What is Na+?
Sodium (Na+) is both an electrolyte and a mineral which is essential for metabolism, maintenance of fluid balance and functioning of nerves and muscles including transmission of impulses through the nerves to the muscles. The Sodium test is performed to measure the concentration of sodium in the blood.
Why is Na+ done?
The Sodium Test is performed:
· As a part of regular health checkup to measure sodium levels in the blood
· To check the water and electrolyte balance of the body upon accumulation of excess body fluids or edema
· At regular intervals to monitor the progress of condition and treatment efficacy while undergoing treatment for hypertension and diseases of the kidney, adrenal gland or liver
· To monitor patients who are receiving diuretic therapy, intravenous fluids, or dialysis
What does Na+ Measure?
The Sodium test measures the concentration of sodium in the blood.
Sodium is an essential body electrolyte which, along with potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, etc., helps to maintain the normal fluid and pH balance in the body. It is also vital for cellular metabolism, and in the activity of nerves and muscles and transmission of impulses between them. Sodium is present in all body fluids and is found in highest concentration in the blood and extracellular fluid.
Sodium is supplied to the body principally through dietary salts (sodium chloride or NaCl), and a small portion of sodium is absorbed through other food items. The required portion is absorbed by the body and the remaining is excreted by the kidneys through urine. The body maintains a very narrow range of sodium concentration by three mechanisms:
· Secretion of hormones natriuretic peptides and aldosterone to control sodium elimination through urine
· Secretion of antidiuretic hormone (ADH), also called Vasopressin, to control the volume of water eliminated through urine
· Induction of thirst
Any disruption in the abovementioned mechanisms gives rise to an imbalance in the concentration of sodium in the blood to produce Hyponatremia (low blood sodium concentration), or Hypernatremia (high blood sodium concentration). Both these conditions produce a number of symptoms and may even lead to death.
Interpreting Na+ results
Normal range: 135 to 145 mmol/L
Hyponatremia: Below 135 mmol/L
Hypernatremia: Above 145 mmol/L
Sodium concentration in the body is maintained within a narrow normal range between 135 mmol/L and 145 mmol/L.
Hyponatremia or low blood sodium is indicated if sodium concentration lies below the normal range.
Hypernatremia or high blood sodium is indicated if sodium concentration lies above the normal range.