My mom has been in the ER 2 times within a month for low sodium. How can I help her? - AgingCare.com

My mom has been in the ER 2 times within a month for low sodium. How can I help her?

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Can she drink beer?

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My grandmother is always on the verge of dehydration., I have her drink Pedialyte though out the day. In the powered version ( you can buy at Safeway) 1 half packet makes 1 cup= 240 mg Sodium,, 180mg Potassium . I highly recommend it., it has kept her out of the hospital. She drinks 40 to 50 OZs of it every day.
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My mother had a very severe low sodium episode when she was 92 (and afterwards she's had many UTI emergencies and her sodium is always checked because of that awful scary event). My mother was delirious and very sick... Very low sodium can cause brain swelling and death if not treated. If it's an emergency situation like my mom, you must rush to the hospital and it takes about four days of a very slow sodium drip to bring the levels back up to at least a near-normal level. The elderly often have "lower than normal" sodium that is not an "emergency". Why this happened to MY mom, we figured out, was she has interstitial cystitis that causes her to feel a LOT of bladder discomfort, and she was drinking WAY too much water, because water helped the pain from the IC. However, that caused the low sodium emergency. Since then, she's been taking the one and only med that is available that (sorta/kinda) helps relieve some of the IC pain (Elmeron). And for about three years she's not had a bad low sodium event. She's almost 97 years old and has UTI problems but she knows not to drink too much water... (Bless you as you try to navigate caretaking your mom, kristiek74!)
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Beer is a diuretic. Combining beer and a diuretic pill has bad effects as you can see. So tell her to make a choice, the pill or the beer. Not both.
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Beer, especially drinking it to the exclusion of other drinks and foods, can apparently cause low sodium. Discuss this with her doctor to see if the amount she drinks is OK or if she should stop it. If she is a heavy drinker it might not be good to stop cold turkey -- discuss that with her doctor, too.

By the way, in addition to the ER visits, has Mom followed up with her PCP?
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"Can she drink beer" should be the furthest thing from her mind. She needs to get well from the low sodium event.
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Mother lowered her sodium too much by drinking too much fluid in the form of diluted juice. For sure it can be a tricky balance for those on diuretics and low sodium diets and the side effects of other meds. Have no idea of she can drink beer - check with her doc.
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Diuretics will lower sodium, excess water intake also, as well as Addison's disease of the adrenal glands. Considering how much (excess) salt is in processed foods, it seems unlikely that she wouldn't have enough sodium from her diet, but if she's only eating fruit and pastries, etc, she might have lack of intake.
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My mom's sodium levels change now and then, we are always aware of them, although doctors don't like to order tests just to check sodium. She's gone from very low (ordered prescription sodium pills, salty foods, electrolytes) to high (bad for blood pressure). Try to find a balance where she eats regular salt diet, and a supplement sodium pill as well as keeping record of intake of fluids. It took us 6 months to get it straight.
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To follow up with my previous post yes fluids are important they assist with the Kidneys and the Sodium balances so try these items or just water to bring additional sodium in her diet: Sip small amounts of water.
Drink carbohydrate/electrolyte-containing drinks. Good choices are sports drinks such as Gatorade or prepared replacement solutions (Pedialyte is one example).
Suck on popsicles made from juices and sports drinks.
I hope this clears the confusion from the previous post.
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Also Kristie you need to moderate fluids. What i have found is i give my mother the minimal necessary fluids a day. Eg maybe 5 - 7 glasses of water or if she thirsty i give her more. I regularly check that her urine is a good healthy colour and her stools are nice and healthy. Lots and lots of water can actually dilute the sodium if she already has this problem.
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