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What are some common treatments for hyponatremia?

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Quick Answer

Treatments for moderate hyponatremia involve limiting fluid consumption and/or adjusting the use of diuretics in order to elevate sodium levels in the blood. In cases of severe hyponatremia, intravenous fluids may be necessary to raise sodium levels, as stated by Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

If an IV is needed to disperse sodium solution into the blood, it usually requires admission into a hospital. Because severe hyponatremia can cause seizures, nausea and headache, treatment may also include medications to manage those conditions, explains Mayo Clinic.

To prevent future outbreaks of hyponatremia, it is important to drink only as much fluid as one anticipates losing during an endurance event. For people with medical conditions that elevate the risk of hyponatremia, it is vital to become aware of the symptoms of insufficient blood sodium. Replacing water with sports drinks containing electrolytes keeps sodium levels more balanced, as well. While water is important for health, consuming large amounts after one is no longer thirsty and the urine has become a healthy pale yellow can lead to hyponatremia, according to Mayo Clinic.

In rare cases, hyponatremia can cause death. In 2002, Cynthia Lucero died during the Boston Marathon as a result of drinking too much fluids and dissolving the body's stores of sodium. She developed hyponatremic encephalopathy, or swelling of the brain, because of a sodium imbalance. While drinking fluids is crucial for endurance athletes, keeping sodium levels within a healthy range is vital for avoiding hyponatremia, according to the Boston Globe.

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