Sodium deficiency in children

Sodium deficiency in children


1 Sodium

2 Lack of sodium in children

2.1 Causes of sodium deficiency in children

2.2 Symptoms of sodium deficiency in children

3 General sodium deficiency

3.1 Causes of general sodium deficiency

3.2 Symptoms of general sodium deficiency

4 Treatment of sodium deficiency

5 References


Sodium is an important mineral in the human body.

It contributes to maintaining the water balance in and around cells.

And the stability of blood pressure, as it is important for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves,

And in normal blood levels range from 135-145 mm equivalent/liter.

In some cases, its concentration in the blood may decrease, causing a condition known as hyponatremia (in English: hyponatremia).

Which usually occurs as a result of excess water or low levels of sodium.

In other words, due to an imbalance of water and sodium in the body.

Sodium deficiency in children

Causes of sodium deficiency in children

Sodium deficiency may occur due to several reasons, including:

1- Hypervolemic hyponatremia

It occurs as a result of the body retaining free water, and among the reasons for its occurrence:

  • Suffering from congestive heart failure.
  • Cirrhosis.
  • Suffering from Nephrotic Syndrome.
  • Acute or chronic kidney failure.

2- Lack of sodium due to its loss in the kidneys:

This may happen for several reasons, including:

  • Excessive use of diuretics.
  • Osmotic diuresis.
  • Suffering from hypothyroidism.
  • Metabolic alkalosis.
  • Pseudohypoaldosteronism (pseudoaldosteronism).

3- Lack of sodium due to its loss through methods other than the kidneys:

This happens for several reasons, including:

  • Digestive disorders, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or a fistula.
  • Sweating.
  • Suffering from Cystic Fibrosis.
  • Other conditions such as burns, ascites, peritonitis, or pancreatitis, among others.

Symptoms of sodium deficiency in children

Some symptoms may appear in children with low levels of sodium, including:

1- Early Symptoms:

At first, the child exhibits slight symptoms, such as a loss of appetite, a feeling of nausea, a headache, in addition to vomiting.

2- advanced symptoms:

As the hyponatremia progresses, children may develop more severe symptoms, including

Hallucinations, paresthesia, and incontinence

In addition to his poor response to verbal stimuli or causes of pain,

The child may also have trouble breathing, or have seizures as well.

3- Severe symptoms:

And it may occur when a child’s hyponatremia develops seriously and seriously.

It may cause a slow heart rate (Bradycardia), high or low blood pressure, dilated pupils, instability of body temperature,

In addition, lack of sodium may cause respiratory failure or seizures and may cause coma.

General sodium deficiency

Causes of general sodium deficiency

There are many causes of sodium deficiency, and we mention the following:

1- Severe diarrhea and vomiting:

Both severe diarrhea and vomiting, or any cause of dehydration, can lead to a loss of electrolytes such as sodium

Increased levels of antidiuretic hormone.

2- Some medicines:

These include diuretics, or pain-relieving medications, which can interfere with the action of hormones and the kidneys that maintain steady sodium levels in the body.

3- Heart, kidney, and liver problems:

As some diseases such as congestive heart failure, or diseases that affect the kidneys and liver, may cause an accumulation of body fluids, which leads to a decrease in the concentration of sodium in the body, and thus lower levels.

4- Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion

Having this syndrome causes excessive production of the anti-diuretic hormone in excess of the body’s need.

This causes water retention in the body and a low concentration of sodium in the blood.

5- Drink plenty of water:

Drinking excessive amounts of water can overwhelm the kidneys’ ability to excrete water and fluids from the body.

Also, adult drinking of a lot of water during endurance exercise, such as marathon, causes the sodium concentration in the blood to decrease, because the body excretes sodium through sweating.

6- hormonal changes:

Adrenal insufficiency, or what is known as Addison’s disease, can affect the adrenal gland secreting hormones responsible for maintaining levels of sodium, potassium and water in the body.

Low levels of thyroid hormone may also cause low levels of sodium in the blood.

7- Diabetes insipidus:

It is a rare condition in which the body does not manufacture the diuretic hormone.

Symptoms of general sodium deficiency

The severity of the symptoms of sodium deficiency varies according to how quickly it is reduced in the blood.

Gradually reducing sodium may not cause any symptoms.

However, its sudden decrease may lead to the emergence of several symptoms, including the following:

  1. General weakness, fatigue, and decreased energy.
  2. Headache.
  3. Vomiting, nausea.
  4. Muscle spasms.
  5. Feeling disoriented, restless, and irritable.

People at risk of hyponatremia

Certain factors increase your risk of developing hyponatremia, including:

  • Patients using a diuretic
  • People who use antidepressants
  • High-performing athletes
  • Elderly
  • People who live in warmer climates
  • Eat a low-sodium diet
  • Heart failure, kidney disease, inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone (SIADH) syndrome, or other conditions

Prevention of sodium deficiency

Some of the following procedures may help prevent hyponatremia:

First: Treatment of conditions causing sodium deficiency:

Treating conditions that contribute to hyponatremia, such as adrenal insufficiency, can help prevent low blood sodium.

Second: continuous follow-up with the family doctor:

If there is a medical condition that increases the risk of developing hyponatremia or if the patient is taking diuretics,

Be careful of signs and symptoms of low sodium in the blood.

And you should always talk to your family doctor about the risks of medications used.

Third: Drink sports drinks during strenuous activities instead of water:

It is best to consult your doctor about replacing water with sports drinks that contain electrolytes when participating in stressful sports such as:

Marathons, triathlon and other challenging activities.

Fourth: Drink water in moderation:

Drinking water is vital for humans, so be sure to drink enough fluids.

Treating sodium deficiency

The method of treating sodium deficiency varies according to the cause, as shown in the following:

  • Temporarily reduce your fluid intake if the reason is by taking diuretics, or drinking large amounts of water.
  • Seeing a doctor to adjust the dose of the diuretic, so that it does not cause you to lose large amounts of sodium.
  • Injecting sodium solution into a vein if the case is severe, which requires a hospital stay, and periodic review to check its blood levels.
  • Take medications to relieve symptoms associated with sodium deficiency, such as headache and vomiting.

İmportant notice:

The content of the submitted articles, including all text, graphics, images, and other materials, is provided for educational purposes only.

The information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice or professional diagnosis.

Moreover, the information on this website should not be taken as final medical advice in relation to any case or individual situation.

We strongly recommend that you always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health service provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition, your general health, or the health of your child.


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