Hyponatremia

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Hyponatremia (Inpatient Care) Care Guide

Hyponatremia occurs when the amount of sodium (salt) in your blood is lower than normal. Sodium is an electrolyte (mineral) that helps your muscles, heart, and digestive system work properly. It helps control blood pressure and fluid balance.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

Treatment for hyponatremia may cause unpleasant side effects. Medicines may cause nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, trouble breathing, fever, or a skin rash. Without treatment, hyponatremia may cause serious problems, such as brain swelling, heart problems, or a coma. These problems can be life-threatening.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Telemetry

is continuous monitoring of your heart rhythm. Sticky pads placed on your skin connect to an EKG machine that records your heart rhythm.

Nutrition:

A dietitian may talk to you about foods you should eat to increase the amount of sodium in your body. He may also plan a diet for you if you have other diseases, such as kidney or liver disease.

Liquids:

Follow your caregiver's advice if you must limit the amount of liquid you drink. Caregivers may limit the amount of plain water you drink if you are retaining water. Plain water can lower the sodium in your blood and make your hyponatremia worse. You may be given liquids that have water, sugar, and salt, such as juices, milk, or sports drinks.

Medicines:

  • Anticonvulsant medicine is given to control seizures.

  • Antinausea medicine helps calm your stomach and prevents vomiting.

  • Diuretics help get rid of extra fluid in your body. You may urinate more often when taking diuretics.

  • Sodium-retaining medicines help get rid of extra fluid in your body while sodium stays inside your body.

Tests:

  • Blood tests will be done to check the level of sodium in your blood. They may also be done to find the cause of your hyponatremia.

  • Urine sodium is a test that checks the level of sodium in your urine. A sample of your urine is collected and is sent to a lab for tests.

  • A chest x-ray is used to check your heart and lung function. Caregivers may use the x-ray to look for the cause of your hyponatremia.

Treatment:

Dialysis may be needed if medicines cannot decrease extra water in your body and your kidneys are not working well.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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