IN THIS ARTICLE
Sodium is most often found outside the cell, in the plasma (the non-cell part) of the bloodstream. It is a significant part of water regulation in the body, since water goes where the sodium goes. If there is too much sodium in the body, perhaps due to high salt intake in the diet (salt is sodium plus chloride), it is excreted by the kidney, and water follows.
Sodium is an important electrolyte that helps with electrical signals in the body, allowing muscles to fire and the brain to work. It is half of the electrical pump at the cell level that keeps sodium in the plasma and potassium inside the cell.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/4/2015
Must Read Articles Related to Electrolytes
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Electrolytes:
Sodium Imbalance - Patient Experience
Have you experienced sodium imbalance? Please describe your experience.
Potassium Imbalance - Patient Experience
Have you experienced potassium imbalance? Please describe your experience.
Calcium Imbalance - Patient Experience
Have you experienced calcium imbalance? Please describe your experience.
Magnesium Imbalance - Patient Experience
Have you experienced magnesium imbalance? Please describe your experience.
Electrolytes - Experience
What conditions have you experienced from having too many or too few electrolytes?
Nutrition and Healthy Eating Resources
- Could I Have Binge Eating Disorder?
- 11 No-Alcohol Drinks for Diabetes
- Are We Close to a Cure for Cancer?
- Early Care for Your Premature Baby
- What to Eat When You Have Cancer
- When to Take More Pain Medication
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape
This article describes important principles and specific methods of fluid, electrolyte, and nutrition (FEN) management in newborns, with a special focus on patients with complex fluid and electrolyte requirements, including premature, very low birth weight (VLBW), and extremely low birth weight (ELBW) neonates, as well as patients who have undergone abdominal surgery and those who have sepsis.