Hypernatremia is a fancy medical term for a high concentration of sodium in a person's blood or a serum sodium level above 145mmol/L. The amount of sodium that can safely be present in the blood is confined to a fairly narrow range. The consequences of too much sodium depend on the level of hypernatremia experienced. Mild hypernatremia isn't dangerous, but high sodium levels can cause some uncomfortable, and even fatal, effects when the condition remains uncorrected. To prevent serious side effects, most medical professionals recommend proactive measures.


1. How the Body Controls Sodium Levels

The body controls sodium concentrations in two ways. Intake of water will lower sodium concentration. On the other hand, urination will increase sodium concentration. This biological pathway is controlled by receptors in the brain. These receptors recognize when sodium levels need to be corrected. If there's too much sodium, the brain will send a signal that it needs water. This is part of what makes us feel thirsty. If sodium levels get too low, the brain will send a signal to the kidneys telling it to release fluid. Urination will increase the concentration of sodium in the body.


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