- Low sodium:
Have a symptom?
See what questions
a doctor would ask.
See what questions
a doctor would ask.
During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Low sodium. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.
It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.
Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:
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Why: to determine if acute or chronic.
Why: Symptoms are usually non-specific and include headache, confusion, restless leading to drowsiness, muscle jerks, generalized convulsions and eventually coma.
Why: can help determine hydration status and also detect habitual overdrinking.
Why: e.g. diabetes, renal failure, peptic ulcer, Addison's disease, hypothyroidism, liver cirrhosis, nephrotic syndrome, cystic fibrosis.
Why: A surgical procedure may cause low sodium due to increased ADH (anti-diuretic hormone) secretion due to stress. After an operation, sometimes a 5 % glucose intravenous infusion may be given which may also cause low sodium levels.
Why: e.g. some medications may cause low sodium level including diuretics, chlorpropamide, tolbutamide, mannitol, carbemazepine, cyclophosphamide, vincristine and oxytocin.
Why: Alcohol excess may cause low sodium directly. Hepatic cirrhosis due to alcoholism may cause fluid volume overload and thus low sodium. Alcohol withdrawal is one cause of Syndrome of inappropriate ADH secretion (SIADH).
Why: Vomiting causes salt loss in excess of water volume loss which causes low sodium.
Why: Diarrhea causes salt loss in excess of water volume loss which causes low sodium.
Why: e.g. external bleeding from trauma, rectal bleeding, bloody stool, vomiting blood, coffee-ground colored vomit. Hemorrhage may cause low sodium levels.
Why: e.g. thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, postural dizziness.
Why: e.g. frequency of urination, excessive thirst, weight loss (especially in Type 1 Diabetes mellitus), tiredness, fatigue, increased infections especially of the skin and genitals, blurry vision. Diabetic acidosis and hyperosmolar coma are complications of Diabetes and may cause low sodium levels.
Why: e.g. pigmentation on the nipples, palmar creases, pressure areas and mouth, tiredness, weight loss, reduced appetite, nausea, diarrhea, passing urine at night. Addison's disease may cause low sodium levels.
Why: e.g. lethargy, weight gain, constipation, puffiness of face and eyes, hair loss, dry skin. Hypothyroidism may cause low sodium levels.
Why: e.g. shortness of breath on exertion, bilateral ankle swelling that is usually symmetrical and worse in the evenings, with improvement during the night. As the heart failure progresses, swelling ascends to involve the legs, thighs, genitalia and abdomen. The volume overload in congestive cardiac failure may cause low sodium levels.
The following list of conditions have 'Low sodium' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Low sodium or choose View All.
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