The causes of sodium deficiency include certain diseases, extreme sweating, diarrhea and burns, according to Healthgrades. Strenuous exercise in overly hot conditions and vomiting, as well as drinking excessive amounts of fluids may also cause low blood sodium. Other factors that can contribute to the condition include medications, old age and liver failure.
Severe loss of electrolytes and fluids from the body (dehydration) can lead to low sodium levels, notes Healthgrades, as can diuretics, which are medications that treat fluid retention and hypertension. Other medicines that can cause low sodium include sulfonylureas and desmopressin, states WebMD.
Syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone, which is as a result of high production of anti-diuretic hormone in the body, may cause excessive retention of water, according to WebMD. Other conditions that can induce this problem include congestive heart failure, adrenal gland disease, kidney disease and liver cirrhosis. Hypothyroidism and anorexia may also induce low sodium levels.
In general, those who undertake sporting activities or consistent exercises should drink plenty of beverages that contain electrolytes in order to stay hydrated and keep the levels of sodium normal. In less severe cases, drinking plenty of water may treat the problem, but severe cases need medical attention to correct the imbalance. However, it is also important to note that drinking too much water in short period of time can exacerbate the problem, as noted by Healthgrades.