Warning Signs of a Salt Deficiency

Is salt healthy?

Sodium is an important electrolyte that helps to keep the water balance in and around your cells. It’s necessary for proper muscle and nerve function. It also aids in maintaining good blood pressure levels.

Hyponatremia is caused by an insufficient sodium level in your blood. When water and sodium are out of kilter, this occurs. To put it another way, there’s either too much water or not enough salt in your circulation.

Your sodium level is considered normal if it falls between 135 and 145 milliequivalents per liter. However, hyponatremia occurs when your sodium dips below 135 mEq/L.

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What causes sodium deficiency?

A variety of factors can cause hyponatremia. For example, if your body loses too much water and electrolytes, your sodium levels may become dangerously low. Hyponatremia might also be an indication of a medical problem.

Causes of hyponatremia include:

  • severe vomiting or diarrhea
  • taking certain medications, including antidepressants and pain medications
  • taking diuretics (water pills)
  • drinking too much water during exercise (this is very rare)
  • dehydration
  • kidney disease or kidney failure
  • liver disease
  • heart problems, including congestive heart failure
  • adrenal gland disorders, such as Addison’s disease, which affects your adrenal gland’s ability to regulate the balance of sodium, potassium, and water in your body
  • hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  • syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH), which makes your body retain water
  • diabetes insipidus is a rare condition in which the body doesn’t make the antidiuretic hormone
  • Cushing’s syndrome, which causes high cortisol levels (this is rare)

Symptoms of hyponatremia

Low blood sodium levels are associated with various symptoms, varying from person to person. If your sodium levels drop gradually, you may not feel any symptoms initially, but they will appear eventually.

However, your symptoms will be more evident and severe if they plummet rapidly.

Common symptoms of hyponatremia include:

  • weakness
  • fatigue or low energy
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • muscle cramps or spasms
  • confusion
  • irritability

Losing sodium quickly is a medical emergency. It can cause:

  • overactive reflexes
  • loss of consciousness
  • seizures
  • coma
  • and in the most severe cases, death

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Who is at risk for a salt deficiency?

Certain factors increase your risk of hyponatremia, including:

  • older age
  • diuretic use
  • antidepressant use
  • being a high-performance athlete (i.e., a marathon runner)
  • living in a warmer climate
  • eating a low-sodium diet
  • having heart failure, kidney disease, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH), or other conditions

If you’re at risk for low sodium, you may need to be more careful about your electrolytes and water intake. Make sure to talk to your doctor about your risk factors and if there are any steps you can take to lessen your risk.

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How can you prevent hyponatremia?

Maintaining balanced water and electrolyte levels can help prevent low blood sodium levels.

Athletes must consume the correct amount of water while working out.

You might also want to consider rehydration drinks. These beverages include electrolytes and assist in restoring lost sodium through sweating. If you lose a lot of fluids through vomiting or diarrhea, these beverages can also help you recover.

Maintaining hydration levels guards against quick changes in blood sodium. If you’re properly hydrated, your urine will be light yellow or clear, and you won’t experience thirstiness.

It’s essential to increase your fluid intake if:

  • the weather is warm
  • you’re at a high altitude
  • you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
  • you’re vomiting
  • you have diarrhea
  • you have a fever

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Don’t forget that drinking too much water is possible too quickly. This is another reason to maintain good hydration throughout the day.


Hyponatremia is diagnosed when there is an abnormally low sodium level in the blood. It can be caused by various medical conditions, such as Addison’s disease or Cushing’s syndrome, to more mundane causes, like excessive vomiting or diarrhea.

Although Hyponatremia can be fatal, it is often mild and asymptomatic. Therefore, if caught early enough, this condition is treatable.

Disclaimer: Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

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