What is hyponatremia and why it concerns athletes

What is hyponatremia and why it concerns athletes

rony 15.02.2019

Hyponatremia is a condition that often affects athletes quite frequently. The main problem is that, on many occasions, it is difficult to diagnose the problem and recognize the annoying symptoms that afflict sportsmen.

This is why it is essential to know the characteristics of hyponatremiathoroughly. This is the best way to know what is happening to your body and take the necessary steps to recover a perfect physical and mental state.

In this article, we will explain what hyponatremia is and what its main causes are. Furthermore, we will analyze its main symptoms, pointing the finger at the possible prevention and treatment systems that will help you to end this annoying obstacle to human health.

What is hyponatremia?

Despite having such a complicated name, the meaning of the word “hyponatremia” is very simple to understand. In fact, it is a condition that occurs when the concentration of sodium in the blood is too low. This mineral is essential for maintaining optimal health, as it regulates the level of water contained in the cells of the body.

However, hyponatremia is quite unknown. His diagnosis is, in many cases, complicated, which is why it is necessary to get good information and deepen his knowledge. In this way, once you compare your health status with the symptoms that we will explain below, you will be able to sense the possible presence of this problem.

The first advice we can give you, of course, is to go to your doctor right away, as soon as you notice a malfunction of your body. The doctor will in fact perform a series of tests aimed at verifying the causes of the pathologies, offering you a concrete solution to overcome hyponatremia.

Causes of hyponatremia

The triggers of hyponatremia are very different. Usually, we tend to think that this lack of sodium is due to a very high level of fluids in relation to the minerals present in the body. However, this is not completely certain, since this disorder occurs both in people who ingest a great many fluids and in those who consume insufficient quantities.

One of the things to stress is that hyponatremia has a higher incidence if a person has suffered from vomiting or gastroenteritis for several days. In this case, however, normal sodium levels will normalize after a few weeks. Other more serious health problems that cause hyponatremia are cirrhosis or heart failure.

Main symptoms

As mentioned above, the diagnosis of hyponatremia is always rather complicated. This is because the symptoms are due and very varied.

The most common are nausea with or without vomiting, headache and a latent feeling of tiredness. In addition, others may also appear, such as muscle cramps, drowsiness or disorientation.

It is common that these symptoms all appear together. In this case, the diagnosis will be easier. On the other hand, if they occur individually and intermittently over time, the doctor may take several weeks to correlate them with hyponatremia.

How to prevent hyponatremia?

After knowing this ailment, you will surely be thinking about how to prevent it. To help you, we will provide you with some guidelines to keep your health in perfect condition:

  • Drink only the water you need: on many occasions, we talk about how important it is to drink at least two liters of water a day. However, hardly anyone talks about the fact that overcoming these amounts can also have harmful side effects. It is better to pay attention to your thirst and not to drink too much water.

  • Start consuming supplements for athletes: particularly recommended drinks for athletes contain many mineral salts, including sodium. This is why combining this type of soft drink with water is a very effective way to combat hyponatremia.
  • Limit the intake of foods with diuretic properties: diuretic foods favor a greater loss of sodium than the normal functioning of the organism. Therefore, it is convenient to consume these diuretic foods without exaggerating with the quantities.

This article is worth concluding with a final recommendation, which is to increase the intake of salty foods before and after training. This is a very simple method to supply your body with extra amounts of sodium. For example, prepare healthy salty snacks such as a loin sandwich or a handful of walnuts. In this way, give your body nutrients that will improve its functioning.

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