Q:

What causes high sodium levels in blood?

A:

Quick Answer

High sodium levels in the blood indicate a condition called hypernatremia, which is caused by dehydration, medications, endocrine diseases, excessive consumption of salt and hyperventilation, according to Chemocare. Some of the symptoms of very high levels of sodium include dizziness when standing up, too much sweating and fever.

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Full Answer

An individual's sodium level may increase if he suffers persistent vomiting, sweating, diarrhea or fever, as these symptoms can dehydrate the body, explains Chemocare. Drinking an inadequate amount of water also causes dehydration. Taking licorice, steroids and medicines that decrease blood pressure may also lead to hypernatremia. People with an endocrine disease, such as diabetes, are prone to high sodium levels since they tend to urinate frequently. Adrenal gland issues, such as hyperaldosteronism, may also affect a person’s sodium levels.

Sodium is a vital element for the body, and its most typical form is sodium chloride, which is commonly known as table salt, states MedlinePlus. A person’s blood sodium level shows the balance between the amount of sodium his urine contains and the amount of water and sodium in the foods and beverages he consumes. Various factors can change this balance. Doctors often request a sodium blood test when a person has experienced a recent surgery, injury or severe disease; consumes significant amounts of salt; takes diuretics or other medicines; or obtains intravenous fluids.

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Related Questions

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    How can you prevent low blood sodium?

    A:

    People can prevent hyponatremia, or low levels of sodium in the blood, by treating other conditions that lead to hyponatremia, learning about their condition, taking precautions when engaging in activities that lead to fluid loss, consider drinking sports beverages instead of water and avoiding drinking excessive amounts of water, notes Mayo Clinic. If people's bodies have too much water, it dilutes the amount of sodium in the blood, which can lead to swelling of cells.

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    What do low sodium levels in blood indicate?

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    Low levels of sodium in the blood, a condition known as hyponatremia, may be an indicator that the body is retaining rather than excreting excess water; this may be the result of an overproduction of the anti-diuretic hormone, states Mayo Clinic. Hyponatremia may also be the result of dehydration.

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    What are the causes of high blood pressure?

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    Causes of high blood pressure include smoking, older age, thyroid and adrenal disorders, lack of exercise, obesity, chronic kidney disease, excessive alcohol consumption, excessive consumption of salt and a family history of hypertension. The common type of hypertension in the United States is called essential hypertension, as stated by WebMD. In this type of hypertension, it is difficult to identify the underlying cause of increased blood pressure.

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    What can cause high chloride levels in your blood work?

    A:

    Elevated chloride levels in blood work may be caused by bromide poisoning, diarrhea or certain medications used to treat glaucoma, according to MedlinePlus. High levels of sodium in the blood, kidney problems and diabetes insipidus may also contribute to high chloride levels, states Chemocare.com.

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