Hypernatremia-Adult

Hypernatremia is when there is too much sodium in the body. It may be serious and requires care from your doctor.

  • Causes

    Hypernatremia happens when there is an imbalance in the amount of water and sodium in the body—too little water, too much sodium.


    The main cause of hypernatremia is having more water leave your body than enter it. This causes
    dehydration. A person can become dehydrated in different ways, such as:

    • Drinking too little fluids
    • Sweating a lot

  • Definition

    Hypernatremia is when there is too much sodium in the body. It may be serious and requires care from your doctor.

  • Diagnosis

    You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. You will be asked about your fluid intake and urine output. A physical exam will be done.

    Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:

    • Blood tests
    • Urine tests

  • Prevention

    To help reduce your chance of getting hypernatremia, take these steps:

    • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of the fluids.
    • Work with your doctor to manage any health conditions.

  • Risk Factors

    Risk factors include:

    • Not getting enough fluids or the correct fluids
    • Fever
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Using certain diuretics—medications that increase urination
    • Severe burns
    • Losing too much fluid
    • Increased age
    • Having certain medical conditions such as diabetes or kidney disorder

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms may include:

    • Being thirsty
    • Dry mouth
    • Muscle weakness or muscle cramps
    • Decreased urination
    • Weight loss
    • Lightheadedness
    • Irritability
    • Confusion
    • Muscle twitching

    If left untreated, the condition may lead to death.

    Dry Mouth
    Dry Mouth and Throat
    Dry mouth is a symptom of hypernatremia.
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  • Treatment