Hypernatremia is when there is too much sodium in the body. It may be serious and requires care from your doctor.
Hypernatremia happens when there is an imbalance in the amount of water and sodium in the body—too little water, too much sodium.
The main cause of hypernatremia is having more water leave your body than enter it. This causes dehydration. A person can become dehydrated in different ways, such as:
- Drinking too little fluids
- Sweating a lot
Risk factors include:
Symptoms may include:
- Being thirsty
- Dry mouth
- Muscle weakness or muscle cramps
- Decreased urination
- Weight loss
- Muscle twitching
If left untreated, the condition may lead to death.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. You will be asked about your fluid intake and urine output. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
Liquids can be given by mouth or IV to balance the fluids in your body. The fluid will contain a specific concentration of water, sugar, and sodium. Reintroducing fluids slowly into your body will lower the sodium to a normal level. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.
You may also be given medication to treat nausea.
To help reduce your chance of getting hypernatremia, take these steps:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of the fluids.
- Work with your doctor to manage any health conditions.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 02/26/2014 -