What is the right sodium and water balance?


We’re often told about the importance of drinking water, in fact, we wrote an article on it earlier in Nutrition Education. What many don’t know is when too much water will become harmful and potentially fatal! We don’t want anyone to die from drinking too much water so we’re going to discuss some of the things you need to think about when rehydrating and let you know about Hyponatremia.

Hyponatremia is a large word to describe having too much water relative to our sodium levels.

Our body prefers to keep blood sodium and all other electrolytes between 136-145mEq/ L (millequivalents of solute per litre of solvent). Hyponatremia occurs when the plasma sodium concentration drops below 135mEq/ L.

There’re three common levels of Hyponatremia and we’ve listed these below:

low blood volume high blood volume normal blood volume

LBV is caused by vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, burns and salt-losing kidney diseases HBV is caused by diuretic use, hypothyroidism, ADH and excessive thirst/ water consumption NBV is caused by congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, kidney disorders and excessive water consumption.

Symptoms of Hyponatremia can include:

headache swollen hands and feet restlessness