Disorders of sodium metabolism can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic predisposition, electrolyte imbalances, medications, infection, renal failure, and endocrine disorders.
Diagnosis is usually based on laboratory tests that measure serum sodium, potassium, chloride, and other electrolytes. Urine tests can also be used to determine the amount of electrolytes being excreted. Imaging tests, such as CT scans and MRIs, may also be used to look for any underlying issues that may be causing the imbalance.
Differential diagnosis includes other electrolyte imbalances, such as hyponatremia, hypernatremia, and hypokalemia, as well as other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as diabetes insipidus, adrenal insufficiency, and heart failure.
Treatment varies depending on the underlying cause of the disorder. Generally, treatment includes electrolyte replacement, medications to correct the imbalance, and lifestyle changes, such as increased water intake and dietary changes.
The prognosis for disorders of sodium metabolism is generally good, but depends on the underlying cause. If the disorder is due to an underlying condition, the prognosis may be more guarded. If the disorder is caused by lifestyle factors, the prognosis is usually good with proper treatment.