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sh
Reply with quote  #31 

Hi, im from pakistan and just wanted to gve some useful input on low sodium levels. My father recently had his bypass surgery and carotod artery surgery. Even though he did had some neurological defecits cause of the carotid surgery, he started acting different in the last few days (he is in hospital as of now). He was drowsy all the time. very confused, doing  strange muttering,  overall mental status had declined that we were all  scared and praying to God. We found out that his souduim level was quite low and then yesterday we found out that he has a UTI which has caused the hyponatremia which is low Na level. UTI is so notorious iv heard that it can cause alot of things. His sugar level also dangerously droped to 30 suddenly and had to be given glucose shots. all due to infection! he aquired probably due to catheter used in hospitals. so one shud be very careful, sometimes doctors overlook coz some UTIs dont have  any symptoms especially in elderly ppl. thats all! i would welcome any comments

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sh
Reply with quote  #32 

Hi, im from pakistan and just wanted to gve some useful input on low sodium levels. My father recently had his bypass surgery and carotod artery surgery. Even though he did had some neurological defecits cause of the carotid surgery, he started acting different in the last few days (he is in hospital as of now). He was drowsy all the time. very confused, doing  strange muttering,overall mental status had declined that we were all  scared and praying to God. We found out that his souduim level was quite low and then yesterday we found out that he has a UTI which has caused the hyponatremia which is low Na level. UTI is so notorious iv heard that it can cause alot of things. His sugar level also dangerously droped to 30 suddenly and had to be given glucose shots. all due to infection! he aquired probably due to catheter used in hospitals. so one shud be very careful, sometimes doctors overlook coz some UTIs dont have  any symptoms especially in elderly ppl. thats all! i would welcome any comments

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sh
Reply with quote  #33 

Hi, im from pakistan and just wanted to gve some useful input on low sodium levels. My father recently had his bypass surgery and carotod artery surgery. Even though he did had some neurological defecits cause of the carotid surgery, he started acting different in the last few days (he is in hospital as of now). He was drowsy all the time. very confused, doing  strange muttering,  overall mental status had declined that we were all  scared and praying to God. We found out that his souduim level was quite low n then yesterday we found out that he has a UTI which has caused the hyponatremia which is low Na level. UTI is so notorious iv heard that it can cause alot of things. His sugar level also dangerously droped to 30 suddenly and had to be given glucose shots. all due to infection! he aquired probably due to catheter used in hospitals. so one shud be very careful, sometimes doctors overlook coz some UTIs dont have  any symptoms especially in elderly ppl. thats all! i would welcome any comments

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sh
Reply with quote  #34 

Hi, im from pakistan and just wanted to gve some useful input on low sodium levels. My father recently had his bypass surgery and carotod artery surgery. Even though he did had some neurological defecits cause of the carotid surgery, he started acting different in the last few days (he is in hospital as of now). He was drowsy all the time. very confused, doing  strange muttering,  overall mental status had declined that we were all  scared and praying to God. We found out that his souduim level was quite low and then yesterday we found out that he has a UTI which has caused the hyponatremia which is low Na level. UTI is so notorious iv heard that it can cause alot of things. His sugar level also dangerously droped to 30 suddenly and had to be given glucose shots. all due to infection! he aquired probably due to catheter used in hospitals. so one shud be very careful, sometimes doctors overlook coz some UTIs dont have  any symptoms especially in elderly ppl. thats all! i would welcome any comments

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elizabeth divine
Reply with quote  #35 

This is so like what is happening to my mum and I feel reassured that I can now get help for her since you all have enlightened my knowledge about how low sodium effects the body and mind.  Thanks.

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sam
Reply with quote  #36 

That and potassium levels are what I have to keep tabs on, cause potassium will do the same thing.

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Helena
Reply with quote  #37 
See this link for more info.

http://www.faqs.org/health/topics/4/Sodium-imbalance.html

The most intersting point is that it is not simply a matter of increasing salt in diet. 

"Severely low sodium levels can be treated by giving intravenous sodium and water into the blood. Moderate hyponatremia due to use of diuretics or high levels of vasopressin is often treated by drinking less water each day. Hyponatremia due to an abnormal adrenal gland is treated with hormone injections. High sodium level is treated with an intravenous solution of water a normal concentration of sodium. The infusion is performed over many hours or days to prevent abrupt and dangerous changes in brain cell volume. In emergencies, suchas when a high sodium level is causing brain symptoms, infusions may be conducted with half the normal concentration of salt.

A low sodium level is just one manifestation of a variety of disorders. Whileit can easily be corrected, the prognosis for the underlying condition thatcauses it varies. The prognosis for treating a high sodium level is excellent, unless neurological symptoms are severe or if a doctor tries to reverse thecondition too quickly.

It is not always easy to prevent abnormal salt levels. Patients who take diuretic medications must be checked regularly for the development of hyponatremia. High levels occur only in unusual circumstances that are not normally under a person's control."

My mother was recently in hospital after collapsing several times. She was very confused and weak and retaining water. She was catheterised. Consequently she suffered from a nasty UTI, which is being blasted with anti-biotics. Her blood is being tested weekly. She is still weak and forgetful. It turns out that her blood pressure meds had not been regulated for some time and were too strong. She has very low sodium levels and I am worried that getting her to drink as much as possible is not the right thing. Her favourite tea may also be bad, being a diuretic, if I am right in thinking. It seems from this thread and others that it will take a long time for her to recover. There has been no talk of intravenous sodium and water, energy drinks, adding salt to her diet (a no no for years with her previously high blood pressure) or in fact anything that will help. As communication is next to impossible with the doctors here I am hoping her new balance of meds and careful care and attention to her diet will help. This seems to be a common problem among the elderly. I am keen to find out more. Am glad to find this forum. Thanks!


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Helena
Reply with quote  #38 
That would explain why my mum's diabetes has disappeared! Same here: UTI, low sodium, weak and very confused. This was however blamed on my mum being impacted (constipated). The UTI came from her catheter!
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mary
Reply with quote  #39 
Hi folks.

UTIs are nasty business. My Dad was disoriented, lethargic. The antibiotics knocked it out but his sodium levels were low. Doctor recommended two V8 juice (cans) per day. Dad decided to bump this up to 3 or more cans per day. Too much V8 juice wreaked havoc on his system: was cleaning up BMs every morning. He's back on 2 cans...all is well.
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AVK
Reply with quote  #40 
Hi
Thank you for sharing, My Dad is also going through the same issue I guess since he had bypass surgery last month and he had his kidney not functioning properly.  his creatinine level were getting better and doctors stopped the dialysis but yesterday all of sudden he got week could not put steps. due to low sodium. wondering what caused it ? is he going to be ok? he is in the hospital now.
worried..
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Never Get Away
Reply with quote  #41 
I have a condition called Meniere's Disease which my doctor told me to control with a strict low salt diet and a diuretic; well by strictly following his advice I ended up collapsed on the floor of a mall with a double header-severe dehydration and the delightful vomiting/vertigo that accompanies a Meniere's attack. The EMT's told me that I was so dehydrated they were surprised I was lucid. Fortunately, after a few bags of intraveneous fluids in the ER and I was fine, but I learned that salt deprivation was not the answer. Moderation was the cure.

Sea-salt in a grinder is a good compromise. I pick lower sodium foods, but I sprinkle a bit of this delicious salt on them. We need salt and we need water, it is about balance.

Regarding  UTI's please consider the powder form of D-Mannose (there are many positive reviews on Amazon.com) which works.

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Rhea
Reply with quote  #42 
Hello, I hope people are still on this thread...  We are going through the exact same thing with my father-in-law.  He was diagnosed with diabetes just over a year ago, and his appetite decreased significantly.  He lost 30 lbs in 6 months.

He was admitted into the hospital 2 weeks ago, with "dangerously low" sodium levels, and seizures.  He was (and still is) very confused and not himself, as I've seen frequently on this thread.  He was aggressive (very uncharacteristically) and eventually restrained.  This 1st hospital released him to a nursing home after 2 days, with an UTI, citing he has dementia...  My husband suspects it was because of the aggressive behavior - his father was independent and sharp as a tack before this...  Of course, he was back in a hospital within 12 hours, with even lower sodium levels!!  He's been in this 2nd hospital since then, being treated for delerium...  They actually have him on the anti-psychotic drug Haldol, which I understand is also used to treat schitzophrenics...  I'm so concerned that they are just chalking this up to old age, and not finding the physical root cause...  They, too, are suggesting that we start looking at nursing homes for him.  However, he showed no signs of dementia before this!!

More interestingly, the hospital is still giving him his high blood pressure meds, which NO ONE has mentioned to us could be a cause of his low sodium...  He also drinks a fair amount of water every time I've been to visit him - no one told us that was a risk, either!! 

I see that this thread began over a year ago...  If anyone cares to provide an update as to how their elder loved one recovered (i.e. was extended care/nursing home ultimately required), I would so greatly appreciate it.  Thanks very much!!

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kevin
Reply with quote  #43 
boy does all this sound familiar..

mom went into ER one afternoon in October this past year with sodium levels approaching seizure level i was later told..  116 if the medical records are accurate.  symptoms similar to dementia.. confusion, lack of appetite, weak, aggressive, and didnt recognize me or my dad....  after 9 days the level was brought up to the low 130s.   while she was there they did every test known to man on her..  and the were unable to find /anything/ seriously wrong with her--kidneys, heart, lungs, everything was exceptional for an 87 year old woman. (excepting the low sodium, of course.)   Mom still exhibited signs of confusion, and was diagnosed with dementia.  problem is, in July of this year, before she got sick, mom read constantly, remembered everything, and could do crossword puzzles in ink.  and remembered those difficult puzzles all the time.  in short, she had /no/ evidence, as objectively as i can say, of dementia before she went in.  if they were there, it wasnt enough to alert any of her other physicians that she visits routinely.  In late August she visited ER with symptoms of cramping, no appetite, headaches.  blood work shows a sodium level of 123, but she was.... released, and told to see a psychologist..  (Gasp.)   fast forward about 3 weeks in the hospital (from the October admittance), and 2 weeks in therapy recovery in a care center..  it is now Early december..

mom is now in a nursing home with dad.  mom seemed to be getting better.. slowly tho.  all the Drs said the brain lagged the sodium a bit, like a day or 2.  WRONG.  at least not with my mom.  she was getting noticeably better every time i saw her..  like about 2 times a week.  then on one of my visits she started talking and dad nor I could understand her.  time to check the sodium level again..  and presto..  125.  and dropping, apparently.  not sure what caused it, most likely some medication she's taking..  shes back around 130 now, and doing better. 

i am concerned that the "dementia" diagnosis is inaccurate.  I am wondering if the low sodium initially (116) has caused some permanent damage to her brain.  (All Drs say NO WAY is it permanent.)  or if we just need to keep her sodium level steady long enough for the brain to catch up.   seems like the prevailing opinion of a "day or two" is totally wrong in my mom's case.

I guess the moral here is that each of you, with your loved ones, is that person's greatest advocate.  question all information you get; this will immediately put you at odds with the new or insecure doctors that are unable to think outside the medical textbook "boxes" they learned from.  Experienced, confident doctors will listen to you and explain why you are wrong, or admit your thoughts deserve further investigation.  I'm not a doctor but i am technical, and troubleshooting techniques, whether they are with computers, cars, family issues, or medical issues, all have similarities.  after suggesting a course of action for my mom, one nurse told me i sounded just like her nursing instructor.  the amount of information i have gathered from the Internet has increased my knowledge level of this issue orders of magnitude--you just need to know how to use and apply all the information that is out there..  sorry for the long post.. best of luck to all of you fighting the same issues..  : )      Kevin
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Lori
Reply with quote  #44 
Mom has been having dizzy spells.... She went to her doctor Dec. 2009 and her blood pressure was up a little, normally 120/70, 77 years old.
She was told to not use salt. Dizzy spells got worse and Feb. 5, 2010 she went to the ER to be checked out and all they found was low sodium levels. Doctor told her she has the heart of a 20 year old.
They did not tell her what to do for the low sodium levels.. She is using more sea salt.. Dizzy spells are better but not gone. I would assume that it takes a while for the body to adjust.
I hope others find this site and post here.
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NGA
Reply with quote  #45 
Lori,

It is good to know that your mom's dizzy spells are getting better and I am not surprised that they got better after the addition of sea salt which also has other minerals and iodine. I do not believe in a "no sodium" diet, because we need salt for our bodies to function properly. Unfortunately, all salts are not the same and you are right, no one at the hospital gives you any nutritional information. You need to ask for it. There are likely to be materials the hospital, which the nutritionist can give you, but imo you will get better info on line. Try Australian and UK sites.

One thing to know is that most prepared foods today are over loaded with salt that doesn't have iodine. Bread is one example. It took me 20 minutes one day to find which hot dog buns had the lowest sodium level. As I began the process of finding "safe" foods for my father, who had CHF, I spent double my time in the supermarket. It was shocking that something as basic as canned tomatoes ranged from a low of 25 (naturally occurring level) to a high of 550. And it seems the lower the salt in the product the higher the price for it. You pay more for less!

I like Amy's tomato bisque soup and so did my dad, but the regular version had too much sodium, so we would mix it in to the low sodium choice at a 1 to 4 ratio.

I added lemon juice to low sodium tomato juice/vegetable juice , then sprinkled sea salt on the top and served it with a stalk of celery.

You have to be a very creative cook with low sodium diets or the foods you prepare will be bland and nearly inedible. However, once on this diet, you may also discover that certain foods you used to like will taste gross, because they are too salty.

Some stores have lists of low sodium foods, helpful to scan to find items you missed, but generally the lists are so limited, they can make you more frustrated. Your best bet is to read all the labels, seek info on the web and experiment.



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