Human Nutrition 3(3+0)
Lesson 39 : Sodium


The body loses sodium every day by way of urine and also via sweat. Thus a considerable amount is lost on hot days and after strenuous exercise. Many foods contain sodium, hence sodium deficiency is rare. However, a serious loss of sodium can result from excessive vomiting and/or diarrhea. Diuretics, such as those prescribed to help lower blood pressure, can also deplete sodium levels.

  1. Deficiency of sodium
    Deficiency of sodium ion leads to hyponatremia in which the serum Na level is below normal.
  2. Symptoms of hyponatremia include –

    • Severe dehydration
    • Decrease in blood volume
    • Decrease in blood pressure
    • Circulatory failure

  3. Hyponatremia
    Hyponatremia may occur in the following conditions:

    • Prolonged vomiting and diarrhoea resulting in excessive loss of digestive juices
    • Chronic renal disease with acidosis due to poor absorption of sodium in the tubules
    • Adreno – cortical deficiency leading to Addison’s disease
Last modified: Tuesday, 14 February 2012, 6:41 AM