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The symptoms of chronic hyponatremia may take a long time to develop, not becoming apparent until the blood level of sodium has fallen significantly.
In cases of dilutional hyponatremia or water intoxication, there is an increase in the volume of blood fluid which leads to a relative reduction in the concentration of sodium. This can lead to symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, disorientation and frequent urination.
Some of the symptoms of hyponatremia include:
The patient may also be thirsty and try to consume large quantities of water when their sodium levels have not yet been adequately restored.
In many people, symptoms may be absent even when the blood sodium level has fallen to below 115 mmol/l. These patients are at a particularly high risk because failure to detect and treat the hyponatremia can lead to life-threatening consequences.