Sodium deficiency?

Hey everyone just wondering if anyone has struggled with a low sodium deficiency and, if so, what were your symptoms?
I get up and feel like I’m almost ready to blackout. My dr checked my bp and it was great (in every position) but my pulse was all over the place. She looked at my sodium levels and thinks I’m eating very low sodium so to increase and see if it gets better (I average about 1100mg a day).

Thanks for any personal insight.
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Replies

  • The_Ta
    The_Ta Posts: 59 Member
    Hyponatremia can kill you. Usually not an issue unless...

    And you drinking too much water? Yes, you can drink so much water so fast that you’ll dilute blood sodium. Are you exercising too hard in the heat and only drinking plain water? Dizziness, headache, fatigue, and nausea are signs. There are also some medications that can cause hyponatremia as well as a few endocrine imbalances.

    You have to be near militant about restricting your sodium to not be getting enough.
  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,565 Member
    1100 doesn't sound all that low, especially since many people try to limit their intake to 1500
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,881 Member
    When I was a child and presumably eating much less salt (because back then salt was Bad), I had very low BP and often got dizzy and sometimes blacked out when getting up. I eat a lot more salt now and my BP has been low normal for decades.
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,483 Member
    I don't like the taste of salt so cook without it. And the few pre packaged foods I use I choose low sodium, just for the taste preference.
    I almost had to give up eating out because all I could taste in a really nice meal was salt.
    Not sure what my salt intake is, but my BP is at the lower end of normal, and my HR is a tad fast.

    The only time I've had problems is in the heat when I am really active, and sweating a lot. I can go dizzy, walking as well as when I stand or bend, come out in little pin- prick dots, and fatigue quickly.

    Only once have I had problems in the gym and that was because I was under fuelled, dehydrated, and sweating more than normal.

    Because it isn't a regular occurance, and I usually know when I may have a problem, I carry emergen-C with me.

    Cheers, h.
  • apullum
    apullum Posts: 4,838 Member
    If you sweat a lot, or if your sweat is especially salty (i.e., you can feel salt on your skin after a workout), then you may be losing a lot of electrolytes that way. Sodium is one of those electrolytes. Instead of just drinking plain water, you can try a sports drink--Gatorade works fine, but there are lower calorie options. I like Nuun tablets.

    Otherwise, it's tough to get too little sodium, unless you're making a conscious effort to eat very little of it.
  • TxTiffani
    TxTiffani Posts: 798 Member
    Are you eating low carb? That would happen to me on low carb a lot. Increased carbs and it stopped happening.
  • Seffell
    Seffell Posts: 2,219 Member
    edited January 2018
    I am supposed to eat high sodium. In the UK it is salt that is given on the label not sodium and I'm supposed to eat around 8gr of salt per day. I think this is around 3200mg sodium.
    Luckily I like very salty food. I just try to eat more salt, I don't actually monitor my intake. I find it difficult to measure because I just use table salt from the shaker and put plenty until I like the taste.

    Edit: have you checked yourself for POTS?
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,374 Member
    edited January 2018
    Every now and then I've been struck down by bolts of weakness, usually in the morning. Then I end up with tunnel vision, brain absent, weakness, I just stare ahead of me and feel miserable. And I get the urge to eat everything within reach. Been trying to find out for ages what is causing this and always thought it was low blood sugar. But eating all the candy in the world doesn't do anything. This problem only gets better at dinner in the evening, but always comes back the following day, a bit weaker though. After about a week I'm fine again until the next time.

    So one day I though: what's the difference between daytime food and dinner. Well, during daytime I eat bread with cheese, slices of chicken breast or cooked ham, fruit, veggies, the office might also have yoghurt, and colleagues might have candy, there might be a soda machine. In the evening I eat most of my salt.

    A few attacks of those later I finally remembered to try salt. And the problem went away pretty much immediately. And didn't come back the next day. For the first time in 20 years or so!

    Now the odd thing is that doctors have never measured a low blood sodium level; it was always normal. So no idea. But I've not had one of those for a while now. Next to that I'm suddenly not thirsty anymore. Instead of drinking 4l of tea a day (would have been more with cold drinks) I'm happy with much less. And I suddenly don't crave crisps anymore, something that I've been doing since earliest childhood! As a four year old waiting for my parents to go to bed at night, climb on the kitchen cabinet and chew salt off pretzel sticks. That's me. Basically, putting my finger into salt a few times per day seems to help against all of this.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,374 Member
    gebeziseva wrote: »
    I am supposed to eat high sodium. In the UK it is salt that is given on the label not sodium and I'm supposed to eat around 8gr of salt per day. I think this is around 3200mg sodium.
    Luckily I like very salty food. I just try to eat more salt, I don't actually monitor my intake. I find it difficult to measure because I just use table salt from the shaker and put plenty until I like the taste.

    Edit: have you checked yourself for POTS?

    Yes, I was also thinking POTS for the TO.

    TO, if you stand up blood has the tendency to pool in the legs. The body counteracts this by constricting the blood vessels and speeding up the heartrate for a moment. In people with pots this works fine, but the heartrate doesn't easily slow down afterwards.
  • RunningJustIncase
    RunningJustIncase Posts: 81 Member
    malibu927 wrote: »
    1100 doesn't sound all that low, especially since many people try to limit their intake to 1500

    That’s what I thought as well! I’m drinking pedialyte today to see if it helps any.
  • RunningJustIncase
    RunningJustIncase Posts: 81 Member
    gebeziseva wrote: »
    I am supposed to eat high sodium. In the UK it is salt that is given on the label not sodium and I'm supposed to eat around 8gr of salt per day. I think this is around 3200mg sodium.
    Luckily I like very salty food. I just try to eat more salt, I don't actually monitor my intake. I find it difficult to measure because I just use table salt from the shaker and put plenty until I like the taste.

    Edit: have you checked yourself for POTS?

    I have not actually! I had to google that to see what it is. Hmmmm it makes me wonder if possible? I’m drinking pedialyte to see if this will go away but if not then I’m going to call the dr back and see what she says. Would that take a cardiologist to diagnose?
  • RunningJustIncase
    RunningJustIncase Posts: 81 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    Every now and then I've been struck down by bolts of weakness, usually in the morning. Then I end up with tunnel vision, brain absent, weakness, I just stare ahead of me and feel miserable. And I get the urge to eat everything within reach. Been trying to find out for ages what is causing this and always thought it was low blood sugar. But eating all the candy in the world doesn't do anything. This problem only gets better at dinner in the evening, but always comes back the following day, a bit weaker though. After about a week I'm fine again until the next time.

    So one day I though: what's the difference between daytime food and dinner. Well, during daytime I eat bread with cheese, slices of chicken breast or cooked ham, fruit, veggies, the office might also have yoghurt, and colleagues might have candy, there might be a soda machine. In the evening I eat most of my salt.

    A few attacks of those later I finally remembered to try salt. And the problem went away pretty much immediately. And didn't come back the next day. For the first time in 20 years or so!

    Now the odd thing is that doctors have never measured a low blood sodium level; it was always normal. So no idea. But I've not had one of those for a while now. Next to that I'm suddenly not thirsty anymore. Instead of drinking 4l of tea a day (would have been more with cold drinks) I'm happy with much less. And I suddenly don't crave crisps anymore, something that I've been doing since earliest childhood! As a four year old waiting for my parents to go to bed at night, climb on the kitchen cabinet and chew salt off pretzel sticks. That's me. Basically, putting my finger into salt a few times per day seems to help against all of this.

    That’s interesting! Thank you for sharing. I drastically increased my sodium yesterday intentionally and still had the same issues.
  • 1houndgal
    1houndgal Posts: 558 Member
    apullum wrote: »
    If you sweat a lot, or if your sweat is especially salty (i.e., you can feel salt on your skin after a workout), then you may be losing a lot of electrolytes that way. Sodium is one of those electrolytes. Instead of just drinking plain water, you can try a sports drink--Gatorade works fine, but there are lower calorie options. I like Nuun tablets.

    Otherwise, it's tough to get too little sodium, unless you're making a conscious effort to eat very little of it.

    Propel is good, no calories. G2 is good if you need a little simple carbs along with the sodium. Gatorade has a lot of carbs so for some folks like those with diabetes, it could cause issues.

    If your dr tells you your sodium level is too low, follow your Dr's instructions. It can be a deadly game.
  • maybe1pe
    maybe1pe Posts: 529 Member
    gebeziseva wrote: »
    I am supposed to eat high sodium. In the UK it is salt that is given on the label not sodium and I'm supposed to eat around 8gr of salt per day. I think this is around 3200mg sodium.
    Luckily I like very salty food. I just try to eat more salt, I don't actually monitor my intake. I find it difficult to measure because I just use table salt from the shaker and put plenty until I like the taste.

    Edit: have you checked yourself for POTS?

    I have not actually! I had to google that to see what it is. Hmmmm it makes me wonder if possible? I’m drinking pedialyte to see if this will go away but if not then I’m going to call the dr back and see what she says. Would that take a cardiologist to diagnose?

    Interesting now I'm curious about POTS as well. I have borderline low blood pressure and sometimes experience postural related drops but not every time I sit or stand. I increased my sodium and increased my vitamin B at recommendation from my DR and it has helped some but not completely. I was eating around 1500 mg of sodium before seeing her (according to tracking in MFP) and now average around 3000 usually more. I can definitely tell on days when I don't eat as much because I experience dizziness more often.

    My advice would be if your DR is recommending it only you and DR know exactly your health. Try it and see if it helps.
  • ms_havisham
    ms_havisham Posts: 42 Member
    I had a lot of trouble with POTS when I was younger, my blood pressure was typically in the 80-90/40-50 range. As I near my 40's it rarely bothers me and my blood pressure is in the 90-110/50-65 range.

    One thing I would ask, do you have any digestive issues? I have Crohn's and because of the symptoms, I was consistently low in electrolytes. Now, with tracking, I have found I consistently consume quite a bit more than the recommended sodium levels with no symptoms and no effect to blood levels, so I assume it is balancing out what I lose because of my ileostomy. But the ileostomy isn't the only cause, even prior to surgery I always had low levels of electrolytes.
  • ronjsteele1
    ronjsteele1 Posts: 1,064 Member
    My son has always run low sodium. It can definitely cause issues. Just don’t restrict your salt intake and be intentional about adding salt to your food. Using sea salt vs regular iodized salt also seems to matter for him. I surmise it’s the balance of other minerals with the sodium that matters. During the summer we have to dramatically increase his salt intake and he carries packets of salt with him just in case.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,386 MFP Moderator
    How many calories are you eating? How much sodium did you eat when you increased?

    My wife has POTS and her sodium goals are close to 10,000mg; she always tries to eat a lot of potassium and magnesium. On top of that, she gets IV infusions every other week, supplements with prescription 800mg of potassium, 500mg of magnesium and 5000iu of Vit D to fight fatigue. But my wife's POTS is pretty bad. She can't lie flat or changes positions very quickly. But if you want to know if you have POTS, you would need to go to a cardiologist and get a tilt table test.

    In regards to salt, you can add a bunch to your foods (my wife actually salts her bacon) and then supplement if needed with electrolyte tablets.
  • Seffell
    Seffell Posts: 2,219 Member
    gebeziseva wrote: »
    I am supposed to eat high sodium. In the UK it is salt that is given on the label not sodium and I'm supposed to eat around 8gr of salt per day. I think this is around 3200mg sodium.
    Luckily I like very salty food. I just try to eat more salt, I don't actually monitor my intake. I find it difficult to measure because I just use table salt from the shaker and put plenty until I like the taste.

    Edit: have you checked yourself for POTS?

    I have not actually! I had to google that to see what it is. Hmmmm it makes me wonder if possible? I’m drinking pedialyte to see if this will go away but if not then I’m going to call the dr back and see what she says. Would that take a cardiologist to diagnose?

    Yes, you need a cardiologist. I have POTS which I didn't know existed until a year ago. I've suffered undiagnosed my whole life until then. It was very easy to get a diagnosis once I heard about it because my pulse more than doubles when I'm standing - from say 70bpm sitting to 150bpm standing and then increases until I sit. Exercise was out of the question. Didn't do a tilt table test. I was given to wear a holter for 3 days though to help the diagnosis.
    Now I'm taking a beta blocker which has such a huge effect on my wellbeing (in the positive respect). Now my fatigue is almost gone!
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,386 MFP Moderator
    edited January 2018
    gebeziseva wrote: »
    gebeziseva wrote: »
    I am supposed to eat high sodium. In the UK it is salt that is given on the label not sodium and I'm supposed to eat around 8gr of salt per day. I think this is around 3200mg sodium.
    Luckily I like very salty food. I just try to eat more salt, I don't actually monitor my intake. I find it difficult to measure because I just use table salt from the shaker and put plenty until I like the taste.

    Edit: have you checked yourself for POTS?

    I have not actually! I had to google that to see what it is. Hmmmm it makes me wonder if possible? I’m drinking pedialyte to see if this will go away but if not then I’m going to call the dr back and see what she says. Would that take a cardiologist to diagnose?

    Yes, you need a cardiologist. I have POTS which I didn't know existed until a year ago. I've suffered undiagnosed my whole life until then. It was very easy to get a diagnosis once I heard about it because my pulse more than doubles when I'm standing - from say 70bpm sitting to 150bpm standing and then increases until I sit. Exercise was out of the question. Didn't do a tilt table test. I was given to wear a holter for 3 days though to help the diagnosis.
    Now I'm taking a beta blocker which has such a huge effect on my wellbeing (in the positive respect). Now my fatigue is almost gone!

    Have you started any exercise yet? My wife is unable to do any type of cardio, but when we had her doing weight training, she saw improvements in her condition and less symptomatic. I suspect, its due to the increase in blood flow that is driven by utilizing the bigger muscles (Squats, DL, bench, OHP).

    But similarly, her RHR is around 90 to 100, and often goes up to 140. We have an appointment with her electrophysiologist in a few weeks to discuss getting back on a beta blocker since she is done with having children.
  • TonyB0588
    TonyB0588 Posts: 9,520 Member
    I've had very low blood pressure recently, and have been consciously adding extra salt to some meals to boost it up.