Hyponatremia occurs when sodium level reduces in blood

By  , Jagran Cityplus
Jul 28, 2010

During high intensity workouts, along with sweat we also lose good amount of sodium from our body. Generally, an athlete or a sportsperson replaces this lost fluid by consuming loads of water and this may result in low concentration of sodium in the blood. Such condition is popularly known as 'Hyponatremia'. Read on to know, more about it …….


Hyponatremia is commonly an electrolyte disturbance where concentration of sodium in blood is lower than normal. "It is a state in which a person loses excess of salt (sodium) due to excess intake of water or hypotonic fluids. It also occurs after prolonged diarrhoea or vomiting," explains Dr Sunil Prakash, Nephrology


Hyponatremia happens in three situations

  • When level of water in the body increases and sodium content remains the same.
  • When both sodium and water content in the body increases, but amount of water gain is greater than sodium.
  • When both water and sodium is lost from the body, but the amount of sodium loss is greater.

Today, Hyponatremia is more prevalent as people are opting for hard workouts to achieve weight loss in less time and more novice exercisers are entering endurance events.


Who is at risk?


"Sportspersons or people who drink more water than the amount of loss via sweat and urine are at high risk. Also, those people who suffer from psychological urge of compulsive water drinking also face the condition. Along with that people who fast on juices or water for extended periods and those on medicines such as diuretics Cardiac, liver or kidney failure patients are also at risk," says Dr Sunil Prakash, head of Nephrology.




Treating symptoms which cause Hyponatremia helps in treating the disease. Minor symptoms, such as nausea or mild muscle cramps, can be treated by eating salty foods and fluids. More severe symptoms require treatment by qualified medical personnel.


Those who play demanding sports or exercise vigorously can prevent Hyponatremia by drinking fluids that contain electrolytes; they are also called sports drinks. Drinking only water while indulging in high-energy activity can lead to acute hyponatremia.



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