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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18659
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Had blood work done for physical and my sodium level was

Customer Question

had blood work done for physical and my sodium level was 147. is that worrisome
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

A sodium level of 147 is not serious from the perspective of needing urgent attention. There are certain levels of elevated sodium that require urgent attention, and this is not to that level of severity. However, there should be consideration of why the sodium is at this level. For example, a common reason for mild elevation in sodium is because of a condition that is affecting fluid status, most often dehydration.

So, it would be appropriate to be worried to the extent that there should be consideration of the cause of the elevated sodium, and addressing that cause would typically prevent it from getting worse, but the level is not at a worrisome level, by itself.

If I can provide any clarification, please let me know.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What would some of the causes be
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

The most common is because of altered fluid status, most often from dehydration. Dehydration can occur because someone simply does not drink sufficient fluid on a regular basis or drinks fluids that tend to be dehydrating, such as caffeinated beverages. It also can be related to lifestyle situations in which there is excessive sweating.

Certain chronic medical problems cause altered fluid status, such as diabetes or heart dysfunction. Any cause of chronic diarrhea can cause lower fluid status.

There are also certain endocrine conditions that can cause an elevated sodium, such as adrenal disease or diabetes insipidus, which is different than the common diabetes mellitus.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. Last question. All the other blood work was fine. Should the adrenal be checked
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

If the remaining labs and the physical examination are otherwise normal, I would usually repeat the lab a week or two later after encouraging an increased fluid intake to see if it improves.

If there are findings on physical examination that is worrisome for any of the above conditions, including any signs of adrenal disease, it would be appropriate to pursue evaluation of that condition without needing to repeat the labs.