Eat salty foods. You can even take table salt. It is rich in sodium, which is needed by your body this time. Don’t take too much salt, though. Take only about a teaspoon and see if that will make you feel better. Increase intake in case you don’t feel any difference.
- Add salt to food. If you can’t take plain salt, then add salt to your food. Sour foods are best with salt.
- Lessen your intake of diuretics. Coffee, tea, soft drinks and other diuretics can rob off water and salt from your body. Better stop drinking diuretics while treating yourself from hyponatremia.
- Take in energy drinks with electrolytes. Fluids with electrolytes can replace your body’s lost salt. This is highly important if you suspect that your condition is due to excessive sweating.
There is no better way to cure something than by preventing it from happening. Start doing the prevention tips below after recovering from hyponatremia or if you’re not yet suffering this.
- Replenish lost sodium in the body. Drink sports drink if you will be indulging to extreme activities. Sweating is the most common reason for lost sodium in the body. Drinking sports drink should replace the lost sodium immediately.
- Do not get rid of salt from your diet. Some religious practices and some diet recommend total removal of salt from the diet. This could lead to hyponatremia.
- Increase salt intake if you are planning to practice physical exercises. This will prepare your body for excessive sweating. Taking sports drink helps but increasing salt intake helps better.
- Don’t drink too much water if you’re not sweating that much. If there is no good reason to drink more water, then drink just enough water. Drinking more water helps detoxify the body and maintain balance. If you drink too much, you might just get rid of the necessary sodium in the blood.
Hyponatremia is not a disease but a condition. It is a symptom to many possible diseases like kidney disorder, psychiatric disorder, Addison’s disease, cancer, pituitary disorder and hypothalamus. It’s best to consult your doctor to rule out these diseases.