Sodium is one of the principal mineral ions that are present inside the body, any insufficiency in its excretion and any excess secretion or retention will lead to its hyper state. The kidney is the main organ that regulates the excretion of sodium. The hormone aldosterone facilitates the retention of sodium inside the kidney. Our body excretes almost 8 grams of sodium per day in the form of urine by glomerular filtration. There can be a variety of causes that can lead to hypernatremia and thus sodium toxicity. The most important of them are these two causes mentioned as follows:

Excessive sodium intake by the person

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Deficiency of water inside the body

When the body faces water stresses such as dehydration, there are compensatory mechanisms of the body to overcome this stress with the least impact on the body. The other important causes for the toxicity of sodium are as follows:

Hyperactive adrenal cortex

Prolonged administration of the hormone cortisone

Insensible loss of water from the skin and respiratory ventilation

Rapid intake of the sodium salts



Use of lactulose


Excessive sweating

Cushing’s syndrome

Intravenous (IV) sodium injection in high doses

Water loss during pregnancy

Renal diseases

After vigorous exercise

A trans-cellular shift of water from extracellular fluid to the intracellular fluid

Heavy intake of drugs leading to a disrupted mechanism of renal concentration

Signs and Symptoms of Sodium Toxicity
The excess sodium concentration in blood has worse effects almost all over the body, but it has the worst effects on the brain cells. The neurologic impact of hypernatremia is the most severe symptom of sodium toxicity, which are as follows:

Alteration in mental status


Neuromuscular issues such as irritability


Focal neurological deficits



Abnormal speech




The death rate of this neurological impact of sodium toxicity is high as 50% of the total patients. These episodes result from shrinkage caused in the brain cells due to the transfer of water from the intracellular matrix to the extracellular matrix due to increased ionic concentration in the extracellular fluid. The other effects of the hypernatremia that is sodium toxicity are as follows;

The decrease in the contractility of the left ventricle of the heart



Disturbance in the utilization of the glucose even if the digestion is proper

Cramps in muscles

The Treatment Approach of Sodium Toxicity
The treatment of sodium toxicity is entirely focused on decreasing the elevated level of sodium present in the plasma up to the normal level or in the normal range of the sodium level. The process should be in optimum intensity because a sudden rise or fall in any ionic concentration will lead to serious complications. The management of the toxicity should focus upon the following important factors:

The rate of the ionic correction should be optimum

Selecting an appropriate method to do the same

Never ignore the predisposing conditions of the patient, such as diabetes

The most important measure that should be taken is the oral or nasogastric administration of water to compensate for the water loss that has taken place inside the body. For correct compensation for the water loss, the total body water should be calculated. It is calculated by multiplying the bodyweight of the person by 0.6. The reason behind this is that two-third of the bodyweight of a person is the normal weight of water. This Total body weight should be 50% for the females and 60% for the males. Apply the corrective measures to maintain the levels in their appropriate range.