I have been diagnosed by my family physician with low blood sodium. I was sent to a kidney specialist and her finding was that I was chronically dehydrated (my sodium was properly being disposed of in my urine) and should drink gatorade to get more sodium. Problem is, it is not unusual for my blood pressure to be 140-150/80 prior to a morning run. Not too long after a ten-miler, it will be something like 118/68. So, it seems that running is causing my low sodium, but also helping my BP. But I have also been told that high sodium intake is associated with high blood presure. I take in plenty of sodium, which probably is not helping my BP. Has anyone else had this issue and found a solution?
Are you drinking too much water? That could dilute your urine? Did they test your for Addison's Disease? That is a condition that causes your adrenal gland to ineffectivly produce enough steroids to regulate your sodium/potassium levels (sodium level is low while potassium s high) It is very rare but a very serious condition.
Thanks for the suggestions. I checked the symptoms of Addisons and I am just the opposite. I have plenty of energy and my blood pressure is not low. In other words, I'm feel and seem perfectly healthy, except for high systolic blood pressure (sometimes over 140) and high cholesterol, both which are heriditary and increase with age. I suspect the overhydration thing is more likely, even though the kidney specialist said I was likely chronically dehydrated.
I'm not sure there is a one perfect solution. You can appear to be over/well hydrated (clear/pale urine) and still be low on sodium, as I have found out. Your post run BP is great, but the sodium you lose thru sweat from doing 10 miles may be a factor in your BP drop also. Your Doc's advice on hydrating with a sports drink seems right on. I use Cytomax mixed at 1/2 strength as the weather heats up, just to drink thruout the day as needed. On runs of 1hr or less, I carry the same Cytomax mix. Over 1 hour, I start and continue with gels and plain water. I like the Powergels w/4x sodium. Everyone is different, so you'll need to determine the right amount of sodium to stay in balance. Consider having your blood drawn again the same day after a long run to see if you've made progress. Fwiw, Hyponatremia is the term for low blood sodium. Good luck!
Are you really satisfied with drinking gatorade for the rest of your life? If you want a better idea of how much sodium is normally in your blood, try drinking an IV of rehydration fluid. It's much too salty, but that's what it takes to properly replace sodium loss. Gatorade is a band-aid solution, it sounds like to me.
If i were you, i would be scared enough to get a complete top-to-tail physical, including Xrays or an MIR. Whatever is off whack, it's not in your kidneys; it's someplace else. Doesn't that make sense?
Of course, I'm me, way over here. How are feeling otherwise? Are you on any meds or herbal treatments? What made you go to your doctor intially?
Interesting. The low sodium reading was the result of a top to bottom physical. Since then, I have had 2 more, one with a normal reading, and the second with a low reading. And, since then I have run 3 marathons, train 30-40 miles a week and feel fine. The only meds I take are a daily asprin and statin. I looked back at my log to see what I may have done prior to the 1st physical and noticed that I ran a butt kicking, mega-sweating 5 mile tempo run on the treadmill two days prior. The last test that I took was durning the height of fall marathon training (October).
just curious - did you have any symptoms of low sodium? Is it the same as hyponatremia? When you finish a run, do you feel okay? I have never heard of a sodium deficiency. This has got me perplexed.
I was glad to see this topic, as I had a similar diagnoses a couple of years ago, and had never heard of such a condition. My physician told me I needed 3x the amount of salt of the average person. It was recommended I increase my salt intake with each meal, and drink several bottles of gatorade each day, as there was not enough fluid in my blood. Needless to say, trying to work out after adding that much salt to my otherwise "bland" diet, I felt as though my head was going to burst.
I found that adding salt to fruit (in addition to hydrating, hydrating, hydrating) was a good way to ingest the extra sodium and additional fluids.
Thanks for sharing. I'm totally intrigued by this. If you don't have enough blood volume, is that the same as being dehydrated? It seems that there may be some hormones at play - maybe playing too hard. Were you having symptoms that led to your doctor's visit?
Yo-sal, I never have had any symptoms. I am 61 years old, running well and feeling great, except for a couple nagging aches that are characteristic of someone who is averaging 40 miles week (last week 53 miles), including long runs, intervals and tempo runs.
bizarre. No symptoms, but the white coats see a problem. I wonder how our "normal" range of blood sodium compares to that of, say, Africa. Maybe you just need to move to another data base.