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Hypernatremia occurs when there is an imbalance of sodium and water in your body. The amount of sodium (salt) in your blood is higher 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. Hypernatremia can become life-threatening if left untreated.


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.


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

Intake and output:

Your healthcare providers will need to know the amount and type of liquid you are getting. They may also need to know how much you are urinating.


You may be weighed each day. Healthcare providers will compare your weight from day to day to see how much fluid your body is losing.


The amount of sodium in your diet may need to be limited. You may also need to follow a special meal plan for any other conditions you have.


  • Blood and urine tests will be done to check the level of sodium in your blood and urine. Blood tests may also be done to find the cause of your hypernatremia.
  • A neurologic exam tells healthcare providers if hypernatremia is affecting your brain. Healthcare providers will check how your pupils react to light. They may check your memory, balance, and hand grasp.


  • Liquids will be given by mouth or through an IV to help balance your level of water and sodium.
  • Dialysis may be needed to get rid of extra sodium from your body if your sodium levels are very high.


Replacement of liquids that occurs too rapidly during treatment can brain swelling, seizures, and permanent brain damage. This can become life-threatening. Hypernatremia can cause your brain cells to lose too much water. This can cause a headache, confusion, seizures, and lead to a coma. Hypernatremia can become life-threatening.


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.

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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.