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Sodium as Mineral – Sources, Functions, Deficiency & Daily Requirements

Health Care Guide on Sodium (Na) functions in Human Body, Absorption, Excretion, Regulation facts & disease – Hypernatraemia & Hyponatraemia in word/ .doc / ppt / .pdf format

Sodium (Na) :

Sodium is the electrolyte which is found in large amount in extracellular fluid compartments.

Sources:

  • Sodium is widely distributed in natural foods.
  • It is present in table salt.
  • Large amounts are found in cheese and butter.

Daily requirement:

  • Adult : 0.5 g
  • Children : 1g .Serum level 136-146mmol/L

Absorption:

  • Sodium is absorbed with the help of the sodium pump, involving Na+, K+- ATPase.
  • Active absorption of Na+ is often coupled with energy generated by metabolism of glucose or amino acids.

Functions:

  • Fluid balance: Maintains osmotic equilibrium.
  • Acid-base balance. Na+ and H+ exchange occurs in the kidney and is involved in the maintenance of acid-base balance.
  • Neurotransmission: Sodium is involved in the maintenance of the resting membrane potential and also in the propagation of the action potential.
  • Role in muscular excitability. Along with other cations such as potassium, neuromuscular irritability.
  • Maintenance of viscosity of blood. Sodium and potassium regulate the degree of hydration of the plasma proteins and maintains the viscosity of blood.

Excretion:

  • Sodium is excreted via the kidneys and skin.

Regulation:

  • Aldosterone, renin-angiotensin system, kinins and prostaglandins regulate sodium homeostasis.

Clinical manifestations:

Hypernatraemia:

  • It occurs due to the presence of high amounts of sodium.
  • It is less common than hyponatraemia.
  • It could be due to hyperactivity of adrenal cortex (Cushing’s syndrome), or prolonged administration of corticosteroids.
  • Hypernatraemia may also be due to an overenthusiastic, intravenous administration of saline.
  • Water can be retained along with sodium and the patient may show puffiness of the face.

Hyponatraemia:

  • It occurs in the following conditions :
  • Gastroenteritis with diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Severe burns
  • Small gut obstruction
  • Addison’s disease
  • Use of mercurial diuretics.
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