Symptoms and Signs of Hyponatremia
(Low Sodium)

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Hyponatremia
(Low Sodium)

Hyponatremia is the term that refers to an abnormally low level of sodium in the bloodstream. Low sodium blood levels may be caused by excess fluid in the body relative to a normal amount of sodium, or it may be due to a loss of sodium and body fluid caused by chronic conditions like kidney failure or congestive heart failure (CHF). It has been referred to as “water intoxication” because it can arise due to the consumption of excessive water without adequate sodium replacement.

Associated symptoms and signs of hyponatremia are nonspecific and can occur with many other conditions. They may include mental changes, tiredness, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle spasms, and seizures. In extreme cases, when sodium levels are very low, coma and even death may result.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.