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Doctor insights on: Pathophysiology Of Hypernatremia

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Dr. Kevin Griffiths
Board Certified, Nephrology and Dialysis
406K people helped
1

1
What are some symptoms of hypernatremia?

Dr. Kevin Griffiths
Board Certified, Nephrology and Dialysis
406K people helped
What are some symptoms of hypernatremia?

Thirst and Others: Early symptoms of hypernatremia include thirst, dehydration, lethargy, irritability, disorientation, confusion, and weakness. However, severe symptoms include tremor, rigidity, seizures, coma, and death. The neurological symptoms are associated with rapid changes in the serum sodium. Slower changes are better tolerated. ...Read more

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Dr. Adam Levy
Board Certified
32 years in practice
694K people helped
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Dr. Adam Levy
Board Certified
32 years in practice
694K people helped
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Dr. Benjamin Lessig
Board Certified, Geriatrics
20 years in practice
362K people helped
2

2
What does hypernatremia mean?

Dr. Benjamin Lessig
Board Certified, Geriatrics
20 years in practice
362K people helped

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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Dr. Adam Levy
Board Certified
32 years in practice
694K people helped
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Dr. Adam Levy
Board Certified
32 years in practice
694K people helped
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Dr. DUVURU Geetha
Board Certified, Nephrology and Dialysis
26 years in practice
16K people helped
3

3
I have been diagnosed with hypernatremia. How do you treat this?

Dr. DUVURU Geetha
Board Certified, Nephrology and Dialysis
26 years in practice
16K people helped
I have been diagnosed with hypernatremia. How do you treat this?

Increase water intal: Hypernatremia means your body has less water. So, either you are not drinking enough water or losing lot of water from your body. You need to undergo blood and urine test to find the cause. The first step is to drink enough free water and then treat the cause. ...Read more

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Dr. Peter Kurzweil
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
45 years in practice
16M people helped
4

4
Why do elderly people often get hypernatremia?

Dr. Peter Kurzweil
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
45 years in practice
16M people helped
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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Dr. Adam Levy
Board Certified
32 years in practice
694K people helped
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Dr. Jack Rubin, M.d.
Board Certified, Nephrology and Dialysis
43 years in practice
4M people helped
5

5
When treating hypernatremia why is normal saline preferred over ½ normal saline?

Dr. Jack Rubin, M.d.
Board Certified, Nephrology and Dialysis
43 years in practice
4M people helped
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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Dr. Rajesh Boorgu
Board Certified, Nephrology and Dialysis
22 years in practice
474K people helped
6

6
How do you prevent hypernatremia?

Dr. Rajesh Boorgu
Board Certified, Nephrology and Dialysis
22 years in practice
474K people helped
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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Dr. Jeffrey Unger
Board Certified, Family Medicine
36 years in practice
1M people helped
7

7
How does hyperventilation cause hypernatremia?

Dr. Jeffrey Unger
Board Certified, Family Medicine
36 years in practice
1M people helped
How does hyperventilation cause hypernatremia?

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

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Dr. James Okamoto
Board Certified, Family Medicine
29 years in practice
1M people helped
8

8
(1) Can hypernatremia be live-threatening?, and (2) Can hypernatremia be an underlying cause of delirium?

Dr. James Okamoto
Board Certified, Family Medicine
29 years in practice
1M people helped
(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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Dr. Benjamin Lessig
Board Certified, Geriatrics
20 years in practice
362K people helped
9

9
Is it possible for hyperkalemia and hypernatremia occur at the same time?

Dr. Benjamin Lessig
Board Certified, Geriatrics
20 years in practice
362K people helped

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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Dr. Benjamin Lessig
Board Certified, Geriatrics
20 years in practice
362K people helped
10

10
Can a person have both hypernatremia and hyperkalemia?

Dr. Benjamin Lessig
Board Certified, Geriatrics
20 years in practice
362K people helped
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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Dr. Adam Levy
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32 years in practice
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