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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Learning A Lesson The Hard Way

This has been one of those weeks.

We learned a lesson the hard way.

What did we learn the hard way?

We learned that low sodium in your body can be very bad.

We get annual blood tests and my husband's sodium was always low, but they said not to worry about it. Usually people have to worry about too much sodium in their diet. The doctors and commercials on TV say to watch your sodium intake and to drink lots of fluids.

We didn't know this was what happened at the time. But after three days in the hospital, we found out that low sodium caused my husband to pass out on Tuesday morning and then have what I think was a seizure. Well, needless to say, it scared me to death. The doctor immediately admitted him to the hospital and had oodles of tests taken to see what caused this to happen.

He passed all the tests with flying colors, except the low sodium. Lower than just a little low. . . a whole lot low. He was put on a drug that helps retain sodium in your system and they restricted his fluid intake. They say he drinks too much water and that doing that can flush out the sodium in your body. I had never heard of such, I always thought drinking lots of water was good for you. The doctor even instructed me to bring an apple and a salt shaker (regular salt, not low sodium) to him in the hospital.

My husband always craved salty and crunchy things to eat. I guess his body was telling him that he needed the extra sodium. I guess we should listen to our body, it is smarter than we are.

Nausea seemed to be his only symptom before he passed out.

If you have blood tests taken and your sodium usually runs a little low, my suggestion would be . . . don't be afraid of the salt shaker, it may be your friend. But don't take my advice, talk to your doctor.

I just wish doctors would tell their patients these things. A little knowledge can go a long way and help people to not have to learn things the hard way.


  1. Oh Janet! My step-dad is having to learn this very same is hard to believe that someone can get low on sodium but I guess it is true!

    I would love for the docs to tell me to have all the salt I wanted, I'm a salt!!

  2. I've never heard of low sodium Janet. I'm so glad that the doctors have now figured out what is wrong with him and have it under control now.

  3. My mother in law has low sodium. The first symtoms was she acted "drunk" she was wobbly, forgetful, and slurring her words. I had a caregiver secretly call me to ask if she drank. We took her to the hospital and it was low sodium. She has to take Lasix for fluid retention and she too was drinking too much water and the Lasix was draining her sodium. She was recently in the hospital for a knee replacement and due to her age 88 the dietary department automaticlly put her on salt substiture to which she promtly told them she was a low sodium patient. She is an 88 year old Cheeto/Frito eating lady. She like your husband craved salt. Watch for the "drunk" appearance and anytime he is in the hospital make sure he gets salt on his meal trays. We pick on Mama Guthrie and tell her we'll get her a salt lick

  4. how scary that must have been!! So many people worry about too much sodium and you are right: we need to be taught that it works both ways!! I hope your husband is doing well today!

  5. Boy, I'm sure that was scary for you and your husband! I had heard of low soldium before, but never realized how truly serious it was. I agree with you...doctors need to educate their patients when there is a problem. Hoping your husband is doing better.

  6. Janet, I had no idea this could happen either. You're so right about the water and low sodium being a "good" thing. So sorry about your husband and glad he is doing better--Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Janet hope your husband is much better now. There are so many conflicting things out there for us to decipher any more; guess we should learn to trust what our bodies are telling us.

  8. WOW...I never heard of that either...I don't salt any food in our house..haven't for years!!!
    Glad to hear that hubby will be fine!
    deb :)

  9. Janet,
    Thanks for informing us of this important subject. I'd never heard of this.
    I hope your husband is doing much better.

  10. For some reason doctors don't seem to want to volunteer a lot of information. Nowadays it;s becoming more common for patients to research their own illnesses and ask questions. I'm not sure why?


  11. Oh Janet-that is scary! I so hope he is all better now. I did not know your sodium could get too low either. Wow.

  12. I had no idea!
    I'm gonna have to check into this. I'm wondering if I may be having the same problem.
    Thanks for sharing this lesson.
    And I hope that Charlie is doing much better!!


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