Sodium, like other electrolytes, plays a critical role in the normal functioning of cells and tissues in the body. The amount of sodium in the blood must be kept within a narrow range for things to run smoothly—and, as is the case with other electrolytes, when the level of sodium is too low or too high, the consequences can be devastating and even fatal.
In this AudioBrick, we return to Renal to learn the ins and outs of hyponatremia. Unlike other “hypo-” electrolyte disorders such as hypokalemia or hypocalcemia, hyponatremia does not necessarily mean too little sodium in the body. In fact, because of the intricate relationship between sodium and water levels in the body, hyponatremia is best thought of as a water excess, not a sodium shortage.
After listening, you should be able to:
- Describe the causes and pathophysiology of hypovolemic, hypervolemic, and euvolemic hyponatremia.
- Explain the mechanism of hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia in causing hyponatremia.
- Describe the use of serum and urine testing in differentiating the types of hyponatremia.
- Describe the management of the different types of hyponatremia, including acute/chronic and symptomatic.
- Describe how and why to moderate the rate and degree of sodium correction.
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