- It is more likely to occur in people whose kidneys do not function properly, as well as in those with heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, and Addison's disease, in which under active adrenal glands excrete too much sodium.
- Diuretic drugs used to treat high blood pressure. These drugs make the kidneys produce more urine, which can wash away too much sodium, especially when the patient is following a low sodium diet. This is especially of concern in elderly patients, who have a reduced ability to regulate the concentrations of various nutrients in the bloodstream. Diuretic drugs that frequently cause it include furosemide (Lasix), bumetanide (Bumex), and most commonly, the thiazides. Diuretics enhance the excretion of sodium into the urine, with the goal of correcting high blood pressure. However, too much sodium excretion can result in it. Usually only mild hyponatremia occurs in patients taking diuretics, but when combined with low sodium diet or with the excessive drinking of water, severe it can develop.
- Some psychiatric disorders cause people to drink extremely large quantities of water, which can result in hyponatremia.
- Drinking excess water sometimes causes hyponatremia, because the absorption of water into the bloodstream can dilute the sodium in the blood. This cause of hyponatremia is rare, but has been found in psychotic patients who compulsively drink more than 20 liters of water per day.
- Receiving too much fluid intravenously.
- Excessive drinking of beer, which is mainly water and low in sodium, can also produce hyponatremia when combined with a poor diet.
- Maintenance of a low salt diet for many months.
- Severe and prolonged diarrhea and prolonged vomiting sometimes causes hyponatremia.
- Excessive sweat loss during a race on a hot day can present a challenge to the body to conserve adequate sodium levels. Marathon running, under certain conditions, leads to hyponatremia. Races of 25-50 miles can result in the loss of great quantities (8 to 10 liters) of sweat, which contains both sodium and water. Studies show that about 30% of marathon runners experience mild is during a race. But runners who consume only pure water during a race can develop severe hyponatremia because the drinking water dilutes the sodium in the bloodstream. Such runners may experience neurological disorders as a result of the severe it and require emergency treatment.
- Hypothalamus and pituitary disorders.
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