Low Sodium Levels In The Elderly And How To Prevent It
Low Sodium Levels In The Elderly And Treatment
People with high blood pressure are at a greater risk of developing what is called salt-sensitive hypertension. These people have higher levels of sodium in their blood. This can lead to both short term and long term complications, such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
There are several ways to prevent the high blood pressure from becoming the more serious complications that come with it. People can simply limit their intake of sodium in their diet. They should also be conscious about the amount of salt they are using when cooking food at home or eating out. Some organizations have started to put out resources for people who want to live healthier lifestyles with tips on how they can better manage their diet and what type of foods they should be eating.
What Causes Low Sodium Levels in Elderly?
Low sodium levels in elderly are caused by increased excretion of water, and less intake of fluids.
Elderly people have a higher risk to develop low-sodium levels. In the United States, 20% of people older than 65 years old were affected by chronic kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease is a common cause for low-sodium levels in older adults. It also causes an increase in the excretion of water and less intake of fluids leading to low sodium levels.
Diuretics are drugs that promote the flow or urine from the kidneys which can lead to reduced blood volume and thus lower blood pressure. Diuretics can also cause heart failure and make it difficult for kidneys to filter waste products from your body leading to low-sodium levels.
What happens if sodium levels are too low in elderly?
A low sodium level in the elderly can cause neurological symptoms.
If elderly people’s sodium levels become too low, they will experience neurological symptoms such as headache and confusion. When the body is low on electrolytes like sodium, it will start to break down muscle tissue for energy. This process can result in a condition called rhabdomyolysis, which causes muscle pain and disease of the kidneys.
How to Manage Low Sodium Levels in the Elderly
Over time, the natural process of aging will cause a decrease in the amount of sodium in one’s body. This can lead to low sodium levels that can cause a variety of negative effects, such as fatigue and headaches.
Many common sources of sodium are high-calorie foods and snacks, so older adults should be mindful when consuming these types of food. Some ways to get sufficient amounts of sodium without consuming too many calories is by adding salt to food or drinking bouillon cubes broth.
Older adults should avoid processed foods that are high in salt content as these foods may contain added sugars and fats that can increase weight gain and risk for chronic health condition
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