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Doctor insights on: Pathophysiology Of Hypernatremia

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How do you prevent hypernatremia?

How do you prevent hypernatremia?

Drink water: Most patients who develop hypernatremia are not able to get enough water. This can occur in setting of environmental exposure, or in healthcare settings when patients have dementia or stroke. The latter two conditions can diminish the thirst reflex which is normally very powerful. Many nursing home patients also develop this as they are not able to get water to drink and rely of staff to provide. ...Read more

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Why do elderly people often get hypernatremia?

Why do elderly people often get hypernatremia?

Water depletion: Great question, one that many in the med field don't quite understand. Hypernatremia (high blood sodium level) is a water dehydration state. Hyponatremia is a water excess ('intoxicated' state--it takes a mental disorder to drink so much water that it lowers serum sodium). When elderly don't drink enough water, are on a diuretic, gets a fever or uti, they easily get water depleted, hypernatremic. ...Read more

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How does hyperventilation cause hypernatremia?

How does hyperventilation cause hypernatremia?

It doesnt: Plasma sodium levels are influenced by fluid volume not respiratory rate. ...Read more

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Can a person have both hypernatremia and hyperkalemia?

Can a person have both hypernatremia and hyperkalemia?

Possibly yes: Dehydration is the most common cause for both. Also certain medication may play this role. Your physician would have to look the whole picture on why this person developed both. ...Read more

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Why would a person with hypernatremia be confused and disoriented?

Why would a person with hypernatremia be confused and disoriented?

Brain is messed up: Hypernatremia and hyponatremia may lead to delirium or confusion, . Due to indirect effects on the central nervous system. Severe deficits of the serum sodium level cause the brain to shrink or swell and the nerve cells of the brain do not handle this insult well. ...Read more

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Is it possible for hyperkalemia and hypernatremia occur at the same time?

Possibly yes: Dehydration is the most common cause for both. Also certain medication may play this role. Your physician would have to look the whole picture on why this person developed both. ...Read more

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When treating hypernatremia why is normal saline preferred over ½ normal saline?

When treating hypernatremia why is normal saline preferred over ½ normal saline?

IV fluids: One of the reasons people who are dehydrated (d) receive Normal Saline (ns) is that they are hypotensive from whatever caused their d. If they are not hypotensive it is more prudent that they receive 1/2 saline to give them fluid in excess of salt. An alternate IV therapy for d is giving those patients 5% dextrose which delivers no sodium to them, if they are not hypotensive. ...Read more

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(1) Can hypernatremia be live-threatening?, and (2) Can hypernatremia be an underlying cause of delirium?

(1) Can hypernatremia be live-threatening?, and (2) Can hypernatremia be an underlying cause of delirium?

Yes and no: Yes, hypernatremia if severe enough, can be life threatening, although this is rare. Hypernatremia itself is unlikely to cause delirium, (it can cause a coma, but not delirium), however the underlying cause of the hypernatremia can cause delirium. ...Read more

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Hypernatremia --what is the treatment?

Hypernatremia --what is the treatment?

Water: High sodium is usually the result of water loss. This happens when a person loses their sense of thirst or is unable to obtain water when thirsty. Alternatively high na may be from infusion or ingestion of excess salt. The treatment may require water and diuretics, dialysis could be useful in some cases. This is the rarer of the two causes.If conscious these patients are very thirsty. ...Read more

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What does hypernatremia mean?

What does hypernatremia mean?

See below: Too much sodium and not enough water. It is common for elder population to become dehydration due to dementia, not enough water while on tube feeding, infection such as pneumonia for example, and malnutrition. ...Read more

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