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Definition of Na (sodium)

Na (sodium): Na is the chemical symbol for sodium. From natrium, a synonym for sodium.

Sodium is the major positive ion (cation) in fluid outside of cells. The chemical notation for sodium is Na+. When combined with chloride (Cl), the resulting substance is table salt (NaCl).

Excess sodium (such as from fast food hamburger and fries) is excreted in the urine. High sodium diets are thought to result in high blood pressure. Too much or too little sodium can cause cells to malfunction, and extremes can be fatal.

Normal blood sodium level is 135 - 145 milliequivalents/liter (mEq/L), or in international units, 135 - 145 millimoles/liter (mmol/L).

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4496
Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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