It has been found that the intake of diuretics seems to reduce levels of sodium in the body. It is been estimated that up to 20 percent of older people taking diuretics may be deficient in sodium.
This mineral is important to many metabolic functions. It is the main chief cation (positively charged ion) in extracellular fluid (fluid outside the cell). Sodium acts with potassium, which is the main cation in intracellular fluid (fluid inside the cell), to regulate and maintain the body's fluid balance. It helps to control the cell's permeability for exchanges across cell walls, as well as to activate the transmission of electrochemical impulses along nerve membranes. Dietary forms of this mineral are absorbed in the small intestine, and it is metabolization is instigated by the hormone aldosterone from the adrenal cortex.
It has been determined a proper balance of potassium and sodium is important in maintaining good health. Since ingestion of sodium in the U.S. is excessive, there is a tendency to have a potassium deficiency which may have a relationship to heart disease.
found primarily in your blood and tissue fluid (in other words outside the cells). It's principal task is to keep the quantity of fluid in your body up to the required level. Along with potassium, sodium regulates the quantity of fluid in your body, contracts your muscles and passes on impulses via your nerves. The Food Council of the Netherlands recommends that you take no more than 9 grams of cooking salt a day. Just one teaspoonful contains 5 grams.
Common table salt. Natural food sources include milk, meat, eggs, and certain vegetables such as carrots, celery, beets, spinach, and other leafy greens. Dulse, Irish moss, kelp, rose hips, gotu kola, licorice root, parsley, oat straw, pennyroyal, comfrey, buchu leaf, chamomile flowers, safflowers, barley grass, peppermint leaf, and wild yam root.
The proper balance of sodium and potassium should be maintained and is necessary for good health. Sodium, Cl, and K are three indispensable "electrolytes", intimately associated in the body that they can be presented together. Na and Cl are primarily extracellular (outside cells) and K is intracellular (inside cells).
Deficiencies Caused by:
A deficiency can arise through vomiting, diarrhea or profuse sweating
Deficiency Signs or Symptoms:
Deficiency is usually caused by things such as starvation, excessive vomiting, diarrhea, or profuse sweating.
The result of sodium being lost while water remaining constant would cause water to infiltrate the cells, which would result in symptoms of water intoxification, which include mental apathy, muscle twitching, and anorexia.
If water and sodium are lost, extracellular fluids become depleted and the resulting symptoms would include low blood volume, low blood pressure, muscle cramping, high hematrocrit (a measure of the number of red blood cells found in the blood), as well as the possibility of collapsing of blood veins. Other symptoms of Sodium deficiency are muscle weakness, poor memory and concentration, anorexia, acidosis (an abnormal increase in hydrogen in the body from too much acid or the loss of base, i.e. acid-base), dehydration and tissue atrophy (a wasting or loss of tissue), abdominal cramps, ataxia (a blocked ability to coordinate movement), confusion, crying jags, depression, dermatosis (any condition of the skin that does not swell), dizziness, fatigue, flatulence, hallucinations, headaches, illusions, infections, lethargy, nausea and vomiting, seizures, taste loss, and weight loss.
Deficiencies in sodium may result in abdominal cramps, anorexia, ataxia, confusion, crying jags, depression, dermatosis, dizziness, fatigue, flatulence, hallucinations, headaches, hypotension, atherosclerosis, illusions, infections, lethargy, memory loss, muscular weakness, nausea, vomiting, seizures, taste loss weight loss. "Water intoxication" occurs in infants fed low Na formulas which causes their brains to swell thus leading to death, dehydration, dizziness, heart palpitations, low blood pressure, upset stomach, and frequent infections.
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