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How to maintain your health with good sodium level in summer heatwave?

How to maintain your health with good sodium level in summer heatwave?

During a heatwave, things are rather different. We tend to lose salt as we sweat more profusely, and in heatwave there is a danger our sodium levels can become too low.


Hyponatraemia, is defined as blood sodium concentration less than 135 mmol/L (millimoles per liter). Blood tests are the only way to diagnose hyponatremia. The best option is to take action and not let this happen in the first place.

A recent study in 2021 showed that hospitalizations for hyponatremia were significantly higher in summer than in winter. People with hyponatremia have a 60-fold higher risk of illness and death than those with normal sodium levels. It is more likely to occur when the temperature is high but the humidity is low.

What are the symptoms?

If blood sodium levels are too low, symptoms can creep in for hours, days, or weeks. You may experience muscle spasms and your muscles may feel very weak. Headaches can occur, and uncorrected sodium levels can lead to confusion and disorientation. Low sodium levels can lead to falls in older adults. Low sodium levels can lead to seizures, coma, and even death!

Role of sodium

Sodium is important for the body to retain water. We lose sodium when we sweat. Also, getting thirsty in the heat and drinking more water is part of the body's natural reflex and is important to avoid dehydration. Drinking water dilutes your sodium stores. For most healthy adults, your diet should contain enough sodium to meet your needs. However, for people in high-risk situations, this may not be the case and other measures may be necessary.During the heat wave, we are all at greater risk.

Excessive loss of sodium through sweat

If you have to work outdoors in the heat, you can sweat up to 1.5L per hour. You can lose 10-12L of sweat per day. Replacing these fluids is important, but so is replacing sodium. Being indoors, we sweat a lot more than usual, but the same principle applies.

Sodium in food and drink

Eating foods and drinks high in sodium can help maintain sodium levels during a heat wave. Drinking salt water is no fun! Therefore, eating and drinking tastier food is the preferred solution. Eat healthy, Stay healthy!

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