Sodium is found outside the cells of the body and is important for maintaining blood pressure. It is also needed for your muscles and nerve cells to work properly. Hyponatremia is the term used to describe low sodium in the blood. It is common in runners who, during long training or marathon events, do not replace the electrolytes lost from sweating. Other common causes of hyponatremia are:
- Congestive heart failure
- Diuretic medications, which increase urine output
- Kidney diseases
- Liver cirrhosis
- Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH)
If a blood or urine test administered by your physician has confirmed that you have low levels of sodium you have options. Depending on the severity they may recommend salting your food more, water restriction, medication or in severe cases, an IV drip.