Natural Remedies for Hyponatremia

| Modified on Jun 16, 2017
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Hyponatremia is a medical condition in which the body's sodium levels are too low. Natural remedies for hyponatremia include adequate salt intake and appropriate hydration. Severe hyponatremia is a medical emergency and can cause stroke, heart attack, seizures, coma and even death.

Causes of Hyponatremia

The body needs sodium. Sodium helps to keep the water balanced in the cells and is needed for many body functions. It is critical for life. Interestingly, too much water intake or too little water intake can each cause hyponatremia.

Low sodium can result from acute conditions like food poisoning or a stomach virus. If a person is purging excessively through vomiting and/or diarrhea, he will end up dehydrated and often low in sodium and other critical electrolytes as well.

When a person is involved in activities that cause the body to lose a lot of water through sweating (hard work in the sun, running marathons, etc.), even if he drinks plenty of water, the electrolytes lost in sweating can result in hyponatremia.

To prevent hyponatremia in the above situations, it is best to replace lost fluids with electrolyte rich fluids like sports drinks or other oral re-hydration solutions. These solutions usually have adequate sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium to replace what is lost.

However, if vomiting or diarrhea is the cause of lost fluids, it may not be possible to adequately replace the lost fluids and electrolytes since they are purged more quickly than the body can use them.  Children and the elderly are especially at risk for complications from severe vomiting or diarrhea. Medical attention in the form of IV fluids may be necessary.

Certain drugs, including diuretics, depression medications, and some recreational drugs can cause hyponatremia. Alcohol abuse can cause hyponatremia.

Hormonal problems, heart or kidney complications can cause hyponatremia.

Even drinking too much water can cause hyponatremia, especially if a lot of water is consumed at once. Too much water can over dilute the sodium in the blood, causing hyponatremia.

Prevention is the best solution for hyponatremia. Once a person has very low sodium levels, it can be difficult or dangerous to correct without medical intervention.  The sodium levels must be brought up carefully and not too quickly.

To prevent hyponatremia, take good care of your health. Drink plenty of fluids but not all at once. If you are sweating a lot or losing fluids through vomiting or diarrhea, replace fluids with oral re-hydration solutions or sports drinks. While too much sodium in the diet can cause problems, moderate use of a quality salt is healthy for most people. High quality salts include Celtic sea salt, Himalayan pink salt etc.

If you have a medical condition that require medications that can cause hyponatremia, work with your doctor to keep your sodium level within a safe range.

If drug or alcohol abuse are the cause of your hyponatremia, get help for your addictions.

Severe hyponatremia can cause confusion, weakness, fainting, cramping, seizures and coma and requires immediate medical attention. Continue reading to learn what remedies have helped our readers and please send us your own home remedies to help this condition, if any!


Posted by Mon99 (London) on 11/27/2013

Low Serum Sodium of 129 in 83 year old - How to increase this with sea salt and water? My mum is 83. She recently had blood tests which showed:-

mildly elevated Serum Calcium of 2.63 and low Serum Sodium level of 129.

I have read a lot on this topic of Hyponatremia but no down to earth home remedies which can be easily understood.

Please can you clarify and explain WHAT water-salt solution she can take and in WHAT QUANTITIES and HOW FREQUENTLY to try and increase her low serum sodium naturally. Her serum sodium has fluctuated over the last few years between 124- 133. Also, is there anything she should eat everyday to raise her low sodium level e.g. a packet of crisps or some salty peanuts?

I have never done this before so your help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Mon99, what I did was take a tiny lick of Celtic Sea Salt (from Geraunde, France) with each glass of water during the day. And I mean just a few grains of salt to a 20cc cup of water.

Replied by Dee
(Springfield, Ma)

This reply is to 11/27/13 Mon99 from London:

My dear mother suffered for many years with hyponatremia, but hers had to do with brain vessel disease and her neurologist (who was not only knowledgeable but open to alternative treatments) suggested coconut water (we used Zico) and my mom's primary physician also indicated homemade electrolyte drinks. You could do a Google search. Although it helped mom tremendously, she had many other medical problems and recently went home to be with the LORD. I wrote because this might be of help for your mom; if not seeing one you may want to take her to a good neurologist, though there may be well qualified posters here at earth clinic. Be sure not to give your mom too much water; I don't remember why now, but the doctors limited her fluid intake. The electrolytes and soups did bring up her sodium to 134 - 135 which is the low end of normal range; but it was a constant frustrating battle because of the brain vessel disease. I believe as with everything we need a balance in electrolytes especially as we get older, so I now use sea salt in my diet (and the electrolytes) as well as periodically monitor blood pressure readings. Another "Band-Aid" fix from my mom's primary doctor was using the bouillon cubes that are loaded with salt when making soups. I can never repay for all the help I received with my own medical issues from all of the earth clinic posters and I truly hope this helps you. I will be praying for your mom. Dee

Replied by Bill
(San Fernando, Philippines)

Hi Mono99...If we assume that your mother's problem is lack of nutrients through diet then she shoud take:

Sea Salt (NOT refined salt) -- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon with water twice a day outside mealtimes. Peanuts and crisps are not allowed because they contain refined salt. Natural sea salt contains salt as well as 80 trace minerals that will be more beneficial to your mother. Refined salt is more acidic and contains just sodium chloride with other additives from processing like ferrocyanide and aluminium -- not good in the diet.

Magnesium -- As Magnesium chloride or magnesium citrate -- 250 mgs twice a day. Magnesium is easily regulated by the kidneys. This will also help her calcium levels -- because magnesium regulates calcium in the body and the likelihood is that she is deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is a key electrolyte for the body, most people are deficient in magnesium and most people eat far too much dairy foods and foods that are over-fortified with calcium. By reducing dairy foods, you reduce calcium intake.

Kelp -- To raise iodine levels in the body to correct levels. Too much calcium in the blood inhibits iodine uptake by the thyroid gland which causes low thyroid. This results in lowered, inefficient metabolism. These days, virtually everyone is deficient iodine in their diet. Kelp cpntains iodine which will help to bring up your mother's iodine levels to improve thyroid activity. Iodine via kelp also aids digestion.

If the above protocols don't have much effect on re-adjusting her mineral levels then your mother should get a full spectrum check on her Liver, Kidneys and Thyroid from the doctor as her problems might also be caused because of the mis-regulation of minerals in her body involving the liver, kidney and thyroid. If you get the thyroid check then your doctor will recommend the TSH check. However, you should insist on the Free T3 - Free T4 check for her thyroid because this is far more accurate than the TSH check.

Replied by 1997bcs
(Kansas Usa)

Mon99, I also struggle with low sodium levels from a condition called SIADH. The cause of this is from cancer treatments I received for brain cancer. My doctors encourage me to eat my sodium in order to keep my levels up, which is hard to do at times. I've found drinking broth made from bouillon and take sodium tablets as needed helps the most for me. I hope this will be of help to you.

Sea Salt and Baking Soda

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Posted by Ted (Bangkok, Thailand) 388 posts

A cure for hyponatremia is sea salt and baking soda. The water's pH is 7 and the blood pH is 7.35. You might die rather quickly if the pH just drops to only 0.20 pH as a result of drinking too much water. I have seen instances that a young Thai actress dying in a standard water saline solution (where the pH is NOT 7.35, but the pH is 7) as a result of IV saline drip being too quickly. So she didn't die from lack of sodium she died from acidosis. Therefore water intoxication is the result of acidosis and low sodium levels, where baking soda and sea salt is the only cure I used in case I drink too much water too quickly.

Therefore, I need to raise the body's pH from acid to alkaline, with baking soda and the sodium from sea salt will replenish the chloride and microminerals. I once drank too much water and felt bad, so I added baking soda first, then some sea salt.

It taken enough, the body will be in a state of diarrhea and get rid of excess water within minutes, thus curing the condition. A reasonable dose for me in such dire emergencies is if 5 liter water is drank is 1/4 x 5 = 5 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and about 2 teaspoon of baking soda. It looks like a lot, but did you forget, you were drinking that much water, something has to neutralize that dangerous amount! Of course this is based on ball park figures in case of water intoxication. The amounts are never exact and more experiments are needed however. If I have sometime in the future I can do the maths to be more exacting.

Replied by Directrice
(Mo. County, Maryland)

We know that athletes and small babies are subject to potential illness and even death because of too much water in a short period of time. But I have this theory that when I increased my water intake it predisposed me to Bronchitis.

I am not a "respitory person" meaning, that is not an area I have ever had a problem with. My issues are more circulatory, and digestive. So when I got Bronchitis, not once, but twice, in 2 months I was surprised. Yes, it was going around and is contagious. But neither my husband nor my daughter caught it. I think my body was more hospitable to it for some reaseon.

Let me explain: I have edema. I am overweight, and that is a contributing factor, but I noticed it gets worse when I don't drink and become dehydrated. For some odd reason, I just don't like to drink. I never drink sodas or other soft drinks, mostly tea, and water, small amount of orgnic milk. I just resist drinking especially cold drinks (unless it is really hot). Part of this may be due to the fact that I have a cold body (chronic hyperglycemia). My average temp is around 97 degrees, when up. Morning, basal temp can be as low as 96.5. I am aware of thyroid indicators and will talk about that on the thyroid thread.

At any rate, I know when I am getting dehydrated, skin stars to dry up (I am only 34) so that prompts me to drink. So I read this book, forgot the name, about the value of water and how many illnesses it can cure and I decided to up my water intake. Knowing I am overweight and might need more than the average person, I forced myself to drink 5 times the amount I normally drink. I wasn't measuring but it was probably at least 12 glasses. When normally I may drink 3-5 glasses of total liquid.

That's when I came down hard with bronchitis. Lowered my drinking during illness, recovered and went back to my routine. I started drinking large quantities (and these were large amounts in one sitting, not slowly sipping, I was gulping, I hate it and had to force myself). I got hit with Bronchitis again!

I have since healed and since gone back to my typioal liquid intake, increasing slightly due to warming weather, and mostly drinking herbal tea to avoid dehydration. I have been fine.

Another note, I saw a connection to salt and the bronchial tubes. I eat VERY little salt No chips, no fast food burgers, pickles, pretzles, rarely fries. I might add half a tsp to a whole baked chicken.

I found this on the net, (not endorsing their products AT ALL) just thought it makes an interesting connection to edema, dehydration, water intake and respritory issues.

This is the reason why in severe dehydration we develop an edema and retain water. The design of our bodies is such that the extent of the ocean of water outside the cells is expanded to have the extra water available for filtration and emergency injection into vital cells. The brain commands an increase in salt and water retention by the kidneys. This is how we get an edema when we don't drink enough water.

"Initially, the process of water filtration and its delivery into the cells is more efficient at night when the body is horizontal. The collected water, that mostly pools in the legs, does not have to fight the force of gravity to get onto the blood circulation. If reliance of this process of emergency hydration of some cells continues for long, the lungs begin to get waterlogged at night, and breathing becomes difficult. The person needs more pillows to sit upright to sleep. This condition is the consequence of dehydration. However, you might overload the system by drinking too much water at the beginning. Increases in water intake must be slow and spread out until urine production begins to increase at the same rate that you drink water."

I wonder if it would be beneficial for me to increase my salt a little and I guess it would have to be the right KIND of salt. I will look through Ted's suggestions on this.

Replied by Gean
(Salina, Ks)

I have a question about water: Whenever I drink a glass or two of water, always on an empty stomach, I get chilled all over even though the water is not very cold. Even if it's warm water the same thing happens. The chill sets in not right away but after 5 or 10 minutes. I have used water drinking through the years to balance my hormones (clears my face in a day, etc.), but only in the last few months I get very cold from drinking water. Anyone have any idea what this might be? Thank you.

Replied by Gean
(Salina, Ks)

The_pheonix, thank you for the response. Quite possibly it is an endocrine issue, since I have weak adrenal function, drop of body temperature even after a brisk walk. Who knows...