Hyponatremia — When Drinking Too Much Water is Dangerous

Two of the most important things I believe in on how to stay healthy and living clean was a lie.

I never thought in my entire life that I would disncourage drinking water and have people enjoy as much as salt in their diet until today.

What happened?

Last weekend, I had to rush my daughter to the emergency room because she had three episodes of vomiting with an unusual sleepiness that I can’t wake her up.  Her sleepiness is so unusual that her last two vomitting happened while she’s  on sleep mode and just wakes and cough out and then vomits.

It was so alarming and unusual that I decided to rush her to the hospital right away.

It was unusual because she was never this sleepy ever.  She is a light sleeper that small noises can wake her up easily.  This time no matter what I do she just won’t wake.  I even tried to sit her up but she is just dead weight almost lifeless.

At first I thought it was food poisoning so I had to ask her Yaya what she ate the night before and the entire day.  Daughter and Yaya were at my sister’s condo to accompany my mom because my sister is away and her house help was on a weekend day off.

I visited them to bring them lunch.  Daughter was still ok when I arrived but she has been wanting to go up the room to play with my sister’s computer .  I disallowed her coz the computer was broke.

I decided to clean my sister’s bathroom coz it was stinking so bad coz of the all the cat litter.

A few minutes after, while I was cleaning the toilet upstairs, daughter went and threw up.   She threw up everything she ate with the rice bits still undigested.

I wasn’t that alarmed with the first throwing up, maybe she also felt what I felt.  The stench of cat litter was  so unbearable for me that I can hardly breathe. I also feel like vomiting in fact.

Anyway, after daughter throw up she seek the bed and went to sleep.  I thought that was a good thing, maybe she was tires and needed rest so I let her be.

I continued cleaning the toilets and sat to watch some TV when I heard daughter coughed like something was gagging her.  When I got to her she was vomiting again.  I am now concerned so I had to ask her Yaya what Tasha did and ate the night before until the time I got there.  My sister and I were not in good terms so I hardly stay at her place anymore but I let my daughter visit them (her tita and her Lola).

Yaya said Tasha did not ate anything unusual except she drank all of the water in the Fridge , there were about 6 water container in the fridge .  I even asked maybe she had put in her mouth alcohol or sanitizer or something else that’s making her vomit.  Yaya said there was nothing.  I asked what she ate and she said she had sardines for breakfast and tuna for dinner.  I had to pick Yaya’s brain to get to the bottom of this.  But there’s absolutely nothing I can pin.

By the second episode of vomiting I was just waiting for daughter to be half awake so I can take her to the hospital for a check-up.   But a few minutes later again she throws up again.  This this time I am sure I’m taking her to the hospital.  I had to call Marcus to come and help me carry daughter because she was so dead weight and not of us at home could carry her down the condo to a car.

When he arrived he also investigated what happened looked around the condo for possible culprit’s.  I even doubted the water coz sister just had a filter on the faucet .  We had to know all possible cause to tell the doctors when they asked.

A dead weight person is really hard to carry . Glad there was a wheelchair on standby at the lobby so Yaya got it so we can wheel daughter to the car.

At the Emergency Room she was immediately attended to because she is lifeless.  About six ER staff attended to her while I was being interviewed about what could have happened.

They immediately run her blood test and put an IV on her. Some ECG monitor and a lot of apparatus on her.

By this time there was nothing I can do but wait.

The blood test result came fast and they found out that daughter had very low sodium in her body.

They asked me her medical history and everything else and when the doctor went back she told me they want to put daughter in Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

“ICU ?  Why ICU ? How bad is her situation to merit an ICU confinement ?” I asked.

She has very low sodium and she has history of seizures.  If we don’t put her on close monitor she could have seizure , she could go in comatose or the worst possible thing you can think of.”

I was stunned.

Daughter was still asleep the whole time but she was responding with small complains when the doctors and nurses would roll her up to put things on her body .

At the hospital

What I like about St. Luke’s are the competent doctors and nurses and even billing staff who will inform you about the cost of everything even before you sign for admission.  I was told that the ICU confinement will cost me Php40,000 a day.

Doctors are also understanding of your situation so they will try anything to help lessen the cost but still give you the best care possible.

They also have to tell.you the cost so you don’t get shocked when the bill comes !

 

What’s her condition?

While the world battles this decades most feared virus , Covid-19, we  got acquainted and hospitized because of  a very peculiar disorder, hyponatermia.

Hyponatremia occurs when sodium levels in the blood are too low. Sodium chloride is the chemical name for salt. Sodium is an electrolyte that regulates the amount of water in your body. Sodium also plays a part in nerve impulses and muscle contractions. Sodium chloride is used to treat or prevent sodium loss caused by dehydration, excessive sweating, or other causes.

When the body has low sodium which is not very common, it can lead to hyponatermia.  Symptoms include lethargy, confusion, and fatigue. It can result from underlying conditions, such as kidney failure, or other factors, such as drinking too much water or taking certain medications.

The definition of a low sodium level is below 135 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L).

Daughter was found to have very low sodium levels of 119 .   So they have to IV her sodium chloride to normalize the level.

 

If the low sodium condition worsens, people may experience symptoms, such as:

  • vomiting
  • muscle twitches
  • seizures

Severe hyponatremia occurs when levels drop below 125 mEq/L. Health issues arising from extremely low sodium levels may be fatal.

Hyponatremia is the most common electrolyte disorder that doctors encounter. Research suggests that approximately 1.7 percent of people in the United States have the condition. It is more prevalent among people with cancer.

If the condition worsens, it can cause severe symptoms, particularly in older adults. Severe symptoms may include:

  • vomiting
  • muscle weakness, spasms, and twitching
  • seizures
  • coma

Hyponatremia can result in death in extreme cases.

 

We made it through!

Daughter was confined at close monitoring by the doctors and nurses the whole time.  She was continuously injected with IV sodium chloride to normalize the level of sodium in her body.

Fortunately her body responded quickly to it.  She finally woke up while in the hospital.

The doctor did not give any medicines for her take home but she recommended oral rehydration salts and make her eat more salty food.

I was told though not to make her drink a lot of water and monitor her intake.

Right now we’re back home. She is her normal awake self but still.we monitor her water and food intake.

My take on this is  salt is good or or not that bad  too much water is bad.

So yeah everything I thought that was true was a lie. Less salt is not good and lots of water is bad.  I’m just mind blown.

 

I know I may have missed out on some stories or details but I have out in here the important details to let you know what happened and hopefully you learn something from it.

Stay healthy guys. Don’t hydrate too much! And pun intended, take it with a grain of salt.

 

 

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