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Sodium is the primary electrolyte within the body (90%). 

Sodium is active in:

  • Acid-base balance
  • Nerve conduction
  • Oncotic pressure balance

Sodium is excreted in the urine. Despite fairly wide ranges in dietary intake of sodium, the kidney maintains a narrow range of serum sodium levels.

Sodium levels may rise in the presence of:

  • Dehydration
  • Diabetes insipidus
  • Conn's Syndrome
  • Primary Aldosteronism

Sodium levels may fall in the presence of:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Prolonged gastric suction
  • Edema
  • Ascites
  • Excessive hydration
  • Severe burns
  • Malnutrition
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Diuretics

Normal Values*

Men 135-138 mEq/L 135-138 mmol/L
Women 136-145 mEq/L 135-138 mmol/L
Pregnancy 130-140 mEq/L 135-138 mmol/L

*These are general values taken from a variety of sources. The actual normal values may vary from lab to lab and from one type of testing protocol to another.