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Fluid and Electrolyte Imbalances
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: The body's fluids are a mix of water, acids, bases, and dissolved substances known as solutes. The majority of solutes in the extracellular fluid are electrically charged particles called electrolytes. Sodium is one of the most abundant electrolytes. In order to sustain normal cellular functions and blood volume, these elements are maintained within a narrow range in a process called homeostasis. The sodium concentration in blood plasma called serum sodium indicates sodium and water distribution and healthy blood volume. Normal serum sodium is maintained at 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter. However, a serum sodium measuring less than 135 milliequivalents per liter is known as hyponatremia. The most common type of hyponatremia is dilutional hyponatremia, which involves excess extracellular water relative to sodium concentration. For instance, profuse sweating causes the loss of water, sodium, and other solutes through the skin. In response, thirst is stimulated, and water intake increases, sometimes in excessive amounts. Excess water entering the extracellular fluid in the bloodstream without sodium dilutes the sodium levels in the blood and can lead to dilutional hyponatremia. Likewise, in chronic kidney disease, the kidneys lose the ability to adequately filter the appropriate amount of fluid and waste products from the blood. This abnormal process dilutes blood's sodium levels and leads to water retention in the interstitial spaces. In an attempt to restore water and electrolyte balance, extracellular water moves into cells. The cells swell resulting in damage and the inability to function normally. Treatments for hyponatremia include water restriction, which allows the excess water to move via osmosis from the cell back into the extracellular fluid, administration of hypertonic saline solution, a fluid with a higher sodium concentration than normal extracellular fluid that returns blood sodium to normal levels, and antidiuretic hormone inhibitor medications that help the kidneys retain electrolytes while increasing water excretion in urine. ♪ [music] ♪