This test is used to find out the sodium levels in the blood. Sodium is one of the essential minerals needed for the body.
What is Sodium:
Sodium is naturally presented in the food items like canned meat, poultry, fish, ham, sausage, salted nuts, beans etc. It is important for the body to regulate blood volume, to control blood pressure and to maintain osmotic equilibrium and pH levels in the body. Sodium is an important electrolyte and helps in the neuron function.
The renin-angiotensin system regulates the amount of fluid and sodium concentration in the body. If there is a decrease in blood volume and sodium concentration, sensors in the heart, blood vessels, and kidney detect it and kidney releases the renin. Renin produces the aldosterone and angiotensin. These hormones help in the retention of sodium in the urine and balance the body fluid, sodium concentration in the body and blood volume. In a similar way, if there is an increase in the sodium concentration and blood volume, the sensors trigger the kidney to excrete the sodium and retain the potassium. When sodium is excreted, blood volume becomes normal.
General conditions with abnormal Sodium levels in the body:
Hypernatremia is a condition in which there is a high level of sodium in the blood than the normal range. Mostly, this condition is seen in people who don’t drink enough water. Symptoms like dehydration, restlessness, fatigue, thirst, insufficient urine production, irritability, fast heart rate, dry mouth, altered level of consciousness, lack of energy, muscle spasms etc can be seen in people who are suffering from hypernatremia. Hyponatremia is a condition where a low level of sodium is seen in the blood of the body. This includes the following symptoms like a headache, nausea, confusion, fatigue, dizziness, malaise, thirst, mental confusion etc.
Why this test is performed?
The Sodium Blood Test is done to know whether an individual is having normal or abnormal sodium levels in the blood of the body. The doctor may ask to perform this test if an individual is suffering from conditions like hypernatremia (high levels of sodium in the blood), hyponatremia (low levels of sodium in the blood), mental confusion, edema (abnormal accumulation of fluid in the tissues of the body), insufficient urine production. This test is also done to determine the risk of developing a kidney dysfunction, shortness of breath. If an individual is on the treatment of anti-diuretic medications like hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone etc., then the doctor may ask to perform this test to evaluate and to check the effectiveness of the treatment and sodium levels in the body. This helps the doctor to rule out the patient disease condition. If an individual is suffering from symptoms like muscle spasms (overuse of the muscle), lethargy (lack of enthusiasm), thirst (feeling or wanting to drink something), lack of energy, dry mouth (insufficient saliva in the mouth), then the doctor may ask to do the Sodium Blood Test.
Generally, when a patient is diagnosed with kidney failure, cirrhosis (severe liver damage causes a scar on the liver and liver failure) or malnutrition (lack of sufficient nutrients in the body) visits hospital for a general check-up, the doctor may ask to undergo the Sodium Blood Test which gives a better status of the condition. This test is also performed to provide a clear idea regarding the malnutrition of an individual and kidney dysfunction. Mostly, this test is done along with other mineral and electrolyte tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Drugs like antibiotics, lithium, furosemide, torsemide, hydrochlorothiazide etc may change the levels of Sodium in the blood. So inform your doctor prior to the test if you are on these medications.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Sodium Test. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Sodium Test.
There are no specific preparations required for the Sodium Blood Test.
If test results are more than the normal range then it may indicate that there may be conditions likes kidney dysfunction or kidney failure, adrenal glands disorder, diarrhea (frequent discharge of stools in liquid form), diabetes insipidus (the disorder of salt and water metabolism), dehydration, Cushing syndrome (overproduction of cortisol by adrenal glands), increased salt intake in the diet.
If test results are less than the normal range, then it indicates that there may be a chance for conditions kidney disease, cirrhosis (severe liver damage causes a scar on the liver and liver failure), Addison disease (The disorder in which adrenal gland doesn’t produce enough hormones), malnutrition (lack of sufficient nutrients in the body), edema (abnormal accumulation of fluid in the tissues of the body) caused by heart failure, vomiting, excessive sweating.
|OTHER||All age groups||135 - 145mEq/L|