Sodium


Sodium is a type of metal that is very reactive.

May 20, 2019

Sodium is a type of metal that is very reactive. It is never found in free form in nature as it is very reactive. Instead, sodium is always found as a salt. The most common dietary form of sodium is sodium chloride. Sodium chloride is commonly referred to as table salt. The most common dietary form of sodium is sodium chloride, which is commonly referred to as table salt. Sodium chloride is used in food to add flavor and preserve food.
Sodium content is high in processed foods such as snack foods, fast food, canned and frozen foods, lunch meats, and some condiments and foods that are pickled. Sodium in the form of sodium chloride exists naturally in virtually all foods, so intake requirements can be easily met by eating an otherwise healthful, varied diet of foods that have no salt added. While you can get the required amount of sodium from your food, there are situations and medical conditions that can make your sodium levels drop too low. If you require any supplements, it is best to talk to your physician before taking it to prevent complications as a level of sodium either too high or too low can cause health problems.
Excess dietary sodium has been linked to a variety of health issues, ranging from fluid retention and circulatory problems to high blood pressure, heart, or kidney disease. People at risk for these problems may benefit from a low-sodium diet.

  • Sodium can be taken by mouth in the form of sodium chloride for low sodium levels, to prevent kidney toxicity caused by the drug amphotericin B, and to prevent kidney toxicity caused by contrast agents used to image parts of the body.
  • It is injected intravenously (by IV) in the form of sodium chloride solution (called saline) to prevent kidney toxicity caused by the drug amphotericin B, to reduce brain swelling and pressure inside the skull, and for a complication of infection called sepsis.
  • It is applied in the form of sodium chloride solution (called saline) for pinkeye (conjunctivitis), dry eye syndrome, mouth sores, nasal congestion, sore throat, and sinusitis.
  • Sodium is inhaled in the form of sodium chloride solution for cystic fibrosis. Inhaling sodium chloride helps produce sputum (phlegm, mucus). This makes it easier for patients with cystic fibrosis to breathe. Sodium also helps the body to balance levels of fluid and electrolytes in the body.

Deficiency:

Sodium plays a critical role in our bodies by helping regulate water balance, controlling muscle and nerve function, and keeping the circulatory system functioning properly. Our bodies require it to regulate blood pressure and protect against blood clotting. It also plays a role in the digestive system, helping to metabolize food. When there is not enough sodium or salt in the body fluids outside the cells, a low sodium level is diagnosed and the condition is called as Hyponatremia.
Your body needs some sodium to maintain blood pressure and for the muscle and nerves to work properly. A low level of sodium can occur if you drink excessive amounts of water which upsets the balance. This sodium and water balance can be affected by burns, heart disease, certain medications, illnesses that cause vomiting or diarrhea, kidney and liver disease and other underlying medical conditions.
When the level of sodium in the blood gets too low, the sodium that is in the body may move into the cells and cause them to swell. If left untreated this can lead to organ damage and death especially if the cells within the brain swell.
Low sodium levels that are caused by diet, drinking too much water or as a side effect of a medication can usually be corrected by adjusting your medications and reducing fluid intake. If your hyponatremia is severe you may need to be hospitalized and given a sodium solution through an IV, and your doctor may prescribe medications to manage any symptoms you are having. If your low sodium level is due to an underlying disease, treating that condition is essential to restore the proper balance.
Increasing your salt intake through diet or supplementation can help in some cases. However, caution should be taken as too much sodium in the blood can be just as dangerous.
People who engage in vigorous exercise in hot environments need be concerned about taking in extra sodium to compensate for the amount lost through perspiration.
Nausea, muscle cramps, disorientation, slurred speech, confusion, seizures or unconsciousness signal a true medical emergency.

Reasons for increased prevalence of hyponatraemia in old age:

High prevalence of conditions known to cause hyponatraemia are:

  • Chronic congestive cardiac failure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Neurological disease, including stroke
  • Dehydration
  • Bronchopneumonia
  • Malignancy

Frequently prescribed drugs causing hyponatraemia:

  • Thiazide diuretics
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Carbamazepine
  • Neuroleptic medications

Age-related changes in homeostatic mechanisms that contribute to hyponatraemia:

  • Decreased urinary concentrating ability
  • Decreased aldosterone levels
  • Decreased glomerular filtration rate
  • Increased levels of arginine vasopressin
  • Increased levels of atrial natriuretic peptide
  • Lower sensitivity of thirst mechanisms
  • Difficulty imbibing fluids (e.g. because of physical or cognitive impairment)

Uses & Effectiveness:

Effective for:

Hyponatremia or Low levels of sodium in the blood:

Giving sodium chloride solutions (called hypertonic saline) intravenously (by IV) to patients with moderately or severely low blood levels of sodium helps reduce symptoms caused by low levels of sodium.

Likely Effective for:

Cystic fibrosis:

When used as an inhalant along with medicine to dilate airway passages, 3% to 7% solutions of sodium chloride (called hypertonic saline) reduce airway obstruction short-term and reduce the number of lung problems. It can improve quality of life long-term in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Possibly Effective for:

Kidney problems caused by the drug amphotericin B:

Giving sodium chloride solution by mouth or intravenously (by IV) to patients receiving amphotericin B lessens the decline in kidney function caused by amphotericin B.

Swelling of the sinus:

Irrigating nasal passages with sodium chloride solution appears to improve symptoms and quality of life in patients with long-term swelling of the sinuses. However, sodium chloride solution does not seem to be as effective as steroid drugs.

Insufficient Evidence for:

  •     Dry eye syndrome.
  •     Kidney problems caused by dyes used during some X-ray exams..
  •     Mouth sores.
  •     Pinkeye.
  •     Sepsis.
  •     Sore throat.
  •     To reduce brain swelling and pressure inside the skull.
  •     Other conditions.

Side Effects & Safety:

Sodium is likely safe for most people when taken by mouth appropriately or when administered as a medicine. In some people, sodium might increase blood pressure.
Doses less than 2.3 grams per day are safe for most adults. When taken in very large amounts, sodium is possibly unsafe. Larger doses might cause too much sodium to build up in the body. This might cause serious side effects including high blood pressure, swelling of the lining of the stomach, and increased risk of stomach cancer. High amounts of sodium might also increase bone and muscle loss in people on bed rest.
Potassium and sodium balance each other in human body. It is the ratio of sodium to potassium in the diet and in our systems that seems to affect blood pressure and kidney function more than sodium levels alone.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding:

Sodium is likely safe for pregnant or breast-feeding women when taken by mouth in doses less than 2.3 grams per day. Sodium is possibly unsafe when take in higher amounts. Larger doses of sodium increase the risk of blood pressure becoming too high.

Children:

Sodium is likely safe for most children when taken by mouth appropriately. Sodium is safe when used in doses of less than 1.5 grams per day in children ages 1 to 3 years, 1.9 grams per day in children 4 to 8 years, 2.2 grams per day in children 9 to 13 years, and 2.3 grams per day in adolescents. Sodium is possibly unsafe when taken in higher amounts. Larger doses of sodium increase the risk of blood pressure becoming too high.

High levels of sodium in the body:

Taking sodium increases levels of sodium in the body and might make this condition worse.

High blood pressure:

Taking large amounts of sodium can increase blood pressure and might make this condition worse.

Dosing:

The following doses have been studied in scientific research and is recommended.

By Mouth:

Sodium supplementation is based on the person's serum sodium level, which should be maintained at 130 mmol/L. The normal adult daily requirement and usual dietary intake of sodium is 2.3 grams daily.

For preventing kidney toxicity caused by amphotericin B:

150 mEq sodium chloride is given daily during treatment with amphotericin B.

Intravenously:

For treating low levels of sodium:

The common starting dose of sodium is 100-150 mL of a solution containing 3% sodium chloride for 20 minutes and repeated until sodium levels increase by 4-6 mmol/L. After this, a solution containing 0.9% sodium chloride is given until sodium levels increase by 10 mmol/L over the first 24 hours and by 8 mmol/L every 24 hours thereafter until sodium levels reach 130 mmol/L.

For preventing kidney toxicity caused by amphotericin B:

150 mEq sodium chloride is given daily during treatment with amphotericin B.

Inhalation:

For treating cystic fibrosis:

10 mL of sodium chloride solution (3% to 7%) is inhaled using a nebulizer twice per day.

Intranasal:

For treating swelling of the sinuses:

Approximately 150-500 mL of nasal irrigation or nasal sprays containing 0.9% to 3% sodium chloride are used two to four times per day (26228).